Shenandoah Valley

Shenandoah Valley

Giant bugs have swarmed into Virginia—in the form of massive wooden sculptures on display at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley.

David Rogers’ Big Bugs exhibit features tiny creatures created on a huge scale. This spring and summer, the MSV’s seven-acre gardens will be home to a 10-foot-tall daddy long legs spider, an 18-foot-long praying mantis weighing 1,200 pounds and a 17-foot-wide dragonfly hovering on the pond of the Water Garden. In all, the traveling exhibition brings 10 fascinating sculptures to the Museum’s gardens.

Next to each giant sculpture, a family-friendly interpretive sign provides the actual size of the bug depicted by the artwork, the role the bug plays in the garden, and where one might find the insect in the MSV landscape.

Rogers created these sculptures using various combinations of found or fallen trees, cut green saplings selectively harvested from the willow family, dry branches, and other forest material.

According to the artist’s website bio, David Rogers was in Vermont in 1990 when he came upon a maple sapling bent over from an ice storm. There was something about the curvature and posture of this particularly ravaged tree – a backbone to a large beast, perhaps, that suggested a new life for the tree. Using dried branches and different varieties of tree saplings a “dinosaur” sculpture emerged in 12 inspired days.

“This first large-scale branch construction sculpture” Rogers stated, “encompassed and crystalized all of my previous work and life experience. It would forever transform my perception of what could be conceived and created using all-natural materials.”

Make plans to see Big Bugs at the MSV and discover the world of insects, the role they play in the plant world, and their interconnectedness to our lives. David Rogers’ Big Bugs will be at the MSV through November, 15, 2020. MSV admission fees ($5 –$15) will apply to ages 5 and up, with MSV members being admitted free of charge. (See how to join here.)

About the Gardens
The seven-acre Glen Burnie Gardens of the MSV were designed by MSV benefactors starting in 1956, and created to support formal entertaining. Boxwood plantings are present throughout. The Rose Garden is comprised of hundreds of individual plants, and the Perennial Garden presents flowers in a dazzling array of colors summer through fall.

The MSV’s Julie Armel told us, “Visitors to the gardens this summer will also have the opportunity to explore a new Bamboo Grove. Located just east of the moon gate in the Asian Garden, the Bamboo Grove opened to visitors for the first time this June.”

Note: After being temporarily closed due to COVID-19 safety the MSV galleries have re-opened. All visitors must wear face masks in compliance with the state requirements. In addition, visitors to the MSV will find several modifications to support social distancing.

The MSV is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Each Wednesday now through September 2, the MSV is open until 8 p.m.