Lake Nona Sculpture Garden
The Lake Nona Sculpture Garden is a 50,000 square-foot outdoor space designed for the exploration and discovery of a distinguished selection of sculptures from one of the world’s largest private art collections, The Lewis Collection.
Adding to the richness of Lake Nona’s public art program is the all-new Sculpture Garden – an enchanting tropical enclave brimming with lush landscaping and a definitive collection of world-renowned sculptures creating an outdoor art gallery unlike any other. Lake Nona Sculpture Garden is home to one of the most recognized sculptures in the world, the iconic Charging Bull by Arturo di Modica.
Adjacent to the newly opened Lake Nona Wave Hotel, the Sculpture Garden is a 50,000 square-foot outdoor space designed for the exploration and discovery of a distinguished selection of sculptures from one of the world’s largest private art collections, The Lewis Collection. An elegant and inviting canopy of verdant palms and fragrant flowers surround meandering walking paths through the garden’s signature sculpture collection featuring the works of acclaimed artists such as Fernando Botero, Philip Jackson, Henry Moore, and Enzo Plazzotta.
“The caliber of artwork featured in the Lake Nona Sculpture Garden is unlike anything else in the Southeast,” said Orlando Museum of Art Director and CEO Dr. Aaron H. De Groft. From Charging Bull by Arturo di Modica to Mother and Child by Henry Moore, these major and internationally important artists and masterworks of sculpture add so much dimension to the art landscape of Central Florida. Like the Orlando Museum of Art, Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg or the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota that also has a large outdoor sculpture collection, Lake Nona is a must-see destination for art lovers.”
The garden’s current exhibit features eight esteemed sculptures from The Lewis Collection including Charging Bull by Arturo di Modica, Leda and the Swan by Fernando Botero, Mother and Child and Upright Motive No. 9 by Henry Moore, Postmodern Man by Eric Goulder, Jeté II by Enzo Plazzotta and Cloister Conspiracy and The Don by Philip Jackson. The exhibit also features four pieces by local artist JEFRË, including Faith, Empowerment, Time and Passion that were recently featured in his applauded show at the Orlando Museum of Art. The Sculpture Garden is designed to evolve with a rotating collection to keep visitors engaged and introduce new artwork to the community.
Lake Nona’s Sculpture Garden was meticulously planned by an expert team of art curators, landscape architects, lighting designers and arborists who brought this stunning vision to life. The garden canopy is defined by nearly 300 hand-selected palm trees chosen for their unique features and arranged in waves of foliage as a nod to the curves of the state-of-the-art hotel rising overhead. In addition to palms, the garden features climbing vines, fragrant shrubs including ylang-ylang, gardenia and night-blooming jasmine that will bloom seasonally.
“Lake Nona Sculpture Garden is a place ripe for discovery,” said Lake Nona Director of Landscape Architecture Jeff Thompson. “From the variety of Florida-grown palms to the selection of plants and flowers, everything is designed to showcase the artwork. The landscaping has been meticulously planned so guests can discover the sculptures as they walk through the garden. You never know what’s behind the next tree or flowerbed.”
The Sculpture Garden’s layout allows guests to explore at their own pace and preference. Take a stroll through the grounds to enjoy the artwork or make a stop in one of the garden’s unexpected alcoves that feature a mix of soft seating and tables. As the sun sets, the garden comes to life with a coordinated orchestra of multi-hued lighting elements and special night-blooming flowers.
“We see this space as an extension of the hotel – an outdoor living room,” said Suzie Yang, general manager of Lake Nona Wave Hotel. “It’s a truly one-of-a-kind location for weddings, special events, and so much more. Just like the other iconic art installations in Lake Nona, we can’t wait to see the Sculpture Garden become a backdrop for guests celebrating life’s milestones.
The Sculpture Garden is the latest addition to Lake Nona’s vibrant community art program that is already home to dozens of public art pieces, including murals, digital art and live performances designed to create engaging experiences and stimulate learning.
