Whimsical, wonderful, eccentric, and eclectic, the Imagine Exhibit by Matthew J. Leavell is sure to delight visitors of all ages! Currently installed at Airlie Gardens in Wilmington, NC through September 30 2017, the exhibit is comprised of 14 of Matthew's large scale metal sculptures installed throughout one of the most beautiful public gardens in the Southeast.  The pieces in the Imagine exhibit fall into four genres, with the intent being to appeal to a wide audience, both young and old, those accustomed to attending art functions, and those yet to do so.  

     The exhibit features bright and whimsical botanical sculptures in varying shapes, colors,  and scales, made from a variety of upcycled and recycled objects. Such work have been Matthew's signature pieces for years, though the Imagine exhibit includes pieces that are far larger and more intricate that what has displayed regionally in the past.

         The Imagine exhibit also debutes work that is a direct reaction to the work of a photographic artist named Fabien Oefner, and other artists that have rendered work similar to his. Mr. Oefner takes splendid high speed photographs of paint being flung through the air by various means. Matthew wanted to render that concept durably, on a large scale, and in 3 dimensions, i.e. he wanted to sculpt flying paint out of steel. Included in the Imagine exhibit are his first two forays into that pursuit; a large circular piece named Synergy and a twisting red spire named Fluidity. These are new pieces, Synergy has been exhibited only once before at an event in Little Rock, AR in April, and Fluidity was created specifically for the Imagine Exhibit. Matthew plans to further explore this process, creating pieces that are continually larger, more complex, and more refined in the future

         Additionally there are three Exhibit pieces, including the title piece Imagine, that are created from salvaged heavy cast iron components, combined to form either a word, a flower, or a jellyfish. These are decidedly more masculine and trend towards the world of steampunk.

         Finally there is Birdpalooza, a twisted, eccentric, interactive habit for our feathered friends that looks as if it could have been torn from the set of a Tim Burton adaptation.

          The imagine Exhibit was created specifically for Exhibit in the public garden environment provided by Airlie Gardens. However Matthew continues to grow and develop the exhibit. Stay tuned for additional exhibition announcements in coming months.


The Imagine Exhibit

June 27th through September 30th,2017

Airlie Gardens, Wilmington, NC

Matthew J. Leavell

​Sculptor. Artist. Innovator.

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