The Orchid Show 2021: Aerialists from the Tree Top to the Big Top!
In collaboration with The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art and presented by Better-Gro®
October 9 through November 28, 2021
The show is deeply rooted in Selby Gardens’ status as possessing the world’s best scientifically documented collection of orchids. As always, the Orchid Show highlights the diversity and richness of the Orchidaceae family, one of the largest families of flowering plants on earth.
The synergy with Sarasota’s extensive circus history fortifies the theme of this year’s show. Once the winter quarters of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, the city remains the home of many circus performers and their families. In addition to The Ringling, housing the finest circus collections in existence, Sarasota is home to the Circus Arts Conservatory and associated Sailor Circus Academy, the oldest youth circus in America.
The Tropical Conservatory
The display of living plants in the Tropical Conservatory will relate the beauty and diversity of epiphytic orchids to the drama and theatricality of aerial acts, such as wire walkers and trapeze artists. The display will feature an abundance of orchids of bright colors and bold patterns suspended from various heights and suggestive of certain aerial acts, creating a spectacular show.
The North Gallery
The north gallery of the Museum of Botany & the Arts will showcase vintage circus posters featuring high-flying circus performers, on loan from the Tibbals Circus Collection at The Ringling. The posters are some of the finest examples of the art of lithography, which is also well represented among the botanical illustrations housed in Selby Gardens’ Research Library.
The South Gallery
The south gallery will focus on epiphytes, as illustrated through specimens from Selby Gardens’ research collections. The gallery will also highlight attributes of orchids, such as color and pattern, which enable these often-showy plants to “perform” for their respective pollinators.