Fall down the rabbit hole at Marjorie Park, the open-air sculpture garden curated by Museum of Outdoor Arts (MOA). Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland meets The Secret Garden in this quaint gated gem, where a winding path weaves through a fantastical series of bronze sculptures inspired by Alice’s adventures. Interspersed between beloved Lewis Carroll characters—like the Hatter, Cheshire Cat, and Queen of Hearts—you”ll find Italian lion statutes dating back to the 1500s.
Go ahead and touch the art. “Marjorie Park is a magical, hands-on place where kids can run around and interact with the artwork,” says MOA outreach coordinator Jessica Brack. They can even crawl inside Weidenblume, a dome-shaped conceptual work overlooking a pond, built from live willow trees by the German artist, Sanfte Strukturen.
This must-see display is only a small part of MOA, which owns and operates the adjacent Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre and the MADDEN Museum of Art. MOA’s collection is so substantial that it couldn’t be contained in a single venue—or even a single municipality.
“Originally when we started in 1981, all of the art was outdoors,” explains Brack. John W. Madden started MOA as he was developing Greenwood Plaza, a Greenwood Village business district embellished with original art. Madden’s inaugural collection of 19 acquisitions has grown to include more than 150 pieces spread throughout Greenwood Plaza, Denver, and Englewood.
In fact, about 25 percent of MOA’s collection is located in and around Englewood—between Santa Fe Drive and South Broadway, and West Dartmouth and West Hampden Avenues. Take a self-guided walking tour through the neighborhood before landing at Sculpture Alley, a 10-piece collection of abstract ironwork. Children can enjoy the splash pad nearby.
Before they get too wet, check out MOA’s indoor museum, located inside Englewood Civic Center at 1000 Englewood Parkway. MOA opened its 10,000 square foot gallery in 2000, extending its brand to include temporary exhibits, events, and an artist-in-residence program.
Beyond the atrium—featuring a chandelier by artist Corwin Bell—between the main gallery, Gallery C, and a multimedia sound gallery, you”ll stumble on a permanent hallway installation: The Cabinet of Curiosities. “There is lots of antique-looking stuff, and kids have a tendency to run past this exhibit,” says Brack. Slow down! The corridor of cabinets depicts items from a range of popular fairy tales and nursery rhymes. Ever wondered what Miss Muffet’s tuffet looked like
Since the indoor museum is located above Englewood Public Library, kids can go downstairs and re-read their favorite fairy tales afterward.
There’s a lot going on at this multifaceted organization, and all of the offerings abide by MOA’s founding mission of making art a part of everyday life.
Check it Out
The museum has several locations; start at Marjorie Park 6331 S. Fiddler’s Green Cir., Greenwood Village. moaonline.org
Need to Know
Marjorie Park is open daily during daylight hours.
Pack a picnic lunch for your trip and nosh beneath Weidenblume, an 18-foot-high living sculpture made out of willow trees.