Clermont, KY – Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest is bringing FEMMEnomenal Bluegrass Botanicals, an exhibition by Gabriella Boros celebrating the extraordinary achievements of 10 Kentucky women through the invocation of 10 native Kentucky plants, to the Murray Art Guild (MAG) Community Art Center in Murray. With the support of a 2020 Art Meets Activism grant from the Kentucky Foundation For Women, FEMMEnomenal Bluegrass Botanicals can be seen via a companion exhibit traveling to locations throughout the state in 2021 as well as at its semi-permanent location around the Lake Nevin Loop at Bernheim Forest.
As part of the organization’s Actions Beyond our Borders strategy, Bernheim recognizes that its mission of connecting people with nature extends outside the geographic boundaries of its vast forest and deliberately seeks out opportunities to bring the stories and lessons of nature to people throughout our region and far beyond.
Bernheim Arts in Nature Curator Jenny Zeller stated, “We wanted to share the results of this powerful body of work with the region in the hopes of inspiring deep connections to nature while educating the viewer on extraordinary women who have shaped Kentucky’s history.”
The exhibit can be viewed at the MAG Community Art Center – a community-based non-profit organization dedicated to supporting arts enrichment – beginning Sept. 15, and running through Oct. 16, 2021 A reception for the public will be held on Saturday, Oct. 9 from 5 – 7pm. Follow the MAG Community Art Center Facebook page @murrayartguild for more information.
The MAG, whose mission is motivating artistic growth through community arts development, was established in 1967 when several like-minded community members worked together to develop a place where artists could create art as well as exhibit and sell their work.
Murray Art Guild’s Executive Director Debi Henry Danielson added, “We are thrilled to share Boros’ work with western Kentucky and are grateful to Jenny Zeller and to Bernheim for the opportunity. We would also like to thank Shannon Davis-Roberts and her husband Justin Roberts. Justin, Walk the Willow artist, participated in Bernheim’s Artist in Residence Program, and Shannon was instrumental in bringing the exhibit to Murray. The work is beautiful and inspiring in so many ways, we hope everyone comes out to see the exhibit.”
Executive Director Mark K. Wourms said FEMMEnomenal Bluegrass Botanicals celebrates the collective value women have had in our history.
“Much like the native plants in Kentucky, despite all the challenges, women stand strong, tall and beautiful, each in their own way,” Wourms said. “The traveling component of this exhibition will enable Bernheim to extend its reach and mission throughout Kentucky, while providing new and shared experiences of art in nature to those in our surrounding community and beyond our borders.”
The first stop on the exhibition tour was the Harmony Complex Building in downtown Louisville. This location has historical significance as it housed The Louisville Business Women’s Club from 1899 to 1911 and was founded at a time when women started entering the workplace, moving from rural areas to cities to find work and support themselves. The exhibit’s next stop will be in Harlan, Ky. Learn more about this project at Bernheim.org/femmenomenal.
About Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest
Bernheim’s mission is to connect people with nature. Bernheim is the largest privately held contiguous forest block in the eastern United States dedicated to conservation and education. Bourbon maker Isaac Wolfe Bernheim established the arboretum and forest in 1929 as a gift to the people of Kentucky. A 2018 land acquisition brought the total acreage of land that Bernheim protects to 16,140.
For over four decades, Bernheim’s Artist in Residence Program has attracted artists from around the world who seek to use Bernheim as their inspiration. Established in 1980, this internationally renowned program annually awards artists the opportunity to live and create site-specific work inspired by their total immersion experience in the natural environment. This program enhances the visitor experience through interaction with art and artists while fulfilling Bernheim’s mission.
Artist Gabriella Boros
Born in Israel to Holocaust survivors, printmaker and photographer Gabriella Boros immigrated to the United States as a young child. Her love for the narrative was derived from the rich heritage of her European parentage, Israeli childhood and American influences. Her woodblock prints are feminist, often botanical and at times spiritual. Boros’ narrations pique the imagination with a universal appeal. The artist has a BFA from the University of Michigan School of Art and currently lives and works in the Chicago area.