Imaginary Garden

Imaginary Garden, Barbara Grygutis, North Carolina, public art

Public Art : Imaginary Garden

Sculptor : © Barbara Grygutis

Sculptor's Website:

Description: The award winning Imaginary Garden is an 800 ft. long and 15 ft. wide brick path which connects one end of the 11-acre Walnut Street Park to the other by providing an aesthetically-pleasing architectural spine. The design begins in the parking lot with a pair of intertwined cream and chocolate brown vines that weave themselves in delicate swoops over a rich cinnamon-red path. The ribbons of colored brick curve past a lush lawn and a wooded area complete with mulched trails and finally burst into bloom in a circular plaza at the northeast corner of Walnut Street Park. The design creates a playful and graceful visual interplay of colors that engages the observer and conveys a sense of movement and nature.

Commissioned By : The Imaginary Garden was commissioned by the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department of the Town of Cary.

Date Unveiled: 2010

Location: The Imaginary Garden is located in Walnut Street Park, Cary, North Carolina.

Background to the Imaginary Garden project: In order to further communicate the message of the human connection with our environment, Grygutis’ chose to construct her design with native North Carolina brick, a material derived from the earth that also has a rich local history. "My intent was to use brick in an uncommon way, in order to give meaning, definition and uniqueness to the work of art," she explains. The work is innovative in that it uses brick, an element not generally associated with art, and turns it into a large-scale tapestry with functional purpose. In addition to the choice of this material as a new artistic take on an old medium, brick provides a smooth, pedestrian-friendly pathway for wheelchairs or families with strollers and is a durable and recyclable material.

Imaginary Garden, Barbara Grygutis, public art

Awards : The project was rewarded with the Best of Class in the Brick Industry Association's Brick in Architecture competition in the Paving and Landscape Architecture category in September, 2010. As the nation's premiere architectural award featuring clay brick, it has been in existence since 1989 and was created to recognize designs which honor innovation in the field.

Imaginary Garden also caught the attention of Hardscape North America, which seeks to “acknowledge some of the best hardscape installations in North America.”  In landscaping, “hardscaping” refers to paved areas, such as sidewalks and plazas. Hardscape North America announced on November 5th, 2010 that Imaginary Garden is also the recipient of it’s Hardscape Project Award for excellence in the use of clay brick in the 10,000-50,000 sq. ft. category. The announcement of the accolade was made on Saturday, October 30th at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky and Pine Hall Brick will present the award to the Town of Cary in a January 11, 2011 ceremony in Cary, NC.

Acknowledgements: A special thank you to Barbara Grygutis, Nanci Tanton and Adrienne Lake for providing information and images for this page.

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