Visual Arts

NC Arboretum Presents Natural Impressions and Environmental Impact Exhibits in January

A Landmark Removed. Martha Ensign Johnson, artist

A Landmark Removed. Martha Ensign Johnson, artist

The North Carolina Arboretum opens two new exhibits in January. First, beginning on Saturday, January 18, and running through April 19 in the upstairs gallery of the Education Center, is the Asheville Printmakers’ latest show, Natural Impressions. Featuring a variety of two- and three-dimensional pieces, the exhibit emphasizes the beauty and fragility of plants and their natural habitats through various perspectives and artistic processes.

“This exhibit not only provides many individual interpretations and visions of the natural world, but also showcases numerous printmaking techniques,” says Asheville Printmakers member Roberta Allen. “Our hope is that viewers will be both surprised and inspired by the breadth and scope of work in this show.”

Founded in 2013, the Asheville Printmakers are an energetic group of artists dedicated to expressing ideas and imagery through the medium of print. Members utilize traditional methods such as lithography, woodcut and screen printing, and contemporary photographic processes including carbon printing, platinum-palladium and photopolymer etching.

All pieces in the Natural Impressions exhibit are available for purchase and a portion of the sales will benefit The North Carolina Arboretum Society.

Next, the traveling exhibition Environmental Impact opens in the Arboretum’s Baker Exhibit Center on Saturday, January 25, and remains on display through May 10. The show, produced and curated by David J. Wagner, features more than 50 works selected for their potential to heighten public awareness of environmental issues and unintended consequences of human interaction with nature.

Have an Ice Day. From the collection of Johnna and Fred Kleisner. Karen Hackenburg, artist

Have an Ice Day. From the collection of Johnna and Fred Kleisner. Karen Hackenburg, artist

“Traditional art generally depicts nature in all of its glory—often in beautiful, pristine conditions,” says Wagner. “The works in Environmental Impact deal with ominous environmental issues that impact the people, plants and animals that populate the planet today.”

Wagner’s extensive scholarship and experience in both art and ecology have led him to produce many related exhibitions for display at museums and other cultural and scientific institutions in North America and abroad. Topics covered in Environmental Impact include severe weather swings as a result of global warming, wildfires, the Gulf oil spill, unabated logging and mining, industrial-scale resource development and consumption, and declining bee populations. More than 20 professional contemporary artists from throughout the US and abroad, working in a variety of mediums including paint, sculpture, photography and film, make up the exhibit. Their depictions of environmental issues convey both the delicacy and resiliency of our planet from a wide range of perspectives.

The North Carolina Arboretum is located at 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville. Exhibits are open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. A standard $14 per vehicle parking fee is required for non-members. Learn more at

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