Meet the sculptor behind Gardens Gone Wild on Sept. 27

Two Ostermiller sculptures will stay at Powell Gardens permanently

Spend time with the sculptor whose art graces the Gardens Gone Wild exhibit during two distinctive experiences on Sept. 27 at Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s botanical garden.

Visitors to Powell Gardens through Oct. 5 can take an art adventure to discover 26 animal sculptures created by Colorado artist Dan Ostermiller, each set in habitats ranging from the exotic to the familiar. From elephants in the tropics to bunnies in the backyard, Ostermiller’s works add a new element to an exploration of the Gardens. 

Garden Chef Series Presentation, 2 p.m.
Ostermiller’s artistic flair extends to the kitchen and at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 27, he and friend Richard Matteucci will present a favorite Italian recipe as part of the Garden Chef Series in Powell Gardens’ Heartland Harvest Garden. An avid cook who enjoys preparing food for others, Ostermiller has traveled with Matteucci to attend cooking schools in Italy. The duo’s demonstration will build on ingredients from the harvest garden, which is the nation’s largest edible landscape. The demonstration is included with regular Garden admission ($10/adults, $9/seniors, $4/children 5-12).

An Exclusive Art Experience in the Gardens, 5:30 p.m.
At 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 27, Ostermiller will lead a ticketed event limited to 30 people. The evening experience includes wine and heavy appetizers, a private tour to hear the tales behind the sculptures plus behind-the-scenes information about Ostermiller’s artistic process. Wine and light appetizers are included in the ticket price of $45 ($35 for members). Prepaid reservations are required. Visit or call 816-697-2600 x 209.

Powell Gardens receives two Ostermiller sculptures as gift
Thanks to a generous donation from the William T. Kemper Foundation, Commerce Bank Trustee, two of the sculptures presented as part of the Gardens Gone Wild exhibit will have a permanent home at Powell Gardens.

“Blue Sentinel,” exhibited on the award-winning Island Garden, is more than 5 feet tall and was inspired by a Blue Heron rookery near Ostermiller’s Colorado studio. “A Roll in the Junipers,” sculpted in 2006, depicts a bear Ostermiller observed at the Denver zoo.

“I had no idea that bears react to juniper like a cat reacts to catnip until I witnessed it at the Denver Zoological Gardens,” Ostermiller said. “I spent more than an hour with this bear as it frolicked among the branches that were tossed into his den.”

This sculpture has a perfect home in the Perennial Garden, where it is placed in front of an evergreen tapestry including junipers.

The full Gardens Gone Wild exhibit will remain on display through Sunday, Oct. 5.  After that date, the two new Ostermiller works will join “Close Quarters,” a sculpture of two bunnies donated by Marjorie Powell Allen in the early 1990s, as permanent residents of the Gardens.