Jan 19th, 2013

Bending Sticks & Mother Nature's Child Featured at RVA Environmental Film Festival

by Jonah Holland, PR & Marketing Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Penelope Maunsell and Patrick Dougherty on Dougherty's porch. Photo by Frank Konhaus

Penelope Maunsell and Patrick Dougherty on Dougherty’s porch. Photo by Frank Konhaus

Boy is Richmond in for a treat! This year the  RVA Environmental Film Festival at the Byrd Theatre in Carytown, will feature a selection of incredible movies, including two that are sponsored by Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. The event is FREE and totally open to the community.   Let me tell you a little bit about the movies — and you can watch the trailers too.

First up is Bending Sticks — you may recognize the sculptor — and the work. Patrick Dougherty, the artist, was artist in residence at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in 2011, working over 3 weeks to create the Diamonds in the Rough stick sculpture that still stands in the Anderson Meadow (for a few more weeks).   I really enjoyed getting to know Dougherty when he was here for site visits in 2010, as we scouted for sticks, and selected the location of the site for the work.  He uses teams of volunteers to help build his work, and I am honored that I got to be one of his many volunteer helpers during this time.  He is one of the most passionate artists I know, and offers some great insights about nature, art and life in this movie.

Penelope Maunsell, co-director of Bending Sticks, will join us at the RVA Environmental Film Festival to introduce the film and offer commentary following its showing at 12:45 p.m. February 9 at the Byrd Theatre. You can also follow Bending Sticks on Facebook. 

Bending Sticks: The Sculpture of Patrick Dougherty Film Trailer from The Groove Productions on Vimeo.

Penelope Maunsell talking to Patrick Dougherty and working with jib operator Ben Root in front of  "Ain't Misbehavin'",  photo by Frank Konhaus

Penelope Maunsell & Patrick Dougherty with Ben Root at “Ain’t Misbehavin'” in Rock Hill, SC. Photo by Frank Konhaus



Next up: Mother Nature’s Child explores nature’s role in children’s health and development.  The film interviews a generation that can remember free outdoor play in their childhood, something that may not be true for our current generation of children. The movie explores nature deficit disorder and its effects on our children.

Mother Nature’s Child asks the questions: Why do children need unstructured time outside? What is the place of risk-taking in healthy child development? How is play a form of learning? Why are teachers resistant to taking students outside? How can city kids connect with nature?

These are topics that of great interest to the Garden that we will also be exploring  in an upcoming teacher workshop, Natural Connections, Placed-Based Strategies for Teaching and Learning, March 15-16, in collaboration with, St. Joseph’s Villa and the Virginia Association of Science Teachers, Region 1. This two-day collaborative conference provides valuable professional development opportunities for Richmond-area science educators, school administrators, and members of the community of therapists and clinicians who work with children with special needs.   Here’s the trailer for Mother Nature’s Child. We hope to see you there!

Mother Nature’s Child

Directed by Camilla Rockwell and produced by Fuzzy Slipper Productions

Byrd Theatre

Saturday, February 9, 10 a.m. Free

Jonah Holland is Digital Content Manager at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, where she has worked for 14 years overseeing social media, the blog, and the website. She is also a mom, yogi, open water swimmer, gardener, and seeker. She's been known to go for a walk in the Garden and come back with hundreds of plant photos, completely inspired to write her next blog post.

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