Current Palm Garden Collection:
The Lewis Collection
The Lewis Collection is one of the most significant private collections of modern art and sculpture. Today, it includes landmark works and is recognized by ArtNews, Sotheby’s and Christie’s as one of the world’s most important private collections. A few of its monumental works are featured in Lake Nona Sculpture Garden, creating an outdoor art gallery unlike any other.
Charging Bull, often referred to as the “Wall Street Bull,” is a 7,100-pound bronze sculpture by Arturo Di Modica. Originally a work of guerrilla art, the sculpture was created as a symbol of the “strength and power of the American people” following the 1987 stock market crash.
Italian sculptor Arturo Di Modica was born in Sicily in 1941. He is a contemporary artist who operated outside the confines of the traditional art world for most of his career. English sculptor Henry Moore nicknamed him the “young Michelangelo.” Di Modica died in 2021.
In addition to its iconic location in New York, Charging Bull can also be found at Isleworth Golf & Country Club in Windermere, Fla., Albany, The Bahamas in Nassau, and here in Lake Nona.
Postmodern Man represents the struggle of the individual after the effects of the Modern Age. The figure is not literally bound, but bound within itself, overwhelmed, perceiving himself as trapped and powerless.
American sculptor Eric Goulder was born in Ohio in 1954. His work reflects contemporary society and its contradictions. Through expressions of despair, hope, angst, greed and innocence, Goulder’s work examines the human spirit’s struggle for identity.
Celebrated artist Henry Moore focused on the subject of mother and child repeatedly. This bronze sculpture is among a small group made by the artist during the early 1950s that depicts the relationship between mother and child.
Upright Motive No. 9 part of Henry Moore’s Upright Motives series that began when he was working on a design for the English Electric Company Headquarters in London in 1954. A subsequent commission led to further explorations of organic, upright forms as the ideal counterbalance to the strong, geometric and often horizontal planes of an architectural setting.
British sculptor Henry Moore was born in Yorkshire in 1898. He is renowned for his semi-abstract monumental bronze sculptures that explore similarities between nature and the human body. He died in 1986.
Cloister Conspiracy is a set of figurative sculptures crafted to catch the quiet and subtle movement of the body revealing the secret thoughts and intentions of the figures. These harmonious forms reflect the artist’s enthusiasm for music, history and theater, and he brings to them three-dimensional sense of living art.
Hauntingly elegant, The Don captures precise posturing to create and overwhelming sense of drama.
Scottish sculpture Philip Jackson was born in Inverness in 1944. He is known for his contemporary bronze sculptures depicting life-sized elongated figures.
Jeté II depicts a dancer in a ballet move known as a jeté. The dancer is based on English ballet dancer David Wall, who, at just 21 years old, became the youngest male principal dancer in the history of the Royal Ballet.
Italian sculptor Enzo Plazzotta was born in Mestre in 1930 and spent his life working in London. He is best known for his experimentation and study of movement. He died in 1981.
Inspired by Greek mythology, Leda and the Swan appropriates Fernando Botero’s ideological framework over the subject. According to Sotheby’s, this piece is “an iconic example of the artist’s mature sculptural practice.”
Colombian artist Fernando Botero was born in Medellín in 1932. Known for transcending his paintings, prints, and sculptures, Botero’s work is characterized by round, inflated figures drawing inspiration from a range of diverse influences.
Local Artist Showcase
Faith, Empowerment, Time and Passion are part of the Baks Series by JEFRË, a Filipino-American artist whose temporary exhibition within the Sculpture Garden establishes figures as symbolic expressions of our culture that convey underlying emotional and spiritual meaning. For the artist, people are the building blocks of the city and by converting the heads of his sculptures to blocks, JEFRË connects these figures to urban architecture.
A graduate of Ohio State University, JEFRË began his career in landscape architecture. In 2008, a heart attack changed the course of his career.