On June 19, we welcomed Artist in Residence James Gurney and 24 of the region’s top plein-air painters for NYBG’s first ever Plein-Air Invitational.
Organizing a Plein-Air festival was a new experience for all of us. We worked with different internal teams as well as James Gurney, who provided valuable suggestions. With his help, we selected the best locations for paintings and included models dressed in Victorian period attire. We also took pictures of the different gardens for the artists to visualize our surroundings before they arrived. We sent these images along with the event guidelines and each of the artists responded with their three ideal locations. We collected all their responses and finalized all of the logistics.
On Sunday morning, our staff was ready to welcome these expert artists. We brought lunch, welcome kits, nametags, and all of our energy to greet them. For many of the artists it was their first time visiting our grounds, and everyone was excited to share their talent and see the Garden as their muse.
Lucrecia Novoa is a Chilean-born artist and cultural educator who is physically as well as spiritually involved with her mask and puppet creations. With years of experience, Lucrecia dedicates herself to researching the historic inspirations for each puppet she creates in her Riverdale studio.
During the opening weeks of FRIDA KAHLO: Art, Garden, Life, the Botanical Garden hosted two special guests from Mexico. Juana and Yolanda, sisters from the town of Zinacatán in the state of Chiapas, were showing off the ancient technique of weaving with the back strap loom and decorating cloth with beautiful embroidery. Wearing traditional garments that they made and adorned themselves, they caught the attention of many visitors.