Visitors to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanic Gardens are used to hearing birds and crickets chirping, but since May, they've heard the sounds of chisels too. It's from the artists in residency with ZimSculpt, an exhibit featuring live sculpting demonstrations and works from 300 Zimbabwean artists.
"I just get a piece of stone and try to find a starting point," sculptor Passmore Mupindiko said as he chiseled. "I'm trying to come up with a hummingbird."
Mupindiko and Brighton Layson are the two sculptors who work in open-air tents in the garden, so visitors can see their process.
"So they can also understand how we make the sculptures," Mupindiko said. "Most of the artists we have, they all learn from their parents or other artists. So it's been passed along from generation to generation."
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Sculpting has been a tradition in Zimbabwe since the 1950s. The ZimSculpt traveling exhibit brings their work to other parts of the world. It was last at the Arboretum in 2017.
"When we collect all the work from all those different artists, we're supporting all of those artists, their families, and indeed the whole village wherever they live," ZimSculpt Curator Vivienne Croisette said.
"I have passion for art," Layson said as he sculpted. "I enjoy sculpting."
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There are sculptures positioned around the gardens for viewing and for sale, as well as a tent with sculptures, baskets, and jewelry.
"I just feel I'm on another world," Mupindiko said smiling ear to ear. "I just love it!"
The ZimSculpt exhibit runs until August 8 at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanic Gardens.