The North Carolina Arboretum has given pleasure to visitors of all ages for many years. With trails, gardens, Education Center and the Baker Exhibit Center it offers an incredibly diverse range of activities. Wonderful walking trails, exhibits, classes and information about everything from birds to local flora.
The Bonsai Garden alone is worth the trip. It is not just a myriad of bonsai trees. It is a garden, a landscaping adventure and a showing of native plants with traditional bonsai trees.
This summer the Baker Exhibit Center has combined two incredible exhibits to make a contrasting blast of visual stimulation. Photography of Dr. Terry Ashley: Botanical Chords, Patterns and More and The Fine Art of Wood: An International Invitational Exhibition of Woodturning are intermingled and make it feel like one big exhibit. It does make all of the pieces of art stand out individually.
Dr. Ashley, a former research scientist, termed her art “chords” because they connect two separate images: One traditional plant photograph and one image taken at a cellular level. Yes, you read correctly. Cellular level. She photographs the plant and she photographs a single layer of cells from the same plant. She then places the picture of the plant on top of the picture of its cells, creating a piece of art that after first blush looks, as the arboretum says...”Equally stunning aesthetically as well as scientifically accurate, the images encourage an understanding of plants …” It is awe inspiring work.
Nestled among the photographs are a variety of wood art pieces that are everything from wall hangings to tabletop pieces. Work from forty artists from across the country and around the world are available to study or just gawk at and wonder how in the world someone found and created something so beautiful out of a piece of wood. There is even an educational piece about different woods at the beginning of the exhibit.
After viewing the exhibits, walking across the quilt garden, and through the Bonsai Garden you might want to go into the Education Center to see the Painted Quilts by Artist Bernie Rowell. This series of beautiful quilts will be on display in the second floor gallery until October 2, 2011.
It is a wonderful way to spend part of a relaxing day during your stay in Western North Carolina. This treasure trove of beauty and sounds is well worth the trip.
We hope we've given you yet another reason to visit the 1898 Waverly Inn in Hendersonville, NC very soon!
John, Diane, Darla & Debbie
1898 Waverly Inn
Bed and Breakfast Hendersonville NC