An Artist’s Reception of Color and Wandering

August 7th, 2015 by Jessica Farmer, Adult Education Supervisor

This post is brought to you by our summer communications volunteer, Saffron Hefta-Gaub. Saffron is a sophomore at the Bush School in Seattle, Washington, and we are delighted to share her perspectives on UW Botanic Gardens’ spaces and programs. 

July 23, 2015

Lollie Groth Artist Reception 1
The “Lake, Lattice, Stone: Requiem for a Garden” artist’s reception I went to on this day offered not only a unique opportunity into art, but also insight into the Elisabeth C. Miller Library’s gallery. Before I begin, take note that the reception occurred two weeks ago and I am just now writing about it. BUT the artwork will be shown until September 3rd, so don’t miss the rare opportunity to see Lollie Groth’s amazing work!

First off, I’d like to say my two favorite pieces of art are the Fortune Bird collage and the Perennial Garden viscosity monotype with chine collé. Yes, I had to write down what the specific art form was, I’m not an expert okay? All of the art was beautiful, but I highly recommend you look out for these specific pieces. As for the most interesting art, the monotype with chine collé Alchemy of Place caught my eye, as well as Lake Lattice Stone, a viscosity monotype. My actual experience at the reception, as you will read below, consisted of mostly of me wandering about, and all I really wrote down were these art piece names. As for what else I did, well…

I showed up at the Botanical Garden’s location around 5:30, and wandered into a room of older people I knew I could not make small talk with. So I snagged some snacks, nibbling away as I peered at the art. I was stealing free food, muhahahaha! Also a sparkly water, because the guy who was serving drinks gave me a strange look when I walked up to him and told me which bottle was the water. But really, I did appreciate the art, being a child of a photographer and an artist myself. The people around me gave me odd but hopefully welcoming looks. Soon I saw Jessica, whom I knew was going to be there, and got a sharp, happy burst of not being alone. She introduced me to the artist, the lovely Lollie Groth, who smiled at me and asked briefly about my blog before wandering away. Really, half of the event consisted of wandering. Lollie Groth Artist Reception 2

Jessica also introduced me to a woman who worked at the library, Tracy Mehlin. Clutching my fizzy non-alcohol drink, we retreated to the back corner of the library so I could ask her a few questions about the way the gallery works. She started off with telling me what they tell all possible artists first, they’re “a library first, not a gallery.” Artists often come to them, either by filling out a form on their website, or by coming into the library itself, seeing the art, and inquiring. Sometimes people mention artists whom they contact themselves, but that is rare. After the initial inquiry, the library talks to them about it, and once the artist is ready, they apply. The library looks at the artist’s work, by email or in person. Thematically they look for flowers, landscape, natural in style. Lollie’s art is a more abstract version of that, but has many references to her mother’s garden, in both name and image. Sometimes the art is more literal, with photos of actual flowers and plants, or even birds in the natural area around the library. One more abstract example was once they hosted a quilt exhibit! Abstract and literal are both fine, it’s the theme that takes priority.

As for how Lollie Groth came to the exhibit, she contacted them, as her mother lived in the area and she often visited. The library schedules shows in advance of about a year, so it was difficult for Tracy to properly remember what happened. For sure, Lollie Groth came to the library about a year before, art ready to show.

Tracy’s favorite part of Lollie’s work was the multimedia aspect, the layered collage style. Lollie uses monotype prints, one-time prints that can be assembled into awesomeness. It was hard for Tracy to explain exactly what the best part was because she did not have an artist’s knowledge of specific vocabulary, but the bright color and the images designed within images were her favorite highlight of the art. I agreed that those were some of my favorite aspects as well.

One amusing thing, listening back to the recording of the interview, was that Jessica popped her head in midway to let me know she was leaving, off to a charity concert, and soon after, once the interview was over, with no one else to talk too, I left too (my mom had to wait outside the whole time, which I feel bad about). Before I left, however, I did hover around trying to work up the courage to say goodbye and congratulate Lollie on her art. Unfortunately, I didn’t. This was pre-play Saffron who wasn’t as ready to take chances. Oh did I mention I was in a play? Yeah, that’s what has been taking up my time, time when I should have been writing this.

