Gardens are created plant by plant, season by season. The same can be said for ideas. With each day that passes a vision comes into focus and as details fall into place, an idea crystallizes into something that is known and true.
For nearly two years our team at Selby Gardens has been fostering the growth of a new idea for our institution. This winter we will finally have the opportunity to showcase a groundbreaking new exhibition that has evolved from idea to experience. The new issue of Tropical Dispatch connects the disciplines of horticulture and fine arts with a number of details about the six-month exhibition, Marc Chagall, Flowers, and the French Riviera: The Color of Dreams.
We are striving for this show to be an immersive experience that captures the hearts and minds of our visitors, members and volunteers. I am truly inspired by a quote from Marc Chagall—one of the most prolific artists of the 20th Century—that states “Art is the increasing effort to compete with the beauty of flowers—and never succeeding.” Chagall was always aware that human talents pale in comparison to the natural world. While this exhibition is new, the idea of bridging nature and the arts at Selby Gardens began in 1979 with the founding of our Museum of Botany & the Arts. I hope you will enjoy learning about Marc Chagall and understanding how through the infusion of activities that use all five senses our team here at Selby Gardens is truly creating a dream world of plant life to experience during your visit.
The success of this business model shift to a “living museum” is sure to bode well for the scientific work and educational outreach of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. With increased visitation that introduces more people to the importance of plants through exhibitions like The Color of Dreams, partnerships like the one with international government agencies and the University of Belize can grow. Support of this business model also enables our staff to create partnerships like the one newly created with New College. Ultimately, projects like these will be key to worldwide plant conservation and dissemination of knowledge from our expert staff.
In the spirit of an artist starting with a blank canvas, and a gardener contemplating a fresh plot of land, I invite you to come experience Selby Gardens with new eyes this season. I am certain that you will be impressed with the surprises and delights awaiting you.
Jennifer O. Rominiecki, President and CEO