FWBG | BRIT Art Exhibitions

Madeline R. Samples Exhibit Hall, Upper Atrium Collections Gallery & Outdoor Sculpture

FWBG | BRIT presents a variety of venues across our campus in which to enjoy art related to, and in, nature. 

The BRIT building offers two distinctive art viewing spaces in the BRIT building: the elegant Madeline R. Samples Exhibit Hall and the smaller, more intimate Upper Atrium Collections Gallery. The Samples Exhibit Hall showcases botanical art and artwork dealing with topics such as ecology, plants, sustainability, conservation, and the natural world – we highlight work by local and national artists, both well-known and emerging. The Upper Atrium Collections Gallery features a rotation of botanical and nature-based prints from our Library collection, including The Arader Natural History Collection of Art. We honor and celebrate the traditional roots of botanical art, while also expanding and redefining the field for the 21st century.

Art can also be enjoyed throughout The Garden, with permanent outdoor sculpture installed along our many groves, paths, and clearings. We occasionally welcome contemporary sculptors to install large-scale artworks in our gardens for visitors to enjoy and reflect upon. 

Program Information

Admission to the BRIT building is free for all. Admission to The Garden is always free for members; non-members may purchase tickets here

Point of Contact

Erin Starr White

Community Education Manager

FWBG | BRIT presents a variety of venues across our campus in which to enjoy art related to, and in, nature. 

The BRIT building offers two distinctive art viewing spaces in the BRIT building: the elegant Madeline R. Samples Exhibit Hall and the smaller, more intimate Upper Atrium Collections Gallery. The Samples Exhibit Hall showcases botanical art and artwork dealing with topics such as ecology, plants, sustainability, conservation, and the natural world – we highlight work by local and national artists, both well-known and emerging. The Upper Atrium Collections Gallery features a rotation of botanical and nature-based prints from our Library collection, including The Arader Natural History Collection of Art. We honor and celebrate the traditional roots of botanical art, while also expanding and redefining the field for the 21st century.

Art can also be enjoyed throughout The Garden, with permanent outdoor sculpture installed along our many groves, paths, and clearings. We occasionally welcome contemporary sculptors to install large-scale artworks in our gardens for visitors to enjoy and reflect upon. 

Current Events

Selections from the Arader Natural History Collection of Art

Upper Atrium Collections Gallery

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Visit our Upper Atrium Collections gallery and enjoy a selection of pieces drawn from the at Arader Natural History Collection of Art at BRIT. As one of the newest additions to the Library, this collection celebrates art, science, and the beauty of plants and nature. The Arader Natural History Collection is approaching 2,000 pieces and includes fine original hand-colored stipple engravings along with lithographs, and chromolithographs of flora and fauna by artists such as Mark Catesby, P.J. Redouté, John Gould, Joseph Carson, and Johnann Wilhelm Weinmann, as well as original watercolor drawings commissioned by William Roxburgh, a Scottish botanist and founding father of Indian botany.

Botany is a profoundly visual discipline, dependent on observation to identify and classify specimens. These works of art, most of which are from the Age of Exploration and Discovery (18th and early 19th centuries), help to bring this field of science in focus and alive. These artworks tell the story of the plants and animals they depict, transmitting important information about the natural world in which we live.

See past, current, and upcoming exhibitions in the Upper Atrium Collections Gallery here

View the online exhibition of the Arader Natural History Collection of Art

Mark Catesby, Convolvulus carolinensis, plate 35 from volume I of The natural history of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands by Mark Catesby (London, 1731).
Travelling under the auspices of the Royal Society, the English naturalist Mark Catesby (1683-1749) recorded the earliest scientific descriptions of the flora and fauna of the New World. He was the first naturalist to use folio-sized color plates in a natural history book, and etched the copper plates himself before hand-coloring each individual print with watercolors. Volume I of his monumental Natural History appeared in 1731, leading to Catesby’s election to the Fellowship of the Royal Society two years later. - courtesy The Royal Society

Pines, Herbs, and Fruits: The World of Topiaries

Madeleine R. Samples Exhibit Hall

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Topiaries invite us into their worlds, offering spaces of stillness, abundance, and enchantment. They transform time through suspending us in their salubrious garden spaces. Their uncommon and uncharacteristic forms allow us to see the plants that comprise them – whether pines, herbs, or fruits – anew. Pines, Herbs, and Fruits: The World of Topiaries presents a selection of pieces from the Library’s Arader Natural History Collection of Art, with works by Pierre Joseph Redouté, Leonhart Fuchs, Georg Dionysius Ehret, Pancrease Bessa, among others. Rare books from the Library’s collection and specimens from the Herbarium are on view as well.

This exhibition is inspired by the outdoor display Topiaries in the Garden, on view throughout The Garden through June 30, 2021.

Stickwork by Patrick Dougherty

Fuller Garden

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We welcome nationally acclaimed artist Patrick Dougherty during the month of February as he weaves, twists, and shapes a one-of-a-kind Stickwork sculpture in the Fuller Garden. Dougherty and a team of FWBG-BRIT volunteers will bend, weave, and twist sticks (locally-sourced Roughleaf dogwood saplings) into a whimsical and enchanting sculpture. Dougherty's past stickworks have taken the shape of, among other things, a hut, a nest, a cocoon, a tower, and a maze. Visit The Garden to experience this unique stickwork nestled in the shaded paths and lush foliage of one of our most well-loved gardens. 

