Annmarie Garden or Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center is one of those places that I enjoy visiting over and over again. The garden and woods change with the seasons and the indoor art exhibits are temporary, so I discover something new each time I go. Annmarie makes art accessible and fun, and there are a number of family-friendly events and art classes scheduled throughout the year (in fact, we’ll be covering many of them).
Annmarie Garden is affiliated with the Smithsonian and has some pieces on loan from the Smithsonian Institution and the National Gallery of Art. However, Annmarie has a permanent collection, which includes A Tribute to the Oyster Tonger, A Chesapeake Waterman – its most well-known piece, which visitors see as they drive toward the parking lot.
A short walk on the trail through the woods reveals some hidden treasures if you look closely enough. A highlight is the “Tree Pops” scattered throughout the woods, which display recreated portions of well-known paintings. Each year, the woods become home to a wonderland of magical fairy houses, some of which are created by local residents.
Among my favorite spots at Annmarie is the artLAB. Even if you’re not a particularly crafty person (that would be me), you can get assistance from an artLAB volunteer to make a custom piece of art out of recycled materials to take home with you. My first visit to the artLAB resulted in a decorative wine stopper made out of recycled corks and painted water bottles that were fashioned into flower petals using scissors and a heat gun. It was a fun and unique project.
No trip to Annmarie is complete without a visit to the gift shop. I always love museum gift shops, and Annmarie has an eclectic selection of beautiful pieces for your home and garden, as well as a section devoted to children’s merchandise.