Sometimes my thoughts are muddled, and I hope I can make some sense and get through to you, the diligent, maybe nonexistent reader. Sometimes I really want to get meta and ramble about stuff because I doubt anyone is reading this. Or maybe they are. Some little part of me wants some random person to find this strange corner of the internet with my blog on the UW Botanic Garden’s website, where in a place one would expect talk of flowers and bookkeeping, there’s teenage me trying to be relatable to everyone (but instead I blabber about tv shows and my attempts at being polite). Wouldn’t it be funny if one day a gardener stumbles in here and I’m rambling about humans’ very existence? It’s fine though, it’s not like anyone is actually reading this, right? Right? Okay, back to actually event discussion.

Except there’s not much event left to discuss. This has been a sadly short post for which I apologize. I hope you have a great day. See, I try to be polite!

Art Exhibit: Lake, Lattice, Stone: Requiem for a Garden by Lollie Groth July 23 – September 3

July 17th, 2015 by UWBG Communication Staff

Lake, Lattice, Stone: Requiem for a Garden seeks to celebrate the artist’s mother’s northwest garden as well as the neighborhood of Union Bay and the marsh she grew up on, and walked past on her way to classes at the UW in the early nineteen forties. Through image and text, through monotype and artifact, journal entries and poems, a celebration of a garden’s life takes form. Lollie (Lali) Groth is a printmaker and mixed media artist who has shown extensively in Hawaii. In 2009 she received the John Young Award for Excellence in Monotype from Honolulu Printmakers. Currently, she lives on Vashon Island and works out of the studio at Quartermaster Press.

Please join us for the artist’s reception on Thursday July 23rd from 5:00 to 7:00pm in the Miller Library.

Glimpse into the past – Dreams of an Arboretum at the University of Washington

July 15th, 2015 by Jessica Farmer, Adult Education Supervisor

By John A. Wott, Director Emeritus

Recently, I was browsing The Long Road Traveled by Henry Schmitz, from 1973, in preparation for a presentation about the Washington Park Arboretum.  I believe it is important to review how the leadership of the University of Washington was the catalyst to create the Arboretum. Almost all of this “glimpse” is the writing of Dr. Schmitz, but in a very condensed form.

The University of Washington seems to have wanted an arboretum from very early in its history. Shortly after his election in 1891 as a member of the State legislature, Edmond S. Meany became chairman of the legislative committee concerned with the acquisition of a new campus for the University. There are indications that he promoted the project in part by claims that it would provide an arboretum for the State as well as a campus for the University. If this is true, it was undoubtedly a method to elicit support from the lumber industry, which was not entirely without influence at that time in the state legislature. The late Herbert Condon used to relate a delightful story about a member of the legislature whom Mr. Meany was attempting to interest in the selection of the Union Bay area for the new campus-arboretum. The legislator listened to the arguments and then said, “Meany, I will help you get the area, but tell me-what in hell is an arboretum?”

Professor Edmond S. Meany

Professor Edmond S. Meany

It seems clear that for some years after the University moved to the new (and present) location selected by Dr. Meany’s committee, the development of an arboretum on the campus remained an important aim. The text calls attention to gifts of trees from the Seattle City Parks Department for planting on the new grounds.  On Arbor Day 1898, the Parks Department had presented the University with fifty assorted oaks and honey locusts. Later, Parks contributed an additional 2200 fine trees embracing almost thirty species new to the grounds, as well as a donation of a thousand perennials. These donations, along with a collection of five hundred more perennials from other sources gave impetus to a plan for the beautification of the campus.  These donations were said to “represent 42 natural orders and 179 species.”

A seed and plant exchange with eastern collectors was established by Dr. Meany to secure for the campus “as many rare and desirable species as possible.” Contributions of seeds were received from California, the Canadian Department of Agriculture, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Dr. Meany’s home garden was used entirely for growing seedlings of tree seeds received through the seed exchange. Since the city water mains had not yet been extended to his home, it was necessary for him to carry water in pails to the nursery beds. He was especially proud of the relations he had established with Kew Gardens and was greatly concerned that the seedlings survive.

