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Art Forms: An Interview with The New York Botanical Garden

In this edition of Art Forms, we visit the rolling gardens and Dale Chihuly exhibition at the New York Botanical Garden to interview a spokesperson about the seamless relationship between original art and gardening. 

This season, you are exhibiting over 20 installations by Dale Chihuly in a show that actualizes connection between art and nature. How would you describe the connection between art and nature?

The CHIHULY exhibition at The New York Botanical Garden features more than 20 installations and includes drawings and early works that reveal the evolution and development of Dale Chihuly’s artistic process. The Garden’s dramatic vistas become living canvases for work created specifically for NYBG, showcasing Chihuly’s signature organic shapes in brilliant colors.

White Tower with Fiori by Dale Chihuly, at the NYBG (2017)

White Tower with Fiori by Dale Chihuly, at the NYBG (2017)

With frequent art exhibitions, concerts, dance performances, and more, the NYBG shows a strong commitment to connecting gardening to the arts and humanities. In what ways do you think that the arts inform gardening?

The New York Botanical Garden is the perfect setting for Dale Chihuly’s art. The historic landscape is an open-air museum, providing a thrilling opportunity for NYBG visitors to see the spectacular installations amid nature and garden designed settings.  In the Enid A. Haught Conservatory, for example, visitors can see a palette of plants and color flowers that complement and contrast Chihuly’s works of art.

In what ways has technology changed the way that the botanical garden is appreciated? Do you see this happening across other art forms (original art, dance, literature, music, etc.)?

Technology enhances visitors experience at The New York Botanical Garden, and through our Web site gives people around the world a taste of what they can see and do here. The NYBG CHIHULY Interactive Guide, supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, delivers content to handheld devices that is dynamically customized to the user’s location, transforming how visitors are guided through the installations. Each installation appears as an icon on a virtual map. As visitors approach the installations, the Interactive Guide triggers additional rich contextual information about the artist, artwork, or the process of its creation, as well as immersive 360-degree photography for select works. Another feature of the Interactive Guide allows visitors to share their own photographed images of the sculptures. Mobile media is generously supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies through its Bloomberg Connects program, a global initiative that helps cultural institutions innovate and engage audiences through digital platforms.

Sol de Citrón by Dale Chihuly at the NYGB (2017)

Sol de Citrón by Dale Chihuly at the NYGB (2017)

The NYBG is cherished by New Yorkers as a green oasis in the concrete jungle. We believe that this is directly related to how our collectors feel about their original art. How do spaces of nature and art have roles in the context of busy modern-day life?

Spaces of nature and art, such as The New York Botanical Garden, serve as oases from the stresses of busy modern-day life. People can visit NYBG for a peaceful respite, to appreciate the beauty of nature, to be inspired by landscape and garden design, to learn about horticulture, science, and the arts, and to be entertained by spectacular exhibitions and programs.

If you could have one piece from UGallery, what would you choose?

NYBG does not endorse commercial ventures, but some of the landscape and floral portraits in the “Staff Favorites” section are quite beautiful. 

Special thanks to the New York Botanical Garden!