Botanical inspired exhibition blooms at Location Gallery

Dana Richardson, Pomegranate Study

A wide array of art influenced by the beauty of the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens will be showcased in this glorious group show.

Satiate your green thumb this weekend at the opening of the Gate and Garden exhibition. The opening reception, Saturday, Aug. 21, from 4-8 p.m. at Location Gallery at Austin Hill Realty, 251 Bull St.

Location Gallery Director Peter Roberts said, “During the opening night there will be live music and because we are doing it on a Saturday from 4-8 p.m. we encourage individuals to come and start their Saturday night festivities here. We want things to feel a little more relaxed and casual since the start of the weekend is that stress relief we all need. Because this is an outdoor/indoor event, we do ask that patrons please wear masks while inside the gallery.”

The artists featured in the exhibition are Jamie Azevedo, Laurie Darby, Antione DeVilliers, Joy Dunigan, Tate Ellington, Calli Laundre, Bellamy Murphy, Dana Richardson, Katherine Sandoz, Sarah Volker, Lisa D. Watson and Heather Young. Their works are a culmination of differentiating disciplines and bring feelings of a grand reveal to the show. “Every artist interpretes and expresses things differently, so we are excited to unveil the work on display,” stated Roberts. 

Each artist was asked to tour the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens and create work inspired by the surroundings they experienced. Roberts said, “The artists went out to the Coastal Gardens to walk the grounds and absorb their beauty and decide what they would choose to bring back to the gallery.” 

Also, because the gardens are seasonal, artists had the ability to look through archives of photographs of the gardens to find imagery to pull from that may have not been available during this time of the year. 

The show will run through Sept. 17 in the Main Gallery, and will then be moved to Location Gallery’s Chat Gallery until Oct. 9. If you are unable to attend the opening and want to see the work in real time, the exhibition will go live online at the same time as the opening and can be accessed through Location Gallery’s website at locationgallery.net 

All artwork is available for sale online and in person starting on opening day. Gallery profits will be donated to Friends of the Coastal Gardens, a nonprofit organization created in 1995; its sole mission to provide financial and volunteer support to the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens.

The botanical gardens are being brought downtown this year not only through the art at the exhibition, but also through a Container Garden Sale that will be held outside of the gallery on the steps, framing the entryway for the show. 

Pat Hackney, Membership Chairman of Friends of the Coastal Gardens, said, “Friends is going to have container gardens available for sale which will be beautifully arranged pots of plants, some pots holding numerous types of plants, and these will be easy for someone to purchase and take home with them. They are perfect for a courtyard garden, entryway for a home, or really just for anyone who loves plants.” 

Friends of Coastal Botanical Gardens want to make it easy for visitors to take a piece of the gardens home with them. Jenni Brody of the Deep South Orchid Society, the organization that sponsors the Orchid House at the gardens, has prepared a lovely container of handpicked orchids for the show that will be for sale among the other handcrafted containers. Another brilliantly beautiful container will be kindly supplied by Nancy Berulis of the Coastal Master Gardeners Association.         

This is the first ever collaboration between Location Gallery and the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens. Hackney said, 

“This whole idea for an exhibition started when Lucy Hill, mother of Austin Hill and member of our Friends board, mentioned that Peter Roberts had suggested doing an art show to benefit the Friends organization. We are excited to have this opportunity to work with Location Gallery and we love the fact that it is happening downtown because we see it as a way to bring the gardens to more people that might not have been able to make it out to the gardens before.” 

Two years ago, during the celebration of the centennial of the gardens located at the Desoto, was the first time the gardens had made an appearance in the downtown fundraising scene. 

Hackney said, “So this year, we’re really excited to have the opportunity to be downtown again and we will provide information about Friends and ways to become a member of our organization.” 

Friends of the Coastal Gardens works closely with the University of Georgia to provide them with volunteers and funding for expansion opportunities for the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens. 

The gardens have been expanded to encompass 10 gardens, a plan that has been in action since 2008, and are in the process of finishing their last garden, the Children’s Gardens. 

“We are so excited to finish the Children’s Gardens because we want to appeal to everyone’s senses, especially families. We have the only bamboo maze in North America, which is great for all members of the family, especially the children,” Hackney said. “Parents are able to stand at the top of a bamboo lookout tower to watch their kids as they navigate the maze.”

The Gate and Garden opening celebration brings together the best of both art and nature for an evening of nourishment for the soul. The event is free and open to the public. Face masks are requested when inside of the gallery.

For gallery and event information visit locationgallery.net 

To learn more about the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens visit coastalbg.uga.edu

And for more information about Friends of Coastal Gardens and how to become a member visit friendsofthecoastalgardens.org