Berkshire Botanical Garden opens its debut exhibition with works by painter Susan Merrill and photographers Jane McWhorter and John MacGruer in its newly restored and renovated Center House, home to three new galleries featuring art inspired by the natural world.
The new Anna and Frederick Henry Leonhardt Galleries will host its first exhibition, Wonder World: Three Artists Define Nature’s Magic, bringing to the new gallery space three distinctly unique artistic interpretations of insects, plant life, and nature. “We wanted our first exhibition to celebrate the talents of local artists who beautifully represent a larger creative community in the Berkshires,” said Matthew Larkin, BBG Board Chairman, who has overseen the design and development of the Center House galleries. “These three artists truly find their inspiration in the Berkshire landscape; a perfect match for the Garden’s galleries.”
BUGS, a collection of paintings in pen and ink with acrylic by Susan Merrill, focuses on beneficial bugs and insects — the monarch butterfly, praying mantis, soldier beetle, dragonfly, green lacewing, and nematode — “various kinds,” she says, “so camouflaged, so elegant and beautiful.” Susan’s work has been exhibited at many venues, especially in the Berkshires where she makes her home. Her exhibition will include both original paintings and prints.
John MacGruer and Jane McWhorter, who collectively run the full-service communications company Blue Sky Productions, each bring their signature photographic styles to the exhibition with their collection, BOTANICALS. McWhorter, best known for her large, elegant and evocative images of plant life, focuses on the form and texture of her organic subjects, which are both beautiful and compelling. MacGruer’s background in film is evidenced in this exhibition through a visually infused sense of motion, particularly in his stunning photographs capturing milkweed seedpods dispersed by wind. Both photographers have exhibited their work throughout the Berkshires and beyond. Jane McWhorter’s Sunflower pictured below.
The galleries are located in the original, C 1700s section of the renovated Center House, considered to be one of the oldest structures in Stockbridge. The galleries are open Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and Sundays, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and weekdays by appointment by calling 413 298-3926. The exhibition runs through November 24.