By Jennifer Baileys
June 11, 2021
LOUISVILLE, Ky. —
There’s a new art attraction at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest. It is a 24-foot tall natural amphitheater made from sticks and tree scraps.
The sound of saws and drills echo through the normally quiet Bernheim Forrest. Jayson Fann is crafting his newest creation called the Spirit Nest. It is a human-sized nest and treehouse.
“Some of the wood is here from the Bernheim Forest trees that naturally fell down over the last several months, some of the wood here is from the Ohio Falls a group of volunteers help collect,” Fann said.
He is also incorporating eucalyptus wood from his home in California. The Bernheim exhibit is one of 12 Fann is creating across the country. All of his creations are inspired by nature.
“I’ve been building these nests since I was 9 years old and you know like a lot of kids you start off making forts and gathering stuff pulling stuff out of the river so I started doing that and it evolved into this art form,” Fann said.
He has spent the last month working with local volunteers to create the art installation located in Zone 2 of Bernheim’s newly opened play ecosystem. It is a 10-acre natural playground built to inspire free and adventurous play for all children.
“I am hoping that lots of people can come out and experience a new part of Bernheim that they may not have previously and also learn about the wonders of the natural world at the same time,” said curator Jenny Zeller, Bernheim Arts in Nature.
Bernheim officials said the Spirit Nest will also be used as a natural amphitheater for musicians and serve as an outdoor education space open to the public.
“All of my work has an environmental component, but also a community and cultural component where we’re bringing diverse communities together to produce works of art that will benefit the community,” Fann said.
The Spirit Nest opens to the public on Saturday, June 12, 2021. A grand opening ceremony is planned for 3:00-6:00 p.m.