Pumpkin in a hammock, pumpkin on a motor cycle, pumpkins playing golf, these are just a few of the highlights of the Enchanted Pumpkin Garden. This event is hosted by the town of Carefree, Arizona from October 16th through the 31st on the grounds of the Carefree Desert Gardens. Admission is FREE of charge.
This inspired exhibition of temporary art is anchored by the artist who has been called, the “Picasso of Pumpkin Carving,” by The Wall Street Journal. Martha Stewart has deemed Ray Villafane the “Michelangelo of Pumpkin Carving.”
Shelli and I were amazed as we walked the grounds stopping to gawk at each of the meticulously sculpted characters and scenes presented. Throughout the gardens are Saguaro Cacti displays, specially sculpted to blend in with the environment. They encase his amazing 3D pickled carvings which peer through the glass and are highlighted by beautiful LED lighting.
We spent time up-close with Ray, as he carved his whimsical masterpieces and answered our questions. He shared that the average carving is about a two and one half hour process of creation. However, the more intricate ones often take much longer. Many of the carvings are hubbards. A hubbard is one of the largest winter varieties of squash.They typically weigh 8 to 20 pounds and range in color from orange to grayish blue. They are Ray’s favorite squash to carve.
Enchanted Pumpkin Garden Pickled Pumpkins
Ray explained how his special pickling solution, made up mainly of vinegar and water, will preserve a pumpkin for up to 12 months! Several displayed around the grounds have been in the solution for over a year and still look as if they were recently carved. NO CACTI WERE HARMED IN THIS DISPLAY! The needles are real, but the cacti are the creation of Ray and his team.
Video Slideshow of the Enchanted Pumpkin Garden
The Enchanted Pumpkin Garden is a masterpiece of temporary art created by several artists at the direction of Ray Villafane. Enjoy a glimpse of this exhibit with me through this short video presentation. Best viewed in HD, Full Screen, with sound on.
About Villafane Studios
When Ray formed Villafane Studios in 2004, he determined that the company would represent a studio of artists and not just himself as a solo artist. With this simple vision and an understanding that you have to really believe that what you want is obtainable and move toward it, Ray launched his business. Flash forward to current day and you can find Ray and his hand-chosen team of elite artists demonstrating their talents worldwide. The vision of Villafane Studios, to inspire creativity and imagination in people young and old through the medium of temporary art, is being fulfilled on a global level.
The town of Carefree is a small, diverse community located 15 miles northeast of Phoenix and shares a mystique with the legendary town of Cave Creek. This twosome of towns is rich in art, western culture and is home to aristocrats and bikers alike.
Carefree Desert Gardens sits on a four acre parcel in the heart of town at 101 Easy Street, Carefree. Restaurants, galleries and unique shops are conveniently located around the perimeter of the park.
The Enchanted Pumpkin Garden is FREE and open to the public. The display runs October 16-31, 9 a.m.- 9 p.m.
On Halloween, the gardens will be open 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. and visitors are encouraged to wear their best costumes!
This park is a family and pet friendly area so feel free to bring Fido, oh, and the kids.