The Nature Art Gallery presents, "Garden Creatures of the Sun and Moon" artwork by Lauren deSerres
Pittsboro artist Lauren deSerres featured at Museum’s Nature Art Gallery in May
(RALEIGH, N.C.) — The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences’ Nature Art Gallery presents “Garden Creatures of the Sun and Moon,” artwork by Lauren deSerres. The show runs May 3-26, with a Gallery reception Saturday, May 4, 2-4 p.m. All exhibited art is for sale.
“Garden Creatures of the Sun and Moon” is a collection of works inspired by the awakening plants and animals that emerge after the long winter. “I have a passion for medicinal plants, and often use them symbolically in this body of work, which features animals and the plants that help tell their stories,” deSerres notes. “Some animals are paired with the plants that they eat or pollinate, while others are paired with plants that communicate their spirit or nature.”
DeSerres is based at Proud Chicken Studio, located in Pittsboro. She holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from East Carolina University. DeSerres has been painting since she was 15 and has been an art educator for 10 years, working with children in public schools, school enrichment programs, community arts centers and at John C. Campbell Folk School. She creates narrative imagery of plants and animals with bright, saturated color and patterns made with acrylic paint, watercolor, pastel, collage and ink. Much of her artwork is inspired by her home state of North Carolina and shows the importance of appreciating and conserving our natural world.
The Nature Art Gallery is located inside the Museum Store. Hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 4:45 p.m. Admission to the Gallery is free. All exhibited art is for sale. For more information about the Nature Art Gallery, call 919.707.9854.
Garden Creatures of the Sun and Moon is a collection of works inspired by the awakening plants and animals that emerge after the long winter. I have a passion for medicinal plants, and often use them symbolically in this body of work, which features animals and the plants that help tell their stories. Some animals are paired with the plants that they eat or pollinate, while others are paired with plants that communicate their spirit or nature.
One of the first images I made with the medicinal properties of my subjects in mind - and one of my favorites pieces - is “Luna and the Dream Garden.” Made with acrylic paint and chalk pastel on a 30x40 inch wood panel, this one has an interesting story. My neighbor, Hannah Popish, is an herbalist and the owner of Poppysol. She grows medicinal herbs to make herbal remedies including an excellent sleep tincture. When I painted the Luna moth, I wanted to surround it with a garden arrangement of herbs from the tincture. An array of California poppies, passion flowers, hops, oatstraw, and ashwagandha, all painted in wild and vivid colors and surrounded by a deep, restful blue background accent the Luna. Projects like this make me really appreciate all the wonderful love, companionship and support that I have in my life. I plan to continue working with herbs in my art, creating images with a deeper meaning.
Another important theme in my work is conservation, which goes hand in hand with gardening. While my work tends to go on frequent whimsical tangents, the references and research for this show were grounded in sustainable gardening practices like pollinator diversification and permaculture. “The Meager Offerings of Early Spring” is a portrait of a solitary miner bee, one of the lesser known pollinators that emerge before any of the other bees. By providing numerous early blooming flowers, gardeners can retain a healthy native pollinator population in the garden and in the wild.
It was also important to include the wildlife that comes with gardening, wild and domesticated, both predators and prey, glamorous and otherwise. I spent several years in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which is where I developed my love of sustainable gardening practices and interest in herbal medicine. I give reference to this place in several of my works including “The Great Carrot Caper” and “To Catch a Rabbit.” The scenery in these images, in addition to becoming a part of the story of the animals, is based on my memories of Lane’s End Homestead in Brasstown, North Carolina.
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh (11 and 121 W. Jones St.) is an active research institution that engages visitors of every age and stage of learning in the wonders of science and the natural world. Hours: Monday–Saturday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m., and Sunday, noon–5 p.m. General admission is free. For more information, visit naturalsciences.org.
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