Stones at Night

The regal stone sculptures that have taken up residence at Powell Gardens soar as high as 11 feet tall and weigh as much as 5,000 pounds. But the sturdy art that makes up Chapungu: Nature, Man and Myth is cut from a centuries-old culture strained by contemporary upheaval. For their inspiration, the Zimbabwean artists draw on iconic images of family and nature, many derived from African legends. For their medium, the sculptors use multicolored rock mined in their home country and, to carve their larger-than-life pieces, use only handheld tools such as chisels and metal combs. But for their livelihood, many of these artists rely on income from outside Zimbabwe’s borders. In the past, tourism dollars have been enough to sustain institutions such as the prominent Chapungu Sculpture Park in Zimbabwe’s capital city. But political violence has grounded the nation’s travel industry, and artists are looking to practice their craft abroad. For the next six months, that tradition will inhabit Powell Gardens (1609 Northwest U.S. Highway 50, Kingsville), and, thanks to extended hours, visitors can stay as late as 9 p.m. on Thursdays until the end of August. Admission costs $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and $3 for children.

June 13-Nov. 2, 2008