We have, off and on, been members of the Denver Botanic Gardens for over 20 years. During high school, our son would often stop there after he was finished for the day and sketch. I truly believe it was a huge force in helping him decide to go to art school for college. We love concerts there (obvs), but most importantly, just the beauty of nature they share with us.
One things I have noticed over the past decade is the increased focus of bringing art into the gardens too, which is a perfect addition. Below is the roster of exhibits for next year – hopefully you can catch at least a few of them.
Art Exhibitions at Denver Botanic Gardens in 2022
Seeing the Invisible
Through Aug. 2022
Experience an innovative exhibition of contemporary artworks existing only in augmented reality (AR). Co-curated by Hadas Maor and Tal Michael Haring, Seeing the Invisible presents virtual works that engage with existing features of the natural landscape. Beyond the boundaries of what is possible with physical artworks, many of the works created for the exhibition address themes of nature, environment, sustainability and the intersection of the physical world with the digital one. The augmented reality exhibition features new works by international artists including Ai Weiwei, El Anatsui, John Gerrard, Ori Gersht, Mohammed Kazem and Sigalit Landau—including several artists’ first works in AR. The exhibition is experienced through the unique Seeing the Invisible app, available for iPhone and Android in the App Store and Google Play.
The Indelible Garden: Prints by Taiko Chandler
Through April 3, 2022
Taiko Chandler’s work is born of the natural world’s influence on memory and emotion. Her organic compositions are not literal representations of plants and rivers, but instead represent emotions interpreted through form and color, each alluding to the powerful presence of nature in her life. From the lush forests and cascading streams of the artist’s native Nagano, Japan, to her father’s garden and her mother’s ikebana, this landscape of memory and feeling embodies the tangled, flowing beauty of nature. Based in Denver, Chandler works primarily in printmaking and site-specific installation art. Her work has been exhibited in Colorado, Texas and New Mexico, as well as at numerous print fairs throughout the U.S. Her work is in private and public collections in the U.S. and Japan, including the Denver Art Museum, University of Colorado Denver Business School, Cleveland Clinic Art Program (Ohio) and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (New York). © Taiko Chandler.
Organic Tarot: Works by Tya Alisa Anthony
January 15 – April 3, 2022
Interdisciplinary artist and curator Tya Alisa Anthony uses the imagery and tradition of tarot to interpret life’s journeys. Combining archival photos with botanical imagery, Anthony illuminates and reframes the personal stories of Depression-era Black sharecroppers to reimagine them as icons of divine and mystical power. Organic Tarot explores the often-hidden stories of people of color depicted in historic photographs. Anthony’s works are displayed alongside selections from Temple of Flora (1799-1807), a publication of vividly colored botanical illustrations. Based in Colorado, Anthony is the executive director and founder of Mahogany Vu Contemporary Art, a thriving online gallery for BIPOC artists, and serves as a board member for Leon Gallery and Tilt West. She has exhibited in Maryland and Colorado at venues including Center for Visual Art (MSU Denver) and Leon Gallery, and is currently a TANK Studios artist. Image: Tya Alisa Anthony, Nine of Pentacles, archival digital image collage, 2020. © Tya Alisa Anthony
Cross-Pollination: The Moth Migration Project
January 15 – April 3, 2022
In this immersive installation, Hilary Lorenz covers gallery surfaces with more than 16,000 ink and paper moths crowdsourced from participants in 27 countries. The project celebrates moths as both important pollinators and as a metaphor for the cross-pollination of ideas through global human relationships. Each unique moth was created by the artist or crowd-sourced via social media from individuals across 27 different countries. Participants were encouraged to create moths specific to their geographic region. Lorenz is a multidisciplinary artist who explores intersections of nature, community building and printmaking. Her works have been exhibited at museums including Tides Institute and Museum of Art (Maine), the Santa Fe Art Institute (New Mexico), the Bundaberg and Gympie Regional Galleries, (Queensland, Australia), and the National Institute of the Arts (Taipei, Taiwan). Image: Hilary Lorenz, Moth Migration Project (installation detail), prints on cut paper, 2017. © Hilary Lorenz
Ursula von Rydingsvard: The Contour of Feeling
April 30 – September 11, 2022
The Contour of Feeling is the artist’s first solo exhibition in Denver. The exhibition focuses on work made since 2000, anchored by early work from the 1970s – 1980s and a grouping of small objects collected and created by the artist. The exhibition is guest curated by Mark Rosenthal, former curator at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. and is organized by The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia. Ursula von Rydingsvard was born in 1942 in Deensen, Germany. The daughter of a woodcutter from a long line of peasant farmers, she spent her early years in the wooden barracks of refugee camps at the end of World War II. Though personal experience is a key aspect of her work, she resists a biographical reading with intentionally untranslated Polish titles of many pieces, preserving their enigmatic character. Her work is part of more than 30 museum collections, including: The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York); The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) (New York); the Walker Art Center (Minnesota); and the Detroit Institute of Arts (Michigan). The artist lives in New York City and works in Brooklyn. © Ursula von Rydingsvard. Photograph by Bodycomb, courtesy of Ursula von Rydingsvard and Galerie Lelong & Co., New York.
Seeing Red: Botanical Art & Illustration
October 1, 2022 – January 1, 2023
Featuring work by students and faculty of Denver Botanic Gardens’ School of Botanical Art & Illustration, Seeing Red spotlights the vibrant shades of red found in plants and fungi. From peppers to hibiscus and apples to poinsettias, red is found throughout the natural world. Works in a variety of media feature red flowers, foliage, fungi, fruits and vegetables. Image: Shanelle Deater, Three Sisters (prunus avium), watercolor, 2019. © Shanelle Deater.
Sammy Lee: Taking Root
October 1, 2022 – February 5, 2023
Sammy Lee explores the immigrant experience through cast paper sculptures of food and flora. Using traditional Korean paper-making techniques, she transforms mulberry paper into trees, fungi and table settings. Exploring traditions surrounding food and home, Lee’s works give form to the ways in which we’re anchored by friends and family and examine what it means to take root in a new and unfamiliar culture. Sammy Lee is based in Denver and was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea. Lee was a recent resident artist at Redline, serves as an ambassador for Asian Art at Denver Art Museum, and operates a contemporary art project and residency space called Collective SML | K. Lee’s work has been exhibited internationally and can be found in collections at the Getty Research Institute (California), Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (Washington), Denver Art Museum and the Spanish National Library (Spain). This exhibition is organized in collaboration with Walker Fine Art, Denver. Sammy Lee, A Very Proper Table Setting 3, hanji (Korean mulberry paper) and acrylic varnish, ongoing series 2017-present. © Sammy Lee.
Abundant Future: Cultivating Diversity in Garden, Farm and Field
October 8, 2022 – January 15, 2023
Featuring forty original botanical illustrations, this exhibition highlights the history and importance of biological diversity in cultivated plants grown for clothing, healing, and most of all, for food. The subjects of these works were discovered on international travels, picked up at the farmer’s market or from the artists’ gardens. The works illustrate the artistry of plant breeding, the challenges of maintaining genetic diversity in domesticated crops, and the potential for rejuvenation found in heirloom and ancient plant revival. Organized in collaboration with the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA) for the fourth ASBA/New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) Triennial; curated by ASBA/NYBG. Image: Jean Emmons, Eggplants, watercolor on vellum, 2020. © Jean Emmons.
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