A ‘surreal’ neon show enchants the Zilker Botanical Garden this month

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — For two weekends this spring, the Zilker Botanical Garden will transform into an immersive exhibit of neon art for visitors to explore.

Designed by Sharon Keshishian and the team at Ion Art, The Surreal Garden is a surreal neon-themed art exhibition that will include interactive sculptures for visitors to engage with, as well as food, cocktails crafts, live music and dancing.

The Surrealist Garden will open its doors to the public with a VIP event on Thursday evening. General admission for the exhibition runs on Friday and Saturday this week, with a final weekend of April 28-30.

This is the first surreal series Ion Art has put together since the pandemic began and its first collaboration with the Zilker Botanical Garden Conservancy, Keshishian said. She added that she was thrilled to help shine a light on both the beauty of the neon art and the Botanical Garden – a place she dubbed the “jewel” of downtown.

“We have high hopes of helping the garden and supporting the arts,” she said. “We think it’s the perfect partnership — I mean, it supports the arts in Austin, and it supports this little gem of a garden right here in downtown Austin that so many people don’t know about right now. moment.”

A portion of the proceeds raised will go to the ZBGC. The non-profit organization was launched in 2015 and works in conjunction with the Austin Department of Parks and Recreation to support the existence and maintenance of the Botanical Garden in the city.

Funding for this event will go toward garden operations and revenue for future events and programming, said Monica Sivilli, public relations coordinator for ZBGC.

Advance tickets start at $40, while tickets purchased at the door are $50 with fees.

Local food and drink trailers on site will include Crepe Crazy, Downtown Burgers, Garbo’s Lobster, Maudie’s Tex-Mex, TacoMan 512, Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop, Zucchini Kill Bakery and Black Sheep Lodge. Live entertainment during the two-weekend event features music from DJs Byrne Rock and Manny Mo, as well as Mixer Rogers.

Austin-based Ion Art was launched in 1986, founded by Sharon and her husband, Greg, as a neon art boutique. Keshishians specialize in glass and metal work, creating and selling artwork, metal signage, architectural decor, and lighting design.

Sharon said she hopes visitors see the beauty of neon art as a timeless creative form – with uses that go beyond illuminating bars, restaurants and other entertainment spaces.

“Anyone can have a piece of neon,” she said. “And we hope it makes everyone happy and puts a smile on your face…. especially nowadays we need that in the world.

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