2005-09-09 / Beauty in the Backyard

Big Bugs take over the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

Contributed by Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

Dave Rogers’ seven–foot ladybug sculpture will be on display at the DSBG.
Dave Rogers’ seven–foot ladybug sculpture will be on display at the DSBG. Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden (DSBG) will be swarming with Big Bugs beginning October 2. Dave Rogers’ Big Bugs exhibit will make its first visit to the Carolinas for a three–month stay at DSBG. The exhibit is a unique collection of gigantic bentwood insect sculptures that look like monster–size versions of their real counterparts. The wood sculptures include an 11–foot grasshopper, a dragonfly with a 17–foot wingspan, a 10–foot damselfly, a seven–foot assassin bug, a seven–foot ladybug, an 18–foot praying mantis, a family of ants (each 25 feet long and 10 feet high), and a 20–foot spider complete with web.

“We’re excited that we were able to snare the exhibit for this region,” said Mike Bush, DSBG’s executive director. “Big Bugs has been displayed at the nation’s top exhibit centers and public gardens, places like Epcot Center and The New York Botanical Garden.” Bush said that since the exhibit’s debut at the Dallas Arboretum more than a decade ago, Big Bugs has attracted tens of thousands of visitors wherever it goes. “Many visitors are so fascinated with the Bugs, that they return three and four times.”

Rogers began in 1990, constructing sculptures from dried branches and tree saplings; the idea for Big Bugs later evolved in 1991. “Insects play a vital role in a garden, but often are unnoticed, so I put them on such a large scale that you can’t help but notice them,” Rogers says.

Rogers, a self–taught carpenter and bentwood artisan, was originally well known for his mastery of the century–old art of creating bentwood furniture and other bentwood structures such as gazebos, until he began creating the bentwood insect sculptures that have become the Big Bugs exhibit. The exhibit now travels the country year–round with Rogers assembling each “Bug” on site for each exhibit and disassembling them for the move on to the next location.

DSBG has planned a host of special events and activities during the three–month exhibit, as well was special tours and workshops for both children and adults. For more information on the exhibit call 704-825-4490 or visit www.dsbg.org.

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden is located at 6500 South New Hope Road in Belmont, NC on 450 acres along the banks of Lake Wylie on Highway 279, just west of Charlotte.

Photo courtesy of Dave Rogers

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