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Weird, Wild and Wonderful Exhibition Opens at the New York Botanical Gardens

by Deb Shaw

The American Society of Botanical Artist’s (ASBA) contemporary botanical art show, entitled “Weird, Wild, & Wonderful” will open on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 in the Arthur and Janet Ross Gallery at The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG). The exhibition will be on display to the public from April 19 – September 21, 2014, and admission is included in any all-garden pass.

The Second New York Botanical Garden Triennial invited artists to seek visually unusual plants and create works of art that celebrate the bizarre, yet beautiful flora of the world.

Jurors Lugene Bruno, Curator of Art, Hunt Institute; Jean Emmons, Botanical Artist; and Marc Hachadourian, Manager of the Nolen Greenhouses, NYBG, pored over the 240 entries, selecting 46 artworks by 45 artists from the United States, Australia, Canada, India, Japan and the United Kingdom. Shirley Sherwood, D. Phil, Caroline A. Wamsler, Ph.D., and Jean Emmons form the Awards Jury, which will meet on April 16 to select recipients of The New York Botanical Garden Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals. Recipients of The New York Botanical Garden Medals will be presented by NYBG CEO Gregory Long at the opening reception.

More information about the exhibition, including the complete list of accepted artists can be found on the ASBA website. The exhibition catalog is available in The New York Botanical Garden’s shop in the garden, or online from ArtPlantae. ASBA members receive a discount on the catalog.

Five BAGSC members had works accepted into the “Weird, Wild, & Wonderful” exhibition: Margaret Best, Akiko Enokio, Joan Keesey, Lisa Pompelli, and Deborah Shaw.

Margaret Best, Tillandsia bulbosa, watercolor. © 2014, all rights reserved.

Margaret Best, Tillandsia bulbosa, watercolor. © 2014, all rights reserved.

Margaret Best had her watercolor of Tillandsia bulbosa accepted. Margaret wrote that she wanted to send thanks to Leslie Walker, Debbie Friedman and Deborah Shaw for helping her access Jeffrey Kent’s incredible Bromeliad collection near San Diego, where she discovered this remarkable specimen. This was one of the few paintings of Margaret’s that was not destroyed in the Calgary flood last June, which makes the painting as weird, wild, and wonderful as the subject matter.