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NASHVILLE, TN. – Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art will host David Rogers’ Big Bugs this summer, an enchanting outdoor art exhibition featuring 10 enormous insect sculptures created from fallen or found wood, cut saplings, twigs, raw branches, bark and other natural materials. In addition to the giant bugs, Cheekwood has planned interactive activities and components designed to engage visitors, enrich their experience, and draw connections between art and nature.

This is the second time Cheekwood has hosted David Rogers’ Big Bugs, first opening the popular exhibition in the summer of 2001. This year’s showing will include the same giant ants, praying mantis, and dragonfly sculptures that thrilled visitors 13 years ago, plus many more predators, pollinators and critters to enjoy.

“We can’t wait to get the Big Bugs back in the gardens at Cheekwood,” said Patrick Larkin, Vice President of Gardens and Facilities. “This exhibition was so popular several years ago, and we anticipate an even bigger visitor response in 2014 with added enrichment activities, interactive experiences, and fun programming that ties in with the sculptures. We’re staying open until 10pm on Friday nights during the summer to give our visitors a chance to enjoy Cheekwood after dark. Even if they’ve experienced the sculptures during the day, seeing these giant bugs lit up across our grounds will add an entirely different and dramatic dimension to the installation for kids and adults alike.”

To further enhance the Big Bugs visitor experience, two Nashville architecture firms have designed special interactive pieces for climbing, exploring and learning.

Pfeffer Torode Architecture will create Get Your Wings: The Butterfly Experience. This inviting wooden play sculpture will abstractly depict the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly using large wooden “ribs” curling through the landscape, floating wings and a “spine” that doubles as a slide.

Tuck-Hinton Architects will create The Hive, giving visitors of all ages an opportunity to experience a bee’s habitat on a grand scale. Climbable honeycomb walls, tunnels and passageways inside the structure will lead to a tree at the center representing the queen bee. The project’s materials and design will abstractly represent the process of making honey.

Both interactive pieces are scheduled to be completed by Big Bugs’ opening on May 23, and will remain on Cheekwood’s grounds for the duration of the exhibition.

In addition, Cheekwood’s expert Garden Guides will lead interactive safari journeys through the Big Bugs exhibition, exploring the enormous insects one by one and delivering fun, fascinating facts about each, from its quirky habits to its unique job in nature. The safari will highlight not only the fascinating world of insects but also the importance of bugs in the earth’s natural environment. Tours start every Saturday at 11 a.m., offered June – August.

A free, self-guided “Bug Hunt” Adventure Brochure will be available at the Visitors Center throughout the exhibition’s run, giving clues for insect investigators of all ages to follow as they discover the Big Bugs hiding throughout the gardens.

Since its debut in 1994, David Rogers’ Big Bugs have toured botanical gardens all over the U.S. as a featured exhibit. This collection of huge creepy crawlers has delighted garden visitors for over a decade with its giant insects and natural aesthetic, and has also served a very important educational purpose: to build public awareness about the importance of the preserving our natural world.

David Rogers’ Big Bugs opens at Cheekwood May 23 and will close September 1, 2014. The exhibition is sponsored by U.S. Pest and The Tennessean.

About Cheekwood
Cheekwood is a 55-acre botanical garden and art museum located on the historic Cheek estate. Our mission is to preserve Cheekwood as an historical landmark where beauty and excellence in art and horticulture stimulate the mind and nurture the spirit.

Cheekwood presents world-class art exhibitions, showcases breathtaking gardens, and offers education programs and seasonal festivals to school children and families as well as to the citizens of Nashville and its visitors. Its attendance and membership have dramatically increased in recent years, and the institution has become an increasingly accessible and relevant place in the Nashville community. In 2013, Cheekwood welcomed over 300,000 visitors, making us one of the city’s top cultural attractions, with approximately 12,000 member households.

Cheekwood is located at 1200 Forrest Park Drive in Nashville, 8 miles southwest of downtown Nashville. Hours: Tuesday through Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Friday nights May – October, open until 10 p.m. Admission is $14 for adults, seniors $12 and children 3-17 are $7. Parking is $3 per car. For further information call 615-356-8000 or visit

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