By Natasha Anderson
The North Carolina Arboretum offers two events for visitors in May. First is Transforming Nature, an exhibit by Ron Morecraft, on display through July 21 in the upstairs gallery of the Arboretum’s Education Center. The show features Morecraft’s nature photographs superimposed to create digitally painted artwork. He uses a technique he pioneered in an effort to ‘make’, rather than simply ‘take’ pictures.
“Using the tools I’ve explored for almost 20 years, I employ techniques including montage and paint effects to create images celebrating nature,” says Morecraft.
A graduate of the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts and the Academies of Fine Art in Milan and Rome, Morecraft spent 30 years as a special effects photographer producing award-winning illustrations for clients ranging from CBS to Revlon. The works he is exhibiting include WNC landscapes, floral still lifes and montages created from local subject matter crafted in kaleidoscopic and impressionistic arrangements. All pieces are available for purchase, with a portion of the sales donated to The North Carolina Arboretum Society.
“Two things always motivate my work: a passion for finding beauty, and the magic of light and how it plays on the things we see and often take for granted in our daily lives,” says Morecraft.
May visitors can also experience the Arboretum’s new ArborEvenings weekly after-hours social series. Held every Thursday, April through October, from 6 to 9 p.m., ArborEvenings invites guests to see the Arboretum aglow, while sipping and strolling through the gardens. Light food and beverages, including beer and wine, are available for purchase, and live music is performed the last Thursday of each month. ArborEvenings features seasonally themed nights and landscape lighting displays, including a color display in summer and harvest event in autumn.
“We wanted to create a weekly tradition where visitors can escape their hectic schedules and come relax in the Arboretum’s beautiful gardens,” said Whitney Smith, marketing and public relations manager at The North Carolina Arboretum. “What better way to unwind from the week than with an evening amongst flowers and friends?”
The North Carolina Arboretum is located at 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way in Asheville off the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 393. 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. During May, visitors can claim a free parking pass for ArborEvenings in the weekly print edition of Mountain Xpress. For more information, visit NCArboretum.org or call 828.665.2492.