A beautiful community space and garden destination in the heart of downtown West Bend.
The MOWA Gardens is open and free to visitors to enjoy at any time. Enjoy a walk through the gardens when you visit the museum, as a detour from your walk on the nearby Eisenbahn Trail, or as a destination itself. Experience the seasonal changes in the Gardens and read a book, bird watch, people watch, build a snowman, admire the foliage, wander the paths, or pass through on your way to one of the area shops or restaurants.
The MOWA Gardens encompass the entire four-acre site surrounding the museum and overlooking the Milwaukee River. A variety of stunning features include:
Six groves of 750 quaking aspen trees
More than 1,200 hydrangeas
A field for outdoor activities and festivals
A multipurpose courtyard
Two artworks on view in the Gardens include:
The Legend of the White Snake: Located right outside the MOWA entrance, this site-specific installation engages interest from every vantage point. The Legend of the White Snake originated as a Chinse folk tale during the Tang Dynasty. The White Snake yearned to join human society taking the form of a woman but because snakes are considered evil in Chinese culture, a monk imprisoned Madam Snake. It is her cage that Jason Yi, a South Korean born artist living in Milwaukee, evokes in his titanic tangle of PVC tubes.
Athena: Athena stands at MOWA’s education entrance in The Shoemaker Family Courtyard. Recognized as the goddess for many things: wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, strategic warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts and crafts, Athena was a natural subject for Dean Meeker (1920–2002) who had been fascinated by classical mythology. Constructed from hundreds of small bronze plates and scaled larger than life-sized, her headless and armless state acknowledges the damage done to much ancient sculpture and is Meeker’s greatest sculpture.
Both sculptures were made possible thanks to support from the West Bend Friends of Sculpture. We are grateful for their partnership to help realize the cultural life of West Bend.
The Public Grove:
The Gardens was made possible thanks to a dedicated group of supporters. View the Supporters Here >