Tag Archives: Franklin Park Conservatory

Knowing Jack: A Lesson in Carnivorous Plants

Savage Gardens, an exhibit of real and imaged plants paired with a juried art exhibit and larger-than-life sculptures, opened this month at the Franklin Park Conservatory.  

An Appetite for Art

Our photographic image, Jack with Fangs, was selected for the art show, which serves up 11 pieces from Ohio artists. Franklin Park Conservatory began incorporating art into their exhibitions five years; a move executive director Bruce Harkey believes has lead to increased visitors. THINK CHIHULY!

Jack with Fangs by Larry Hamill

The sculptures, grown from resin and metal, allow viewers to see the plants from an insect’s perspective. Step inside a 10-foot-tall tropical pitcher plant, experience the lure of a nine-foot Venus flytrap or witness an eight-foot sundew as it comes to life through fiber optic illumination.

Tork Sculpture

Gastronomy – The Art of Good Eating

The largest variety of carnivorous plants in the world is native to North America. Presently, the Conservatory is catering to more than 3,000 voracious carnivorous plants.

Living in mineral-deficient soils such as wetlands, bogs and sand, these plants are masters of culinary adaptation – luring, catching and digesting insects for nourishment.

A Vanishing Food Chain

In a recent Ohio Magazine article, Franklin Park Conservatory horticulturist Amanda Bettin said she hopes the exhibit will increase awareness about carnivorous plants – an extraordinary group of plants that is disappearing in the wild.

“In North America, 95 percent of native habitats have been destroyed – the need for conservation is great and educating the public on the importance of preserving our bogs and wetlands will be part of our educational message.”

Also on the menu in the Conservatory’s North Atrium Gallery is 12-minute video of a behind-the-scenes look at the planning and production of four sculptures created by Tork IndustrialARTifacts for the Savage Gardens exhibit.  A preview of the video can be seen on You Tube.

Visit the Conservatory at 1p.m. for a presentation about these ravenous plants, their origins and a feeding demonstration.

Franklin Park Conservatory, 1777 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH  614/645-8733.   Daily 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Wed. 10 a.m.–8 p.m.

Savage Gardens on view July 10 – Nov. 14.

Posted by Pamela J. Willits

Chihuly’s Imagination Takes On New Life Forms

There’s a sign in the Franklin Park Conservatory’s show house that reads

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin” –  Shakespeare

Perhaps the same can be said of a touch of glass art.

As Bruce Harkey, executive director of the Franklin Park Conservatory, said at a recent luncheon hosted by the Columbus Metropolitan Club, there’s something magical and ancient about glass blowing.  Hosted by Ann Fisher of WOSU, Harkey was joined by Columbus Museum of Art executive director, Nannette Maciejunes for a lively conversation on the Chihuly impact on Columbus.

Chihuly’s crew – known as Chihooligans – have been busy this year setting up installations at the CMA, Franklin Park and Hawk Gallery.  Having previously covered the exhibit at the museum in our blog, we thought we’d share our visit to the conservatory.

Chihuly Reimagined blends glass, plant life, color and light in such a way as to render an experience different from the Chihuly exhibit at the CMA.  The greatest example of reimagining the placement of art and nature is seen in the reuse of a massive downed oak tree, which prior to a lightening strike once stood on the northern edge of Franklin Park.

Blue Reeds & Marlins changes by the day and time of day. We happened to experience it on an overcast day.  Sunny days cast deep shadows across the oak’s trunk, while night time adds the element of  lighting by well-known light artist, James Turrell.

“Plants are critical to the experience at the Franklin Park Conservatory,” said Maciejunes during the CMC luncheon. In Macchia Forest, the fluted bowls take on a different feel from those on display in the conservatory’s exhibit room.

The exhibit continues at the conservatory through March 28, 2010.

Live Glass Blowing Demos are held daily in the HotShop from 11-2 on Monday-Friday, from 11-4 on Saturday & Sunday and from 5-8 on Wednesday evenings.

Posted by Pamela J. Willits