Seeing Beyond

Elsie McCarthy Sensory Garden
7116 N. 56th Avenue
(55th Avenue and Orangewood)

Seeing Beyond

Seeing Beyond
Joan Baron and Robert Miley
Hand-made ceramic tile mosaic, stone, stainless steel, expanded polystyrene
Completed: 1998


The Elsie McCarthy Sensory Garden was developed to stimulate the senses of sight, sound, smell and touch. Elsie McCarthy was a long-time Valley resident and an avid gardener. She continued her gardening throughout her life even after she lost her eyesight. Through a bequest in her will, she donated the money for "the purpose of establishing, purchasing, improving, expanding or maintaining a scented and tactile garden for the visually handicapped."

The garden contains five points of interest; the Wisdom Garden, the Celebration Garden, the Contemplation Garden, the Reflection Garden and the Story Totem Garden. As part of the Story Totem Garden, Seeing Beyond brings the visually impaired and sighted person to a common ground as they share the experience of enjoying art on many levels. The four cutout shapes, on each side of the sculpture, represent archetypal symbols found in cultures worldwide and reveal universal patterns of perception.