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High Museum to install whimsical outdoor sculptures

In its ongoing quest to turn its outdoor space into a fun place to hang, the High Museum of Art will install four large-scale sculptures in Sifly Plaza this summer, onto which kids are encouraged to climb.

The four wooden sculptures, painted in stripes and polka dots, will have stairs and slides and kid-sized openings, which send the message you don't hear at museums that often: "Please touch."

Called "Tiovivo," they were designed by whimsical Spanish artist Jaime Hayon, born in Madrid in 1974. In 2015, the High acquired Hayon’s “The Green Chicken” rocking chair for its decorative arts and design collection. “Tiovivo” is Hayon’s first major commission in the United States, and will be displayed June 3 through Nov. 27.

The site-specific installation continues a multiyear effort to encourage visitors to the High to have fun. This began in 2014 with "Mi Casa, Your Casa," an installation of 36 three-dimensional, frames, shaped like houses, installed in a large grid on the piazza. Visitors could relax in hammocks and swings hung from those sturdy frames.

Last year the High installed “Los Trompos” (“The Spinning Tops”) -- more than 30 functional tops that served as mini-merry-go-rounds for patrons. Both installations were created by Mexican designers Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena, and were enjoyed by nearly 250,000 visitors.

On June 10 the High will celebrate "Tiovivo" with an evening party, and plans regular Friday night activities in the piazza during the period when the sculptures are on display.

The piazza installations were sponsored by a grant from the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation.

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About the Author

Bo Emerson is an Atlanta native and a long-time AJC feature and news writer.