Admission to The Garden is always free for members. Non-members may purchase tickets here. This installation is as permanent as its materials will allow; the natural life of the piece is understood to last from 1 -2 years. In the spirit of conservation, we ask that you interact with the sculpture in a respectful manner, refraining from contact that would degrade its structure and materials. 

About the Artist:

Patrick Dougherty earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of North Carolina and a master’s in hospital and health administration from the University of Iowa. Later, he returned to the University of North Carolina to study art history and sculpture. Dougherty has created more than 250 installations, with works exhibited at the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery, Washington, D.C.; the Mint Museum, North Carolina; the Castle of the Dukes of Brittany, France and the American Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia.

Dougherty's son, Sam Dougherty, has been his full-time construction assistant since June 2016. Sam earned his bachelor’s degree from Warren Wilson College with ceramics as his special interest.  He is an avid gardener and tree lover and has a homestead in Stokes County, NC. The younger Dougherty has developed into an expert stickworker, with his signature found on every sculpture, especially in the rolled top edges.

Take Five (2014) Fernwood Botanical Garden, Niles, MI. Photo: Bob Denny

Upcoming Events

Of the Land: Two Artists Find Renewal in Nature

Madeleine R. Samples Exhibit Hall

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Twenty-twenty was a year of tumult, isolation, and upheaval. The instability which pushed us away from each other also serendipitously pushed many of us back into the arms of humanity’s great muse and long-time comfort: the natural world. Artists, in particular, have always sought inspiration and solace in the natural world, but in the unprecedented isolation of a global pandemic, the physical acts of painting and spending time in nature have become vital coping strategies. Staring uncertainty and bubbling social tension in the face, what was once a deep aesthetic appreciation has become an imperative, existential reminder: we are all, together, of the land.

Coming together as artists, Camille Warmington and Brenda Ciardiello share their visual meditations on finding renewal in nature in this exhibition titled Of the Land: Two Artists Find Renewal in Nature. Both artists create immersive natural scenes exploring personal connections to nature using original photographs they take while traveling. One working in acrylic, the other in watercolor, the two artists conjure scenes that evoke hope, comfort, memory while exploring the autographic marks that place makes on a person. These contemporary - almost surreal - botanical scenes are simultaneously striking and meditative; using perspective and abstraction, they ask questions about humans' role in nature, and how we can work to better coexist with ourselves and other species.

The opening of this exhibition will be celebrated during Spring Gallery Night, Saturday, March 27 (3 - 7 pm). Artist Brenda Ciardiello will be available to visit and talk with small groups about her work. Along with reduced gallery capacity, social distancing and masks are required.

Click More Info (below) for Exhibition Preview:

B. Ciardiello, Which Way Is Up, 2020
B. Ciardiello, Which Way is Up, November 2020
Brenda Ciardiello
B. Ciardiello, We Are Water, November 2020
Camille Warmington
C. Warmington, Naoshima Fernscape No. 1, 2020
Camille Warmington
C. Warmington, Gulf Coast Groundscape No. 4, 2020

About the Artists:

Brenda Ciardiello is a Mexican-American artist and poet who paints contemporary landscapes, botanicals, and abstract art that deal with themes of personal connection to nature, as inspired by her travels. Almost all of her work focuses on using the unpredictable nature of water to depict the unique interplay of color, light and texture in otherwise fleeting elements: water, clouds, and flora. Brenda is heavily influenced by her bicultural and international experience of the world. Born in Mexico City but raised in Texas, she has also lived / studied in Mexico, Italy, the U.K., New York City, New England, the Rocky Mountains and the Middle East and, as part of her process, travels whenever possible to capture original source imagery for her work. Brenda currently lives and works in Fort Worth, Texas. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Classical Civilizations from the University of Notre Dame, as well as a Master of Science in Education from The City College of New York. She is a 2021 Carter Community Artist with the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth. Her work can be found at her website

Camille Warmington is a painter whose work reflects on artifacts and their connection to memory and mortality, place and presence. She studied painting at the Glassell School of Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and earned a Bachelor of Interior Architecture from Kansas State University. Her paintings have appeared in national, regional, and local juried exhibitions, been featured in New American Paintings, and received a Hunting Prize nomination. A mother of three, Warmington was born in Massachusetts, grew-up in Dallas, and lives and works in Houston, Texas. Her work can be found at her website

 
Image courtesy Camille Warmington - Gulf Coast Groundscape No. 4, 2020, Acrylic on 9 Clayboard panels, 34 x 43 overall 

 

Spring Gallery Night

BRIT Building and Fuller Garden

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Fort Worth Botanic Garden-Botanical Research Institute of Texas (FWBG-BRIT) is proud to showcase a wealth of plant-inspired art by regional and international artists. Visit the BRIT building to see the verdant paintings of Texas-based artists Brenda Ciardiello and Camille Warmington in our  Madeleine R. Samples Exhibit Hall, then venture upstairs to enjoy an exhibition of historical botanical art of the 16th – 19th centuries. Afterward, stroll through our Fuller Garden to experience an original “stickwork” by renowned sculptor Patrick Doherty. Admission to the Fuller Garden is complimentary on Gallery Night only, while the Samples Exhibit Hall is always free.

Artist Brenda Ciardiello will be available on Gallery Night to visit and talk with small groups about her work. Along with reduced gallery capacity, social distancing and masks are required.

We are open for Spring Gallery Week Monday, March 29 Friday, April 2 (10 am - 4 pm).

Image courtesy Brenda Ciardiello - Which Way is Up, 2021.

Past Events