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Wild Art: A Journey Off-Canvas

Richmond’s art scene comes alive throughout Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s 50 acres of cultivated landscape, where regional artists entwine art and nature to spark a new way of interacting with the natural world. In addition to the featured works of art, keep an eye out for pop-up ephemeral art made from fallen petals, leaves, sticks and stones, designed to surprise and delight and then fade with the passage of time. Enjoy digging into your creative side through the making of nature-inspired art in designated areas of the Garden.

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Friday, May 26, 2017
Sunday, October 1, 2017
Event Details

Art Comes Alive.

Wild Art: a Journey Off-Canvas is a collaborative community art experience inspired by nature, combining the efforts of regional artists and thousands of Garden visitors to transform the Garden into a living tapestry of natural art.

Wild Art will feature large-scale art installations made from materials found in the natural environment. Scattered throughout the Garden to prompt exploration and discovery, the multi-sensory experiences will spark new ways of interacting with the natural world and each other. Pop-up Ephemeral Art — created by volunteers, partner groups and staff, these small exhibits  provide change over time and encourage visitors to see the natural beauty in the environment.

Visitor as Artist.

Humble rocks, leaves, petals and sticks are transformed into awe-inspiring works of art as ephemeral art and creation stations provide something new to discover each trip, encouraging self-expression and harnessing the healing, meditative benefits of spending time in nature. Wild Art Creation Stations — allow all visitors to become a part of the exhibition, providing an opportunity for everyone to explore their wild side.

Learn about Wild Art programming for families and children.

Learn about our Wild Art Instagram contest.

Earth Healer by Ed MillerEarth Healer by Edward Miller

Earth Healer depicts a female figure composed of sod and earth. Healing herbs are growing from within the figure’s cradling arms. The work shows a human connection with the earth and is part of an ongoing vision to combine the human figure with landscape and the natural world.


Arbor Quilt Quilt Square example by artist Cathy VaughnArbor Quilt by Cathy Vaughn

Like quilting, gardening is often a piece by piece endeavor. We stitch together plants that have meaning for us, shared from a friend’s garden or collected from a plant sale, to wrap our homes in the beauty of nature. Using the Log Cabin quilt pattern, we will stitch together a vertical tapestry of plants and mosses.


A Butterfly’s Journey by Cathy Vaughn

A Butterfly's Journey schematic by artist Cathy VaughnThe butterfly is a rich symbol for change, diversity, and interdependence. Explore this walking meditation as part of your journey with nature in the wattle-woven copper and sapling walls of the Butterfly’s Journey.




Gonbad sculpture prototype by artist Leila EhteshamGonbad by Leila Ehtesham

Gonbad is a traditional Persian-style dome made from untraditional materials. Ehtesham looked to ancient papermaking techniques and modern paper consumption for inspiration and harvested grasses from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden to make the bricks.



The music house by artist John M Holland

The Music House by John M. Holland

The Music House will draw on children’s natural inquisitiveness to transform Everyone’s House in the Children’s Garden into a large multi-sensory sound sculpture. Its primary medium will be a material often viewed as a nuisance in the local ecology, bamboo. The Music House, which will also incorporate piano parts, provides opportunity for interaction and collaboration by Garden guests and can be explored and played by Garden guests of all ages.


Turtle Island drawing by artist Colleen HallTurtle Island by Colleen Hall

Powerful, patient, and wise, turtles have a mythical significance around the world and across diverse cultures. Surprisingly, the humble turtle’s symbolism parallels the iconic tree symbol in creation stories and folklore from Native Americans to Indian mythology. This living sculpture invites guests to explore the vast significance of the turtle, including its association with the environmental movement. The persistence, power, and patience the turtle represents will indeed be needed to protect and nurture our natural world.


walking sticks schematic water color by artist Susann WhittierWalking Sticks by Susann Whittier

Walking Sticks allows for a new interpretation of how plants exist in our natural environment, giving something that most people discard a new life. The limbs are transformed and reconfigured but not tamed or edited too much, to allow for freedom and expression of the limbs.



Hidden community schematic illustration by artist Jeffrey HallHidden Community by Jeffrey Hall

At first glance, this bamboo sculpture near the community garden greets the viewer with twenty-four 8’ tall, vertical, bamboo poles arranged forming a cube. However, with a bit of investigation, an image (and a clue) will reveal itself for all to see.



Tree House Tukul schematic illustration by artist Jeffrey Hall

Tree House by Jeffrey Hall

Like many obstacles, this imposing structure made from trees has a playful side.  Let your childlike perspective guide you to a different view.



Code playground schematic illustration by artist Jeffrey HallCode Playground by Jeffrey Hall

Hop, skip, and decode in the code playground. Practice your balancing skills while cracking this puzzle.

Learn more about the artists.


Nonprofit Community Partners

Art 180 Wild Art installation #180EarthSquad by the 180 Earth SquadArt 180 Teen Leadership Council: installation exploring themes of environmental justice, identity, place

Art on Wheels: sand pendulum

Wild Art: A Journey Off-Canvas