By Natasha Anderson
The North Carolina Arboretum hosts two exciting events in September. The first is Monarch Butterfly Day, an annual celebration of the king of butterflies that takes place Saturday, September 8, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. inside the Arboretum’s Education Center and throughout its 434- acre gardens. The event offers fun, family-friendly opportunities to learn about the monarchs’ declining population, their annual migration from North America to Mexico and ways to conserve their habitats. “As an affiliate of the University of North Carolina System, the Arboretum works to offer educational programs that inspire our members, visitors and students to raise awareness for our natural world, including essential pollinators like monarch butterflies,” says Jonathan Marchal, the Arboretum’s youth education manager. “Monarch Butterfly Day is a great way to engage youth and provide them with simple tools that they can use to help conserve the monarch population.”
Participants will have the opportunity to purchase milkweed, create make-and-take butterfly crafts and witness monarch butterfly releases. The day will also serve as the conclusion of the Arboretum’s ecoEXPLORE Entomology Field Season. On Saturday, September 22, Reclaimed Creations, a sculpture exhibit by renowned artist Sayaka Ganz, will open inside the Arboretum’s Baker Exhibit Center, where it will remain on display from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through January 6. Utilizing reclaimed plastic objects such as discarded utensils, Ganz creates sculptures that appear unified at a distance, but are in fact separate when examined up close. Described as using a three-dimensional impressionistic style, Ganz’s exhibit includes installations of animals in motion to create an illusion of form.
“Reclaimed Creations is a stunning exhibit that brings elements of the natural world into a completely new light,” says Clara Curtis, senior director for mission delivery at the Arboretum. “Sayaka does a terrific job combining artistry and environmentalism to inspire viewers to rethink about the way we use and discard material objects.”
Born in Yokohama, Japan, Ganz grew up living in Japan, Brazil and Hong Kong. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Indiana University, Bloomington, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in sculpture from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. A lecturer and teacher, Ganz has had work displayed at various institutions around the globe, including the Hermann Geiger Cultural Foundation in Cecina, Italy, the Isle Gallery in Isle of Man, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California.
The North Carolina Arboretum is located at 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville. It is open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., April through October, and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., November through March. Admission is free. A standard $14 per vehicle parking fee is required for non-members. For more information, visit ncarboretum.org.