Now You See Me by Ashley Cecil
Open now in the Zappala Woodland Room and Welcome Center
Pittsburgh Botanic Garden’s latest exhibition features the work of local artist Ashley Cecil. Ashley is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based artist specializing in paintings and sculptural works of flora and fauna that illustrate connections between the natural world and its human inhabitants. Her exhibition, Now You See Me, is a collection of works created in various residencies spanning various disciplines in the arts and sciences. Read more about Ashley Cecil and her work on her website, ashleycecil.com.
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.
MEMBERS-ONLY ARTIST TALK
Learn about Ashley Cecil’s process, inspiration, various residencies and work up to this point. This event is free for Pittsburgh Botanic Garden members.
Carbon Cycle: An Earth Art Exhibit
Opened October 1, 2021 in the Exhibit Garden
Carbon Cycle: An Earth Art Exhibit connects the serpentine line and the circle — two of the most powerful symbols throughout human culture — to tell a story of transformation and rebirth, symbolizing the healing and evolution of the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden’s site from coal mine to garden. This large-scale installation is designed by W. Gary Smith, an internationally known environmental artist.
W. Gary Smith has a simple mission: creating meaningful encounters between people, plants and the natural world. Gary has exhibited works in botanic gardens across North America, including exhibitions in Toronto, Montreal, California, Arkansas, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and more. Gary is the author of From Art to Landscape: Unleashing Creativity in Garden Design and lectures frequently on art and nature.
Carbon Cycle: An Earth Art Exhibit opened on October 1, 2021 in the 5-acre Exhibit Garden. For more information about the work of W. Gary Smith, please visit wgarysmith.com.
Carbon Cycle: An Earth Art Exhibit is sponsored by: