San Antonio/ Arts & Culture
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Published on May 02, 2024
Colossal 'Huntopia' Sculptures Hop Into San Antonio Botanical Garden for Whimsical Art ExhibitSource: Wikipedia/Jouaienttoi, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Art and nature are colliding in a big, bold way at the San Antonio Botanical Garden, where colossal bunnies now hop among the foliage in the form of large sculptures that make up the new Huntopia: Bunnies, Birds, & Butterflies exhibit running through early November. According to a San Antonio Report, visitors will find themselves amidst a fluffy of ceramic and glass-tiled bunnies, towering toucans, and clusters of butterflies courtesy of New York artist Hunt Slonem.

The exhibit, which will provide an aesthetic jolt to the garden’s usual flora and fauna, officially opened on Saturday and has introduced a whimsical divergence from the traditional garden experience, Slonem’s first foray into outdoor sculpture, presents a kaleidoscope of mirror-surfaced creatures that are causing a buzz and brought the garden's 38 acres to life, according to comments he made in an interview with the San Antonio Report, where he expressed his awe at the scale of the exhibit, stating, “The scale is just beyond my belief, that it could happen in such a wonderful way,”

The project, a collaboration between the Mays Family Foundation and the San Antonio Botanical Garden, was five years in the making; it took six 52-foot-long trucks to deliver the seven tons of art—installation required 15 days, crafting 25 multi-sculpture vignettes scattered across the landscape, the San Antonio Report describes this as Slonem's perception of "painting a painting," as he arranged each piece with careful consideration to the overall impact.

"Botanical gardens fascinate me,” Slonem was quoted in a news release covered by, with the artist adding, “Nature is embedded in my soul, and I’m thrilled to have the lush canvas of a garden to mix my art with. It’s a project that I’ve wanted to do forever; this is the first time I’ve been able to produce work that will fulfill my dream.” 

Aside from the fanciful installations, Slonem also integrated his work within the garden's conservatory, complementing the space with his signature paintings, including some inspired by orchids—a nod to the botanical beauty and diversity that visitors can ingest apart from the sculptures. Conceived as a traveling exhibit, Huntopia will eventually make its way across the United States, but for now, the San Antonians have the first crack at this immersive experience, which, as per the San Antonio Report, Katherine Trumble, the garden's interim CEO said, “This is an immersive art exhibit unlike any other and the city of San Antonio is the first to experience it.” Regular admission to the botanical garden grants access to this larger-than-life exhibit.