One of the reasons I homschool the kids is to give them experiences that they wouldn’t get if they were in a classroom five days a week. One of these experiences is the appreciation of art. I try to take them to a museum, an art show, or a studio about once a month. My hope is that these experiences will stay with them throughout their lives and influence the adults they become.
Today I decided, on a whim, to take them to a sculpture/garden right in our neck of the woods. I am embarrassed to say that I have never been there, but I had heard about it, and I thought why not check it out. I am so glad we did!
California Scenario is truly a hidden gem in Southern California. It is situated between office buildings and restaurants, with the 405 right behind it. We almost couldn’t find it, as there is only one sign designating the street it is on and nothing else. The street dead-ends into a parking garage, and so I decided to park there. We still had no idea where to go, but we found the nearest elevator and went down to the ground level figuring a garden must be down there.
The elevator let us out right onto the garden. I knew immediately that this was not a typical “garden” but more of an outdoor art installation. There are no signs designating the area, or giving any background. It is just there to be discovered and enjoyed.
When we got home I researched this hidden gem and found out it was created by artist Isamu Noguchi and commissioned by Henry Segerstrom. The garden “ suggests an outline of the vastness and diversity of California. With redwoods and cacti, among other indigenous plantings, the garden transports visitors to terrains ranging from the High Sierra to the deserts of Joshua Tree National Park. Noguchi gave the design elements in the garden evocative and allegorical titles such as Land Use, The Desert Land, The Forest Walk, Energy Fountain, Water Use, and Water Source. The masterwork of the garden, Spirit of the Lima Bean, is a seven-foot-high granite sculpture made from seven boulders that fit together as tightly as those of the stone walls at Sacsayhuamán, near the ancient city of Cuzco in Peru.”*
If you are ever in Orange County take a moment and check out this hidden gem. You will be so glad you did.