Garden Sculptures to be Sold September 8​

UT Gardens 2019 Butterfly Sculpture
Twenty-five butterfly sculptures suitable for garden display will be sold at auction at the UT Gardens, Knoxville, on September 8, at 3 p.m. A preview of the art will begin at 2 p.m. Proceeds of the sale will support the programs of the UT Gardens. Photo courtesy UTIA. Download image​.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The UT Gardens, Knoxville (UTG), will hold a live auction of 25 butterfly sculptures created by local artists as part of their 2019 Art in the Gardens project. “Wings of Wonder: A Butterfly Exhibit” has been on display in the UT Gardens since early summer. The auction is scheduled for Sunday, September 8, at 3 p.m. Eastern, with a preview of all pieces beginning at 2 p.m. at the McIlwaine Friendship Pavilion in the UT Gardens. The Gardens are located at 2518 Jacob Drive, Knoxville. 

Local amateur and professional artists donated their time and talent to artistically interpret this year’s theme with a fun and creative design. Each artist was provided a marine-grade plywood butterfly silhouette measuring approximately 3 feet by 3 feet to embellish using media of their choice. Works were returned to the UTG where they were mounted and installed throughout the Gardens for visitors to enjoy. The weather-resistant butterfly sculptures will now be sold at the live auction with all proceeds benefiting the UT Gardens. The project was designed to promote community participation and foster artist collaboration at the Gardens as well as raise awareness and support for the Gardens.

This fun and lively event is free and open to the public with light refreshments to be served. Those wishing to participate in the auction may pick up a bidder number upon arrival. All pieces are currently on display in the Gardens through Friday, September 6 and available for viewing daily during daylight hours. Exhibit guides are available in the entrance plaza kiosk. Photos of all works are also available on the gardens website Winning bidders will take their pieces with them the day of the auction. Sponsors for the exhibit were Jerry's Artarama, UT Landscape Architecture, UT Fab Lab, UT School of Art, Lange Customs Woodworking, Susan and Andrew Mehringer, and West Knoxville Home Depot. For more information contact James Newburn at 865-974-7256 or by email

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About UT Gardens, Knoxville: The UT Gardens feature more than 1,000 woody plants under long-term observation and 2,000 varieties of herbaceous plants evaluated annually. The Gardens function as an outdoor laboratory, teaching and research facility, and public gardens, sharing their beauty with more than 50,000 visitors yearly. Established in 1983 by the UT Institute of Agriculture Department of Plant Sciences, the gardens are recognized as an official All American Selections (AAS) test site for evaluating new plants for the ornamental market. They are also an American Conifer Association and a American Hosta Society reference garden, and listed as a Tennessee-certified arboretum and serve as a valuable resource for home gardeners and landscape professionals.

You can find the UT Gardens in Knoxville just off Neyland Drive behind the UT Veterinary Medical Center on the Institute of Agriculture campus. From I-40 take Exit 386B onto Highway 129 (Alcoa Highway south toward the airport). From Highway 129 take the exit for Highway 158 (Neyland Drive). Turn left onto Neyland Drive at end of exit ramp. Turn left onto Joe Johnson Drive and right at the light onto Chapman Drive. Free visitor parking is available directly across from the entrance to the UT Gardens.



James Newburn, UT Gardens, 865-974-7256,