It’s that wonderful time of year when we welcome so many familiar friends and new faces to our bayfront sanctuaries. Our loyal and supportive seasonal residents are back, social calendars are full, and some of Selby Gardens’ biggest annual events are quickly approaching. The activity of the next few months will help sustain our mission-driven work for many more to come.
Welcomes and sustainability are principal themes of this new year. As part of our Master Plan, the new Jean Goldstein Welcome Center will come to our Downtown Sarasota campus front and center. Even the talented architects we partnered with describe it as “a big hello” to the community.
Our Botany team just welcomed an old friend to a new staff role where he can further raise the level of our world-class research. Dr. John L. Clark has been contributing to science at Selby Gardens for years as a research associate. Now that he’s a full-time research botanist, his tireless work in the field and the lab and his passion for biodiversity will benefit our research mission every day. Meanwhile, our Botany team is doing vital work to help save Florida’s rare plants. You’d be as proud of their leadership and stewardship as I am.
Our Museum and Horticulture teams have reimagined the familiar for our stunning 2023 Jean & Alfred Goldstein Exhibition, Tiffany: The Pursuit of Beauty in Nature. This first-of-its-kind show celebrates the creativity and innovation of Louis Comfort Tiffany, who found inspiration in the natural world for his celebrated stained-glass masterpieces. From February through June, kaleidoscopic horticultural installations will transform our Downtown Sarasota campus. We can’t wait to welcome you to The Living Museum® to reconnect with nature through art.
And none of this would be possible without the seeds of philanthropy planted by donors who see the possibilities for Selby Gardens long beyond their own lifetimes. One such visionary, Richard Matson, recently made a new commitment to the Gardens through his estate plan, and his example is both inspiring and instructive.
Of course, it was Marie Selby and Bertha Palmer whose generous foresight first made our Downtown Sarasota and Historic Spanish Point campuses possible. To consider where we started and how far we’ve come reminds us of the power of philanthropy and the responsibility of stewardship. We must acknowledge and thank the members of Selby Gardens, as they are part of this legacy too.
Jennifer O. Rominiecki, President and CEO