College of Forestry Dean, Hugo Winkenwerder

College of Forestry Dean, Hugo Winkenwerder

Sadly, when the campus was cleared for the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition, many of the trees planted in the early days by Professor Meany and others were destroyed. Nevertheless, the idea of an arboretum on the campus did not completely die. A few years later, Hugo Winkenwerder, Dean of the College of Forestry, with the enthusiastic support of Professor Meany, proposed to President Franklin Kane that the entire area below the railroad tracks be set aside for arboretum purposes. This proposal was approved by the President and the area was designated “Arboretum” on maps of the campus of that period.Progress was slow, and as the years went by, pressures developed on the campus for the construction of a golf course in the arboretum area. It was argued by the proponents of the golf course that the area could serve both purposes – the fairways and greens would occupy only part of the space and the remaining area could still serve as an arboretum. However, the golf course eventually took possession of the entire area and in late 1923 Dean Winkenwerder gloomily said that he “lost all hope of ever developing an arboretum on the University campus.”

Henry Suzzallo, UW President 1915-1926

UW President Henry Suzzallo

Although he recognized that an arboretum on campus was impractical because of the ever-changing patterns of land use by a growing university, Dean Winkenwerder did not for a moment give up the idea of developing an arboretum somewhere, and he conferred with President Henry Suzzallo to explore other possibilities. Even though it was President Suzzallo who had transformed the last campus arboretum into a golf course, he had a clear concept of the importance of a highly developed botanical garden and arboretum as a resource to the natural science departments of the University and to the people of Seattle and the State. He believed that the Arboretum should be developed jointly by the University and the City of Seattle.

Shortly after his conference with Dean Winkenwerder, Dr. Suzzallo addressed the Seattle Rotary Club to enlist the support of this important group of business and professional leaders for an arboretum in the Washington Park area. He said in part: “to the Board of Park Commissioners, that Board seems to have prepared Resolution No. 40 setting aside the entire area of Washington Park for a botanical garden and arboretum and giving the University of Washington certain privileges” (6th Day of February 1924).

Want to read the rest of the story? The Road Less Traveled is available for borrowing at the Elisabeth C. Miller Library.

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What to Read this Summer? We Have Suggestions!

June 3rd, 2015 by UWBG Communication Staff
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A few thought provoking books on display in the Miller Library.

This summer, check out a good book

We hope summer brings you sun, fresh air, and time to read. On display this month in the northwest corner you’ll find a few off-the-beaten-path selections to engage your intellect this summer. With topics ranging from poetry to environmental policy and history to biography, there’s something for every reader. See recommended titles in the Garden of Ideas list of books available to borrow from the Miller Library.

[Originally appeared in Leaflet for Scholars e-newsletter.]

Getting Low On Plants? Our Plant Sale Calendar Will Help!

March 30th, 2015 by Tech Librarian, Tracy Mehlin

Believe it or not, there are over 100 plant sales in the Pacific Northwest in April. Find rare dahlias or fuchsias at specialty sales or tried and true annuals and perennials at general sales. The Elisabeth C. Miller Library compiles a list of regional plant sales and garden tours so when you get tired of weeding, consult the calendar and go buy plants instead!

A few of our favorite sales:

  • FlorAbundance at Warren G. Magnuson Park, Building 30, Saturday, April 25, 9 am to 5 pm Sunday, April 26, 10 am to 2 pm; Benefits the Washington Park Arboretum
  • Master Gardener Foundation Plant Sale at the Center for Urban Horticulture, Saturday,  May 2,  9 am to 5 pm and Sunday, May 3, 11 am to 3 pm
  • Hardy Fern Foundation’s Fern Festival 2015, Center for Urban Horticulture, Friday, June 5, noon to 6:30 pm and Saturday June 6, 9 am to 2 pm
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Shop for rare plants and support a good cause at the Florabundance Plant Sale! Photo courtesy of Arboretum Foundation.

Fill your shelves at the Garden Lovers’ Book Sale!

February 25th, 2015 by Jenelle Clark

Come to the 10th annual Garden Lovers’ Book Sale to select choice titles on garden design, plant selection, horticulture, edibles, and pest control among others.
booksale-books
The tips, inspiration, and vital information contained in these books will keep you inspired and on track as you plan and enjoy your garden this year.

The fun begins on Friday, April 3th at 5 pm at the Preview Party. Tickets cost $25 and include hors d’oeuvre and wine plus first crack at the books. Purchase in advance by calling 206-543-0415.

On Saturday the doors open at 9:00 am. The public sale is free. Bring your own bags or boxes to load up on great deals.

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Why are these women smiling? Because they are thrilled with the fantastic plant & garden book deals!

