Despite the setbacks of COVID-19, Bernheim’s 40th anniversary celebration of its Artist in Residence program finished strong in 2020. Visit Bernheim and enjoy several new and exciting installations that are sure to deepen your connection to the natural world.
FEMMEnomenal Bluegrass Botanicals
In honor of this milestone anniversary and Kentucky Women’s Suffrage Centennial in 2020, Bernheim presents FEMMEnomenal Bluegrass Botanicals by printmaker and photographer Gabriella Boros. Installed in various locations around the Lake Nevin Loop, this exhibition celebrates 10 historically significant Kentucky women who surmounted the odds to accomplish great things and create social change in the process, despite adversity and the social climate in which they lived. Boros’ work draws on the parallels between these Kentucky women and the beauty and resilience of nature. Native plants maintain their legacy every season by spreading their roots deeper and dropping their seeds for the species’ continued survival. Women ensure their legacy through the generations who follow their lead, thus developing deep roots and connections that others can learn from.
When viewing FEMMEnomenal Bluegrass Botanicals, start your journey at the Garden Pavilion where you learn about the artist, the exhibition, and the process behind the creation of this unique and timely series.
Sycamore Hatch & Sycamore Haven
Sculptor and installation artist Lee Running completed two new works inspired by the American Sycamore, a wide canopied deciduous tree with beautiful exfoliating bark. Sycamore Hatch is a site-specific, transparent, colorful window installation that fills the top three tiers of windows in the Sassafras room of Bernheim’s Visitor Center. The visual framework of this installation is the unique budding structures of new sycamore leaves, which are tied together with the honeycombed pattern found inside the large seeds that hang from the tree and fall to the ground in spring. The purpose of this work at the Visitor Center is to draw visitors into Bernheim’s forested areas and specifically to a large hollow sycamore tree on the Elm Lick Trail. Running non-invasively gilded its interior with the same honeycombed pattern, a metaphorical ‘map’ for the growth of this beautiful tree that is hundreds of years old.
Both installations seamlessly blend into the landscape and change as the light moves throughout the day and seasons ahead. By transforming the scale of complex bits of nature, Running reveals their intricate networks and within them identifies some universal elements.
South Korean born, Philadelphia-based artist Myung Gyun You is known for his abstract and enormous, nature-inspired installations that explore the relationship between natural order and human society. His 2014 Artist in Residence experience culminated in the creation of a powerful work inspired by the beauty of Bernheim. Situated adjacent to the Visitor Center, Photosynthesis greets all visitors, asking them to consider their own place in the world. By creating a piece of this scale, the viewers are drawn to its sheer physicality, the beauty of its form and construction, and its relationship to its natural surroundings. Through his work, the artist contemplates the notion that everything can be reduced to science – to a molecular and cellular level while simultaneously coexisting in the vastness of the universe. The materials are wood lath, bent and bound with wire to form the inner black sphere and the larger outer red elliptical shape.
Six years later, Myung Gyun You returned to Bernheim to repaint Photosynthesis. Because of its prominent location near the start of the Forest Giants Trail, visitors had the opportunity to watch the artist at work throughout October with vibrant fall colors as a backdrop.