A ‘ribbiting’ display of sculpture

For Home Magazine

Ribbit the Exhibit hops into the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Gainesville this spring with 23 whimsical frog sculptures sure to bring smiles to the young and young at heart.
Presented April 15 through July 15, the exhibition of copper sculptures is the creation of North Carolina artist Andy Cobb, who left the corporate world after 21 years to focus on his art, including frogs, birds and fish.
The artist hand draws each piece and then cuts it from sheets of copper. The pieces are then hammered and folded into the desired shape over a steel armature. Finally, the sculptures are assembled utilizing a brazing process and then colored with a natural patina. It takes an average of 120 hours to create each of the pieces, which range in size from 32 inches to almost 6 feet tall.

Courtesy Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Visitors will delight in the 19 installations of frogs taking part in a variety of everyday activities in the garden — from painting pictures to bird watching to watering plants. And each frog has its own unique personality.  Take “Marvin the Lawn Mowing Frog,”  which took first place in the World Nationals Lawn Mowing Competition by mowing 16 acres of grass in six hours — according to his bio!  And then there’s Zenny (meditating on a lily pad) which began life in a Buddhist monastery but joined Ribbit in order to travel to beautiful botanical gardens and meditate.
“We are thrilled to welcome Ribbit because it will be an exhibit that charms and delights all ages,” said Mildred Fockele, Vice President, Horticulture and Gainesville Garden Director. “Each frog has its own unique personality, and they all fit so well in a garden setting.”

North Carolina artist Andy Cobb courtesy Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Ribbit the Exhibit will be accompanied by various frog-themed activities for children and families — from new Discovery stations to scavenger hunts.  And joining the Ribbit frogs will be two frogs from the Atlanta garden’s  2014 Mosaiculture exhibition, Imaginary Worlds.  Their oversized metal topiary frames are stuffed with colorful, ornamental annuals that are manicured weekly to maintain the lifelike character of the frogs.
ABG Gainesville also will host classes on gardening. Explore the basics of container gardening with a focus on plant selection and design tips. Learn how to create lush containers for any season using a few simple guidelines. “Container Gardening” will run 10 a.m. to  noon, Saturday, March 25 and the cost is $29 (Garden members $24). To register online: http://atlantabg.org/learn/adult-classes#gainesville. For more information on the class or the exhibit, call 404-888-4763 or visit Atlanta Botanical Garden, Gainesville, at 1911 Sweetbay Drive.

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