Maurice River Bamboo Art Garden"Bamboo Jerry" McShane
New Jersey 55, Millville, New Jersey, 08332, United States
Intersection of Route 47 (Delsea Drive) and Route 55, Port Elizabeth, NJ
About the Artist/Site
It’s amazing what global warming will bring…a northernmost sighting of pink flamingoes prancing on towering stilt legs along Delsea Drive (Delaware to the Sea) near Port Elizabeth. On our way to Cape May Point we sight a cluster of exotic underwater plants and a gaggle of creatures form another planet. Three-legged arachnoids with red bowling ball heads stand on spindly bamboo appendages somewhat camouflaged by the environment. Elongated jointed legs grow out of a large blue bulbous shiny glob. Brightly painted other-/underworldly plants shoot out of the sandy soil. Other bright-colored balls bloom in the center of bamboo spikes. Small orange spherical orbs bloom on the tips of long gangly tubing extending out of slender bamboo. Another other-/underworldly plant sprouts blue tubing dangling from bamboo poles encircling a shiny blue sphere. Silver human-like creatures looking similar to women of our species dance in front of swaying green bamboo, perhaps celebrating the orange, pumpkin-like globes lying around the leaf-littered sand. Silver and black silhouetted or just plain skinny male-like creatures stand stiffly, overlooking the realm.
This is actually a nursery where living bamboo is sold and bamboo poles of all sizes are stored decoratively, standing upright in artistic arrangements. “Karma bins” line the entrance: free bamboo poles. Bamboo Jerry is owner and head creator He says, “In between jobs, they play.” It started with the pink flamingoes, which inspired other works. A native of Vineland, Bamboo Jerry lived in Philadelphia and has now returned to his routes…which grow deep in South Jersey sand.
Editor’s note: McShane, owner and operator of the multi-acre Cape May Bamboo Farms, began adding the flamingoes and various objects during early summer, 2016, after a tree had fallen, taking advantage of the beginning of the height of the tourist stampede to the beach, where this stretch of highway 47 often looks more like a parking lot. The flamingoes were soon joined by balls and hoops hung on the trees, and mannequins and other figurative and geometric forms were added to set off a small “Zen Garden” in the back. It seems as if McShane is only getting started: he has plans to put seven-foot-tall bamboo legs on the flamingoes (“think Salvador Dali,” he said), add a big dragon head for the toppled tree, create cloud sculptures, and develop more “Alice-in-bamboo wonderland” objects.
~Jo Farb Hernández
Map & Site Information
New Jersey 55
Millville, New Jersey, 08332 us
Latitude/Longitude: 39.3921443 / -75.0108187
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