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| Art |

Giant Inflatable Glowing Rabbits Take Over Pinecrest at the Big Bunny Invasion

"Intrude" in action.
"Intrude" in action.
Photo by Parer Studio, courtesy of Pinecrest Gardens
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The Village of Pinecrest is shaking things up this year when it comes to Easter. Typically, the posh municipality hosts an Easter egg hunt at Pinecrest Gardens  — but that’s been done to death. You know what hasn’t been done at all in Miami? Twenty-five-foot-tall inflatable bunnies.

“Everyone does egg hunts for Easter, and Pinecrest Gardens has been doing it for decades,” spokesperson Michelle Hammontree says. “But this year, we wanted to think outside the box and be a little different.”

The botanical garden is bringing Australian artist Amanda Parer’s work to Miami next month to celebrate the spring holiday, aptly calling the three-week engagement the Big Bunny Invasion. These massive rabbit figures are part of a larger project called "Intrude" that aims to shed light on the environmental issues caused by a massive infestation of rabbits in Australia. According to the artist’s website, the size of the inflatable rabbits is meant to reference the elephant in the room.

“Pinecrest is the model city for sustainability,” explains Hammontree, adding that the municipality is “really, really green.” The meaning behind Parer’s work made it a fitting choice to bring to Pinecrest Gardens. “The artist was asking the larger question of, ‘Well, what do we do with all these rabbits?’ These inflatable bunnies come with a strong environmental message, so it made sense for us,” she says.

It seems every couple of months, a new outdoor immersive public art installation pops up in South Florida. Anyone remember last year’s Umbrella Sky or the popular NightGarden at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden?

These bunnies don't bounce.EXPAND
These bunnies don't bounce.
Photo by Parer Studio, courtesy of Pinecrest Gardens

“Big Bunny Invasion will be the next Umbrella Sky,” Hammontree says confidently. “It’s perfect for posting on social media and taking selfies. It will be interesting to see who is going to have the most unique selfie and what angles people are going to use to try and get the whole bunny in their shot,” she adds with an audible laugh.

Hammontree explains that displaying art in public spaces opens up a world of possibilities. “Art in a museum blocks a certain demographic from wanting to go, but by bringing art out to the community, you are also able to get the community to come out and engage... People are not only enjoying the visual art, but many of these outdoor installations have events that are complemented by music or performances. It’s just another unique way to get the community inspired and excited about art.”

Each weekend of Big Bunny Invasion, Pinecrest Gardens is hosting an added interactive element, including a glow-in-the-dark yoga session on Friday, April 5, and an adults-only “hoppy” hour on Thursday, April 11. For a complete list, visit pinecrestgardens.org.

“The event takes place at night, where the atmosphere will be relaxing with music playing and the kids free to run around. I think people will definitely leave relaxed and happy,” says Hammontree.

Although you’ll tell your friends you’re going for the art, if you do happen to take a selfie — or 20 — and post on Instagram, use #BigBunnyInvasionPG to join the conversation.

Big Bunny Invasion. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Fridays through Sundays April 5 through 21, at Pinecrest Gardens, 11000 Red Rd., Pinecrest; 305-669-6990; pinecrestgardens.org. Tickets cost $5 at the door.

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