“These little creatures which we often take for granted outnumber us a million to one. Their ranks include engineers, soldiers, weightlifters, weavers, hunters, stalkers, gatherers and even royalty. When you take this remarkable and diverse group of ‘hidden gardeners,’ and recreate them on a gargantuan scale using all-natural materials, you have big bugs. The effect is a role reversal of dimension and perception.”
—David Rogers

The praying mantis weighs in at 1,200 pounds. The giant dragonfly, with its 17-foot wingspan, hovers nearby. A trio of ants—each 25 feet long, 12 feet wide and 10 feet high—stalk the Illinois prairieland with spindly legs.

Insectophobes, fear not!

Not a bee will sting nor a spider bite when you pack the kids in the car for a day and head to the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. From April 25th to July 20th, 12 gargantuan insect sculptures will grace the Arboretum’s 1,700 acres in a massive display destined to amaze and spur youngsters to learn more about the world we share with bugs!

Having traveled across the country since the mid-nineties, David Rogers’ Big Bugs exhibition now makes its way to Illinois. Rogers, a New York artist, began sculpting at age 13, using his knowledge of welding to create art out of salvaged car parts and scrap material. Using an ornate bent-sapling construction style called “Victorian Rustic,” Rogers constructed these giant bugs out of tree limbs and other forest materials, atop an under-body armature of metal.

The visually stunning exhibition provides numerous ways for kids of all ages to become “bug detectives.” An extensive variety of workshops, festivals, courses and other events for the whole family will be held throughout the duration of the exhibition.

Located 25 miles west of Chicago, The Morton Arboretum encompasses 1,700 acres of plant collections, gardens, woodlands, prairie, meadows, lakes and streams. For more information, visit mortonarb.org. a&s