The Intersection of Art & Science
The depth of art programming at the Gardens received a dramatic and obvious boost when galleries in the Freyer – Newman Center opened. At last, we have perfect spaces to display works, with climate control, lighting options and a spacious, clean design. The themes of exhibits tie back to plants, to fungi and the natural world, all with a sense of humanity. Already, we have featured artists from our own community and as far away as the Canary Islands.
You might notice a large office area near the galleries that houses the research and conservation staff and the art and exhibitions team. Together. It is a powerful statement that we are not in the business of bifurcating the human experience, right brain vs. left brain. Instead, it points to a collaboration of disciplines to provide, as our mission statement mentions, delight and enlightenment.
Art has many purposes – to mark important events, convey a feeling, tell a story, to immortalize observation. We use it to frighten and inspire, to worship and to motivate. Gardens are in their own way an artform, horticulturists co-creating environments with nature. When you incorporate pieces of bronze or glass, something like a visual dance seems to happen.
This magical combination leads to something else essential to public gardens – the attraction of community. Most of the living tableaus change slowly, by season or gradual shifting design. An infusion of art, appealing to a variety of tastes, draws in new audiences who start with a connection to art and end up enthralled by plants.
In countless ways, these conjoined expressions of human experience and imagination are at the heart of all public gardens.
Read the latest issue of Inside the Gardens magazine.