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Get an Eye-ful with a surreal garden trip at the Eyeball during the Dallas Art Fair

A person takes a picture of the giant eyeball sculpture "Eye." The giant glass eye has a blue iris.
Juan Figueroa
The Dallas Morning News via AP
Artist Tony Tasset's giant eyeball sculpture, "Eye" sits on Main Street in Dallas on Nov. 26, 2020. This weekend, a whimsical garden scape will surround it.

A larger-than-life garden experience, the Eyeboretum, in downtown Dallas offers plenty of absurdity and whimsy.

Get ready for a family-friendly, surreal garden excursion during the Dallas Art Fair, April 21-23 with a visit to the Dallas Eye, the iconic downtown landmark at 1601 Main Street. White rabbits not included.

The first Dallas Eyeboretum will fill the senses with mazes and hedges of greenery and fanciful images. Whether it’s the hot pink pathway, an oversized flowery swing, nine-foot toadstools or mirrored disco ball cabbages, there will be plenty of Instagram-worthy opportunities for the whole family.

Colorful agua frescas are surrounded by flowers of orange, yellow and purple.
Headington Companies
Beverages will be on sale for children and adults, said Jeny Bania, spokesperson for the Eyeboretum. Candy rocks, cotton candy and pinwheels will be free for the kids.

“It's really a walking garden experience that's full of the unexpected,” said Jeny Bania, the spokesperson for the Eyeboretum.

Headington Companies, the sponsor of the event, transforms 15,000 square feet of greenspace with the great 30-foot Eye as the centerpiece of this whimsical naturescape.

“This Eyeball space is one of the most photographed spots in the city,” Bania said. She wanted to do something different this year for the Dallas Art Fair and create an event for all ages.

“There's no pun that doesn't go unused around the Eyeball,” she said. “But, quite literally, more eyeballs downtown and more eyeballs within the park. We’re making it an all-day affair.” Three days, actually: April 21-23.

The Eyeboretum replaces the annual invitation-only closing event, the Eye Ball, that they have had in the past, she said.

Visitors can expect to spend 30-40 minutes interacting with unique outdoor garden scenes, Bania said, depending on how long they want to linger.

A statue of a goat with hot pink fur and turquoise horns is part of the surreal gardenscape.
Beckly Co.
Headington Companies
A pink goat, nine-foot-tall mushrooms and disco ball cabbages await visitors at the Eyeboretum April 21-23.

Advance, timed tickets are required due to space limitations: Adults are $10; children 12 and under are admitted free and can take home chocolate candy rocks, cotton candy and pinwheels. Proceeds go to the Dallas Art Fair’s education programs.

Tickets may be good for special food discounts at CBD Provisions and Sassetta. Reservations are recommended.

“Eye,” a fiberglass, resin and steel creation by multimedia artist Tony Tasset, was originally displayed in 2010 in Chicago’s Pritker Park. The 30-foot, blue-irised, bloodshot eye sculpture moved to Dallas about 10 years ago to an empty lot where the city’s first skyscraper, the Praetorian Building, once sat and was demolished in 2013.

The Eyeboretum is open Friday-Sunday, April 21-23 at 1601 Main Street, Dallas.

Senior in journalism at TCU, intern with KERA's Art&Seek