Artist Statement by Bill Bukowski of Mankato - "The garden has been a universal theme in art since the ancient Egyptians. It has represented heaven, the status of the aristocrat, the ideal world, and a symbol of peace and contentment. I like the idea of sharing those concepts with an image of a park that is right in our park system; that we can all experience. Painting a garden allows me to experiment with brushstrokes and to paint with bold colors and more abstract images. In 2004 I discovered Sibley Park. I had lived here in Mankato for 24 years before I really saw the flower garden. Once I experienced the peak flowers of late July, I have been back painting there every year. The garden has become an important theme for me and one that I hope others can enjoy."