By Heather Madsen
As a lifelong resident of Utah, sometimes I think that I’ve seen everything the state has to offer. I’ve visited each of its national parks, every popular museum and exhibit, most of the well-known tourist spots, and a very big sampling of the local cuisine and bars. However, no matter how much or often I explore, I’ve never seen it all, and I’m always pleased when a new gem or experience pops up. If you share that sentiment, then this article was written just for you, as a suggestion for your next adventure: Gilgal Sculpture Garden.
It might be well known to you, or maybe you’ve never heard of it, but either way, Gilgal Sculpture Garden is an experience that’s uniquely fun, no matter what. The garden is now a Salt Lake City park, but in its beginning, it was simply one man’s collection of beliefs and convictions carved into stone. That man’s name was Thomas Battersby Child Jr. and he worked passionately on his art for 18 years. Some of his pieces might be considered odd, outlandish, or just plain confusing, but that didn’t deter Child in the slightest. His hope for his garden was to express his truth and to encourage others to ponder the mysteries of the universe, whether they understood or held his same beliefs.
The Garden contains twelve original sculptures by Child and over 70 additional stones that are engraved with quotes, philosophies, scriptures, poems, and more. The grounds are also maintained by very talented, volunteer gardeners and caretakers, who are committed to preserving the art installation. It’s a fascinating experience that I encourage every Utah resident to enjoy at least once.
The garden is located at 749 East 500 South, and is tucked away in a neighborhood like the hidden treasure it is. Admission is free and the garden is open seven days a week, so if you’re looking for your next fantastic adventure, this is it!
More information can be found at gilgalgarden.org.