Elephant Springs at the Fort Worth Zoo
1989 Colonial Parkway, Fort Worth, fortworthzoo.org
Fort Worth has more than one herd, and while the saggy-skinned one may not be stampeding through the Stockyards any time soon, it nevertheless celebrated a happy occasion when it paraded into its new habitat at the end of March. That’s when the Fort Worth Zoo’s Asian elephant herd, which includes a three-generation family, officially made the move into Elephant Springs. The new habitat almost triples the amount of roaming room that was in the previous exhibit. Multiple, expanded yards, as well as the varied habitat, are designed to inspire even more success in what already is a heralded breeding program. A better quality of life for Cowtown’s magnificent gray herd? That’s the plan, thanks to multiple pools for splashing, spraying and lolling about, as well as more space to stretch around the water features. Noted worldwide for being a thought leader in elephant conservation and herd management, the zoo has also created new digs for the greater one-horned rhino just upstream, in a semblance of the geographic relationship the creatures would enjoy in the natural world. And because rhinos face extinction in the wild — possibly in as few as 25 to 30 years — the zoo is striving to further the survival of the species in another of its successful breeding programs. In 2012, the zoo celebrated a major conservation success with the birth of the greater one-horned rhino calf Asha — the first ever in Texas. Here’s to more good news to trumpet about as both elephants and rhinos add to their families. Reservations for admission to the Fort Worth Zoo are currently required for all guests. See the website for more information and to buy tickets.
Martha Elena Solo
Solo Exhibition Artspace111
Martha Elena, born in Mexico and now a resident of Fort Worth, won the top prize in the Fort Worth gallery’s 7th annual Juried Exhibition. Part of the award was the opportunity to have her own show. In May, she’ll showcase her soft sculptures as part of a new series called “Solo Solo Exhibitions,” which puts the spotlight on up-and-coming Texas creatives. Elena is the inaugural artist. Also opening in May is “The Jane Series” by Layla Luna, who pushes the concept of the pie chart into colorful geometrics. The series refers to her inherited middle name, Jane, and is a nod to female artist empowerment.
May 13-June 26
One of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants
George W. Bush Presidential Center, 2943 SMU Blvd., Dallas, 214-200-4300, bushcenter.org
The former president may not have as big a passion for politics anymore, but he is channeling lots of creative energy into painting. Bush’s new book, Out of Many, One: Portraits of America’s Immigrants, has drawn considerable buzz. Subjects of the 43 paintings include Texans such as retired Dallas Maverick Dirk Nowitzki, who was born in Germany; Austinite Gilbert Tuhabonye, who survived genocide in Barundi and went on to become a professional runner; and Cambodian-born Thear Suzuki, an SMU graduate who today works with many community organizations and on the board of directors of the Holocaust and Human Rights Museum. The title of the book and exhibition was inspired by the motto on the great seal of the United States, “E pluribus unum,” which means “out of many, one.” The book, $38, is available for purchase at many online sources and through your favorite shop. On view through Jan. 3, 2022; timed tickets must be purchased in advance; current hours are limited.
Fort Worth Botanic Garden | Botanical Research Institute of Texas
3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., Fort Worth, 817-463-4160, fwbg.org
Nature Connects It would be hard to find someone who has never had the pleasure of snapping together something from Lego bricks. To understand the scale at which such constructions become sculptural works of art, make plans to visit Sean Kenney’s award-winning exhibition at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden | Botanical Research Institute of Texas. The New York-based artist and children’s author utilizes the unique art form as an intriguing way to introduce topics he holds dear. From giant hovering hummingbirds and floating bees, to bonsai, koi fish and a fox on the hunt, millions of Lego bricks inspire conversation about protecting natural habitats, ecosystems and the beauty of the natural world. It promises to be equally entertaining and inspirational to adults and children. May 6-Aug. 1