SELBY GARDENS SHOWCASES PHOTOGRAPHY OF RARE ORCHIDS IN “THE ORCHID SHOW 2022: CAPTURING THE PERFECT SHOT”

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SELBY GARDENS SHOWCASES PHOTOGRAPHY OF RARE ORCHIDSIN “THE ORCHID SHOW 2022: CAPTURING THE PERFECT SHOT”

Presented by Better-Gro®, Exhibition Features Hundreds of Live Orchids in theTropical Conservatory Along with Gallery Installations in Museum of Botany & the Arts

SARASOTA, Fla., October 14, 2022 – Marie Selby Botanical Gardens continues “The Year of Photography” at its Downtown Sarasota campus with an exhibition that celebrates the stunning scientific photography of Selby Gardens’ own rare orchid collection.

“The Orchid Show 2022: Capturing the Perfect Shot,” presented by Better-Gro®, is built around the massive body of beautiful photos taken by a group of dedicated volunteers who help Selby Gardens scientists document the institution’s living research collection. The show includes original horticultural vignettes inspired by the art of scientific photography in the Tropical Conservatory, along with gallery installations in the Museum of Botany & The Arts. This year’s Orchid Show runs from October 15 through December 4.

“The images we have on view capture the glorious essence of rare orchids in our collection,” said Jennifer O. Rominiecki, President & CEO of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. “This photography is critical to the documentation of our world-renowned collection for research purposes. But visitors will immediately see that these photos stand as fine art in their own right.”

The “living art” for which Selby Gardens is well known is on full display inside the Tropical Conservatory, where installations showcasing hundreds of live orchids in artistic arrangements pay homage to the practice of photography by playing with lenses and mirrors. Different collection specimens will be rotated into the show throughout its duration, helping to ensure a new experience with repeat visits.

Selby Gardens has the best scientifically documented collection of living orchids anywhere in the world, and this year’s Orchid Show tells two main stories about the Gardens’ orchid research, according to Vice President for Visitor Engagement and Chief Museum Curator Dr. David Berry. The first story is the meticulous work of a group of volunteers who have systematically photographed Selby Gardens’ living collections, including its orchid collection, for many years. These talented photographers combine painstaking process, technical ingenuity, and individual aesthetic to capture the characteristics of each plant. “The photographs become another form of botanical evidence, a permanent record of something ephemeral,” said Berry. “They might document a flowering process that happens only once a year, or portray plants so tiny that they literally cannot be seen with the naked eye.”

The second story is the artistic sensibility the photographers bring to their work, capturing the strange beauty and rich diversity of a plant family that beguiles people the world over. “Compositionally, the photographs are quite stunning,” said Berry. “They aren’t only pictures of pretty plants—they are works of art.”

The Museum of Botany & the Arts showcases 15 large-format prints of the distinctive scientific photographs, which feature striking close-ups of their orchid subjects set against a jet-black background. Interpretive material details the photographic process and highlights six volunteer photographers who have contributed to an archive of more than 100,000 digital images of Selby Gardens’ plant collections. As a special feature of this year’s Orchid Show, a temporary photo studio has been set up in the Museum, where individual volunteers will periodically do their work in view of visitors and answer questions about it.

The exhibition will be complemented by several programs and activities, including a virtual lecture on October 26 presented by Selby Gardens botany staff and an “Orchid Evening” on November 2 that includes after-hours access to the show and a live performance by The Circus Arts Conservatory.

Access to the exhibition is included with general admission to the Downtown Sarasota campus. Admission tickets may be purchased in advance at selby.org or at the Welcome Center upon arrival.

“The Orchid Show 2022: Capturing the Perfect Shot” is presented by Better-Gro®. Sponsors include PNC Bank, Williams Parker Attorneys at Law, and WUSF Public Media.

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About Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens provides 45 acres of bayfront sanctuaries connecting people with air plants of the world, native nature, and our regional history. Established by forward-thinking women of their time, Selby Gardens is composed of the 15-acre Downtown Sarasota campus and the 30-acre Historic Spanish Point campus in the Osprey area of Sarasota County, Florida. The Downtown Campus on Sarasota Bay is the only botanical garden in the world dedicated to the display and study of epiphytic orchids, bromeliads, gesneriads and ferns, and other tropical plants. There is a significant focus on botany, horticulture, education, historical preservation, and the environment. The Historic Spanish Point Campus is located less than 10 miles south along Little Sarasota Bay. One of the largest preserves showcasing native Florida plants that is interpreted for and open to the public, it celebrates an archaeological record that encompasses approximately 5,000 years of Florida history. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is a Smithsonian Affiliate and is also accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. For more information visit www.selby.org

The Orchid Show 2022: Capturing the Perfect Shot October 15 – December 4, 2022Downtown Sarasota campus

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Extended through September 2023!Historic Spanish Point campus

Our Mission: To provide bayfront sanctuaries connecting people with air plants of the world, native nature, and our regional history

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