NYC PARKS CELEBRATES VIBRANT FLORA IN PLANT PATTERNS EXHIBIT IN CENTRAL PARK
On Display at the Arsenal Gallery from June 23 – September 1, 2017
NYC Parks debuts the group exhibition “Plant Patterns,” featuring the work of Adam Frezza and Terri Chiao, Adrienne Elise Tarver, Karin Haas, Liesl Pfeffer and Nick Wildermuth. The show is on view at the Arsenal Gallery in Central Park through September 1, 2017.
Domestic and wild flora have provided artists with inspiration for centuries. The diversity and multitude of plant colors, shapes, and repetitive forms, which evolved to lure pollinators, caution predators, and promote regeneration, are naturally appealing to artists’ sensibilities. Parks is particularly familiar with the inspiration that plants bring to people of all ages and backgrounds. The formal Conservatory Garden in Central Park and Heather Garden in Fort Tryon Park welcome thousands of visitors annually, flower photographs are the most popular posts on Parks’ social media, and tours of our greenhouses are in high demand.
The artists in “Plant Patterns” use plants’ impressive natural characteristics as a means to explore various themes in their graphic works. Karin Haas breaks down and reconfigures plant images to examine how patterns move between natural and abstract fields. In her series “Dwellings,” Liesl Pfeffer uses images of the natural environment to create digital collages of houses she has visited. In her collages and caulk sculptures, Adrienne Elise Tarver addresses the tradition of exoticizing non-European tropical lands and inhabitants, which negatively emphasizes “otherness.” Nick Wildermuth’s paintings are vibrantly embellished still lifes that depict accumulations of domestic decorations from the artist’s home and studio.
On view in the Arsenal’s garden bed, Adam Frezza and Terri Chiao’s public sculpture “Sea Paddles” is an intimate version of their cartoonish plant garden at this year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. In the gallery, their “Exquisite Plant Collages,” inspired by the surrealist drawing game “Exquisite Corpse,” are playfully constructed with cut, painted paper—a process that visitors are encouraged to learn in a free public program.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Parks will host two related programs at the Arsenal Gallery:
Tuesday, July 18, 2017, 6:00 p.m.
Art Workshop: Exquisite Plants with Adam Frezza and Terri Chiao
Make collaborative plant collages
Wednesday, August 16, 2017, 6:00 p.m.
Making Toys from Twigs with GreenThumb
A hands-on workshop for teachers, parents, and caregivers of elementary school children.
Program Admission is free but space is limited. To RSVP, please email
Parks’ Arsenal Gallery is dedicated to examining themes of nature, urban space, wildlife, New York City parks and park history. It is located on the third floor of Parks’ headquarters in Central Park on Fifth Avenue at 64th Street. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and admission is free. For more information on the Arsenal Gallery, please call 212-360-8163 or visit nyc.gov/parks.