Sale is at the Elisabeth C. Miller Library at the Center for Urban Horticulture, 3501 NE 41st St, Seattle, WA 98105.

  • Preview party: April 3, 5-8pm, $25.00
  • Public sale: April 4, 9am-3pm, free.
  • All proceeds benefit the new materials budget for the Miller Library.

Northwest Horticultural Society 2015 Plant Sale

February 4th, 2015 by Jenelle Clark
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Camellia japonica ‘Jupiter (Paul)’. One of the many winter treasures growing at the Arboretum.

Alert, serious plant lovers: Get your hands on rare and ephemeral early spring plants at the 2015 Northwest Horticultural Society’s Spring Plant Sale, March 7th at 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. Proceeds benefit the Elisabeth C. Miller Library.

Please join us for a special lecture, Late Winter Treasures of the U.W. Botanic Gardens, by Raymond J. Larson, the Curator of Collections at the University of Washington Botanic Gardens. The lecture begins at 10:00 am.

 

Miller Library annual gift show inspired by nature

November 4th, 2014 by UWBG Communication Staff
Monotype by Roberta McDaris Long

Monotype by Roberta McDaris Long

GIFT EXHIBIT December 5 – 23

From December 5th through December 23rd, the Elisabeth C. Miller Library will have a selection of locally made arts and crafts available for purchase. Nature inspired gifts such as hand made tiles, letter press cards, and felted wool flower pins will delight recipients.

OPENING RECEPTION   December 5

Join us for refreshments at the opening reception and sale on Friday, December 5th from 5 to 8pm.

Cash or Check only please! 25% of proceeds benefit the Miller Library.

Participating artists:

  • BARBARA CLARK, carved ceramic tiles
  • JENNY CRAIG, Notta Pixie Press, vintage letterpress cards and gifts
  • AL DODSON, color photographs of bark, trees, plants and landscapes.
  • MOLLY HASHIMOTO, nature-inspired watercolor paintings, prints, cards and calendars
  • JOAN HELBACKA, Elda Grace handcrafted journals
  • ROBERTA MCDARIS LONG botanically themed monoprint cards and prints, shown right
  • SYLVIA PORTILLO, The Human Hand Card Company, cards, prints, dioramas and botanically inspired, felted wool, wearable flowers
  • JENNIFER ROSE, flower photographs, cards and calendars

3501 NE 41st Street, Seattle, WA 98105

Interested in graphic design? Miller Library seeks book sale poster design

October 28th, 2014 by UWBG Communication Staff

Calling all artists & designers

 The Miller Library needs a poster design for the 2015 10th anniversary Garden Lovers’ Book Sale.

Tulip Tree FlowerWe seek your donation of creative talents for a new design for the 11 x 17 poster and 5 x 8 postcard advertising the 2015 Garden Lovers’ Book Sale. The successful design will have a plant or garden theme and eye catching appeal. The poster must include the specific details below about the date and location, plus the UW Botanic Garden logo. We will accept submissions through December 29th. Send a message to Tracy at tmehlin@uw.edu for more information. The creator of the selected design will receive two tickets to the book sale preview party.

 


 

GARDEN LOVERS’ BOOK SALE APRIL 3 & 4, 2015
Elisabeth C. Miller Library

CENTER FOR URBAN HORTICULTURE 3501 NE 41ST STREET, SEATTLE

ART EXHIBIT AND SALE PACIFIC NORTHWEST BOTANICAL ARTISTS Continues through May xx

WINE AND CHEESE PREVIEW PARTY AND BOOK SALE FRIDAY, APRIL 3rd FROM 5:00 – 8:00 PM ADVANCE TICKETS: $20

BOOK SALE SATURDAY, APRIL 5TH FROM 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM FREE ADMISSION!

For more information visit www.millerlibrary.org
To purchase party tickets call the library at 206-543-0415

Art exhibit: native plants by Linda Stewart Henley

October 27th, 2014 by UWBG Communication Staff

Linda Stewart Henley: OregonGrapeWatercolors by Linda Stewart Henley will be on exhibit in the Miller Library from November 4th through December 2nd. The paintings of Washington natives, done mostly on location, are accompanied by field notes. The exhibit shows the plants in representational, but not scientifically botanical, style. The poster Washington Shrubby Plants is featured as part of the exhibition.

Meet the artist at a free reception at the Library on Friday, November 14th from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.