Now You See Me
Ashley Cecil | March 16 – June 25, 2022
My reverence for nature took root in the most unexpected place, the musty specimen storage of a natural history museum. Among listless flora and fauna, I fell in love with the life nature created outside of the museum’s walls.
Between 2016 and 2019, I completed four six-month artist residencies hosted by the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the Richards-Zawacki Herpetology Lab at the University of Pittsburgh, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, and Tree Pittsburgh. I learned how to decipher scientific research, band wild birds, identify frog species by their mating calls, scarify tree seeds in industrial dryers, and more. All that knowledge lifted a veil from my eyes. I never walked in the woods with the same indifference again, now truly seeing the cycles and relationships. I also couldn’t unsee the fragility and loss due to our impact. It felt like a magic trick unfolding in slow motion – now you see me, now you don’t.
This exhibition is a compilation of artwork from those residencies in art and science. Here’s to never walking in the woods with indifference.
View previews of the exhibition below and visit Pittsburgh Botanic Garden to see Now You See Me in person!