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by Deb Shaw

The Third New York Botanical Garden Triennial, Out of the Woods: Celebrating Trees in Public Gardens is on display at the The New York Botanical Garden, in Bronx, New York from November 18, 2017 – April 22, 2018. Information about the exhibition, including images of all the artworks is on the ASBA website.

Forty-four artworks were selected from more than two hundred submissions, depicting one of the planet’s most important and beautiful resources: trees. Each of these subjects have been found in botanical gardens and arboreta throughout the United States and around the world.

Artists have been working on this project for the past three years, not only capturing images of trees, but also drawing attention to the institutions that shelter them: botanical gardens and arboreta. A central goal of the exhibition is to highlight the role of botanical gardens and arboreta in the research/scholarship they provide, as well as their education and outreach to the public.

The artists respond aesthetically to these inspiring subjects, and have depicted everything from seedpods to branches and bark to an entire forest floor. Each artist has written a statement about their artwork; artists’ statements can be read on the ASBA website.

Jurors for the exhibition were:

  • Joanna Groarke, Director of Public Engagement and Library Exhibitions Curator, The New York Botanical Garden
  • Todd Forrest, Arthur Ross VP for Horticulture and Living Collections, The New York Botanical Garden
  • Robin A. Jess, Past Executive Director, ASBA
  • Barbara Macklowe, Photographer, former Principal, Macklowe Gallery

Congratulations go to all artists participating, including BAGSC artists Akiko EnokidoDeborah FriedmanAsuka HishikiOlga Ryabtsova, and Mitsuko Schultz. (Clicking on the names of the artists goes to their artist’s statement page on the ASBA website; click on any of the images below to see them enlarged in a slide show format, with artist and painting information.)

Congratulations to the award-winners:

Gold Medal:
Asuka Hishiki, Black Pine Half-Cascade Style Bonsai, Pinus nigra
Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, Saitama, Japan
Oil on Paper

Silver Medal:
Lucy Martin
Bigleaf Maple with Inky-Cap Mushrooms, Acer macrophyllum, Coprinellus sp., University of California Botanical Garden, Berkeley, CA, Gouache on Paper

Bronze Medal:
Ingrid Finnan
Snake Branch Spruce, Picea abies ‘Virgata’, The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY, Oil on Paper

Honorable mentions:
Beverly Allen
New Guinea Dinner Plate Fig, Ficus dammaropsis, The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Sydney, Australia, Watercolor on paper

Alexandra Negoita Vulcu
Bigleaf Magnolia, Magnolia macrophylla, Hortus Conclusus, Stone Ridge, NY, Watercolor and acrylic ink on paper

Barbara Oozeerally
Stone Oak, Lithocarpus pachyphyllus, Caerhays Estate, Gorran, St. Austell, England, Watercolor on paper

Beverly Fink
Tree Aloe, Aloe thraskii, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Sarasota, FL, Watercolor on paper

As with previous New York Triennial exhibitions, Out of the Woods will be traveling after the closing date at The New York Botanical Gardens, including coming to The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in May, 2018. Watch for future postings of lectures and other activities at The Huntington that will occur around the exhibition. BAGSC Members also will host a concurrent exhibition of local artists around the same theme at the Brody Botanical Education Center at The Huntington.

The current traveling schedule includes: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, CA, May 19 – August 27, 2018; Foundry Art Centre (in time for the next ASBA conference), St. Charles, MO, October 5 – December 28, 2018; Tucson Botanical Gardens, Tucson, AZ, January 25 – April 13, 2019; Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska, MN, May 9 – August 13, 2019.

Front cover of exhibition catalog, featuring Leiden’s 300-year Old Liriodendron tulipifera, by © Esmée Winkel, watercolor on paper.

Front cover of exhibition catalog, featuring Leiden’s 300-year Old Liriodendron tulipifera, by © Esmée Winkel, watercolor on paper.

Exhibition catalogs may be purchased on the ASBA website for $12.00 ($10.80 for NYBG members). The full-color, 60-page catalog features all of the artwork in the exhibition as well as essays illuminating the pivotal importance of living collections in the conservation of the planet’s trees, and the continued significance of botanical art in the 21st century.


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