Giant bunnies! They've invaded the N.C. Museum of Art's expanded Museum Park ... or rather, they are standing, suspended against the wind and ready for viewing for 10 days starting Friday.
Artist Amanda Parer is behind the exhibit, called Intrude. In Parer's native Australia (and, in the Triangle, some local gardeners may argue), rabbits are both an out-of-control pest and a cute, cuddly reminder of favorite childhood stories. Intrude, a press release says, is intended to bring to mind that cutesy image with visual humor to get people interested in art.
The five white, inflatable rabbits stand 23 feet high. They've traveled to more than 30 countries around the world.
They are part of the new and expanded section of the art museum's popular Museum Park, which has about three miles of trails with a variety of existing and new public art pieces along the way. New pieces include "Open Mind," a maze-like structure made of barricades that visitors can walk through. Also new: Benches shaped like cartoon speech bubbles, which sit not far from the bunnies and are sure to become the setting for about a million profile pictures.
During a media event on Thursday morning, museum director Lawrence J. Wheeler said the pieces, which will change and even move over time, are intended to open conversations and offer opportunities to explore and appreciate art in new ways.
A sensory garden also is in the works and will eventually include the park's whisper benches and etching stations along with other plantings and pieces that require the use of all five senses.
The bunnies will remain at the park from Friday to Nov. 6. Hours for viewing are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., daily. It's free to see them and to walk through the park. You're welcome to gently pet and hug the bunnies, but no hitting, jumping, rolling, climbing or crawling over or under them.
Over the next 10 days, the art museum has planned a series of special events, called "hoppy hours." They are all free. No tickets are required. Food and drink will be available for purchase.
On Nov. 6, the museum will celebrate the opening of the redesigned and expanded park with outdoor activities, public art, live music and more.