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In the Leonhardt Galleries — 2024

In the Leonhardt Galleries — 2024

Berkshire Botanical Garden’s 2024 art exhibitions will spotlight acclaimed regional and national artists united by a shared purpose: to foster community engagement by illuminating the interplay of art and the natural world. Some will captivate through sheer beauty and wonder, while others will prompt fundamental discussions on sustainability and the impact of human activities on the natural world. 

Here are the plans:

February 9 through Feb. 25 — “Musings on Nature”

In this juried show presented by the Guild of Berkshire Artists, 20 member artists will each present three works that interpret their concept of what nature means to them. The Berkshires, where many members live and work, serves as the Guild’s muse. That includes Berkshire Botanical Garden itself, which hosts the Guild’s plein air group. The Guild’s work covers a wide range of visual media, including painting, sculpture, photography, ceramics, textiles, wood, glass, and mixed-media.

Opening reception is Feb. 9, from 5 to 7 p.m.

March 1 through March 24 — “Wild Findings”

Community Access to the Arts (CATA) presents an exhibit of paintings and drawings by artists with disabilities. Each work was created through CATA’s year-round workshops serving teens, adults and elders. Some of the works were created at Berkshire Botanical Garden as part of an ongoing partnership between CATA and BBG, while others were created by CATA artists at day programs and residences serving people with disabilities, as well as in CATA’s studios in Great Barrington, Mass. In their vibrant paintings and drawings, CATA artists share their perspectives on nature and our beautiful Berkshires landscape. All works in the exhibit are available for sale, with proceeds supporting commissions for the individual artists. 

Opening reception is Friday, March 1, from 3-5 p.m.

March 29 through April 12 — “BBG Creativity Unleashed!”

The grounds and offices of BBG are filled with staff members and volunteers during the busy season and in the quieter times, too. Our members and visitors have only had a chance to see our “work” side, but they will now have an opportunity to see our creative side, too. Featuring botanical bas relief, ceramics, concrete leaf sculptures, acrylic, oil and watercolor paintings, carved walking sticks, photography, and fine needlework, the exhibition will highlight work from staff and volunteers who have shown their work professionally or only to the delight of their friends and families.

Opening reception is Friday, March 29, from 5 to 7 p.m.

April 19 through May 27 — “Re-Rooted”

As the magnitude of our current environmental crisis becomes ever more urgent, New York-based artist Ellen Driscoll takes her inspiration from the quiet work plants do to survive, adapt and heal our planet. Driscoll, whose work is in major collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of Art, says, “Some of these drawings reflect on the process of phytoremediation by which living plants use their root system to clean up toxic contaminants in soil, air and water. Others are inspired by plants used in the ancient process of making charcoal and by volunteers — plants that can take root and thrive in unlikely environments such as radioactive soil.” With “Re-Rooted,” Driscoll seeks to inspire the viewer to reflect on the botanical alchemy that exists around us and to take hope that we humans can also adapt and reroute the destructive environmental path we are on.

Opening reception is Friday, April 19, from 5 to 7 p.m.

June 7 through Aug. 4 — Selected Works by Peter D. Gerakaris

(Get a first look on June 1, at our annual Fête des Fleurs)

The creator of the “Spotted Owl Mosaic” – a site-specific public installation that resides in the BBG’s outdoor garden – Peter D. Gerakaris of Cornwall, Conn., will present an indoor solo exhibition of mixed-media artworks that engage myriad nature-culture motifs through vibrant, pluralistic strands. Seeking to mend culture’s fragmented relationship with the environment, Gerakaris’ exhibit not only invites viewers to discover conceptual threads amongst these diverse strands, but to connect these themes with the surrounding garden environment. With an interdisciplinary approach, the artwork showcases numerous environmental motifs, including endangered and rare flora/fauna, pollinators, and topographic-inspired imagery, all rendered with dynamic coloration and a verve for placemaking.

Opening reception is Saturday, June 8, from 5 to 7 p.m.

June 1 through Oct. 6 (outdoor sculpture exhibit); Aug. 10 through Oct. 6 (indoor exhibition) — “Lost Bird Project”

Todd McGrain’s “The Lost Bird Project” recognizes the tragedy of environmental destruction by immortalizing North American birds that have been driven to extinction, including the Passenger Pigeon, the Carolina Parakeet, the Labrador Duck, the Great Auk, and the Heath Hen. The exhibition includes large-scale outdoor sculptures and an indoor gallery show featuring smaller-scale versions of the same sculptures, supplemented with original drawings and other related artwork. “These bronze sculptures are subtle, beautiful and hopeful reminders,” McGrain says. “The human scale of each outdoor sculpture elicits a physical sympathy. The smooth surface, like a stone polished from touch, conjures the effect of memory and time. I model these gestural forms to contain a taut equilibrium, a balanced pressure from outside and from inside — like a breath held in. As a group, they are melancholy yet affirming. They compel us to recognize the finality of our loss, they ask us not to forget them, and they remind us of our duty to prevent further extinction.”

Opening reception is Saturday, Aug. 11, from 5 to 7 p.m.

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