by Erika Zambello
This past weekend Duke Gardens hosted its "Art and Nature: Artwork Inspired by the Blomquist Garden of Native Plants" exhibition in the Doris Duke Center. Open to visitors Friday evening and throughout Saturday and Sunday, the exhibition highlighted the artistic abilities of local artists -- including Duke Gardens' staff, volunteers, and the surrounding community -- while drawing inspiration from the beauty of the Blomquist Garden. You can still see it online.
|"Cardinal Flower and Hummingbird," by Ali Givens|
|Wild ginger vase by Sasha Bakaric|
|"Ginger," by Jacqueline Ridley Key|
"It is so satisfying to work with media that would otherwise be labeled as 'scrap' and create a piece that I can enjoy year-round in the garden," Holmes wrote in the artwork's description.
In another piece, titled "A Sense of Place," Sally Boesch used tin from a broken barn roof to create a mirror frame depicting native plants.
Three works won judges' awards: "Over Our Heads," by Linda Carmel, won Best in Show; Sally Sutton's "Connected" was first runner up; and Angela Burr's "Flying Through the Blomquist" was second runner up.
|"Little Sweet Betsy," by Jason Holmes|
When I left the exhibit and walked into the garden itself, I paid more attention to the shafts of light streaming through the tree branches, the birds calling back and forth to each other, and the colors and shapes of the plants, the trails, the bridges. The gardens inspired the artwork in the exhibit, and the artwork stirred within me a deeper appreciation of the garden.
Blogger and photographer Erika Zambello is a graduate student studying Ecosystem Science and Conservation at Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment.