Selby Gardens to Showcase Photography of Rare Orchids in Annual Orchid Show

Arts & Culture

Pictured: Paphinia herrerae. Photo by Phil Nelson.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens will continue “The Year of Photography” at its Downtown Sarasota campus with an exhibition that celebrates the stunning scientific photography of Selby Gardens’ own rare orchid collection. “The Orchid Show 2022: Capturing the Perfect Shot,” presented by Better-Gro®, is built around the massive body of beautiful photos taken by a group of dedicated volunteers who help Selby Gardens scientists document the institution’s living research collection. The show will include original horticultural vignettes inspired by the art of scientific photography in the Tropical Conservatory, along with gallery installations in the Museum of Botany & The Arts. This year’s Orchid Show runs from October 15 through December 4. The “living art” for which Selby Gardens is well known will be on full display inside the Tropical Conservatory, where installations will pay homage to the practice of photography by playing with lenses and mirrors while showcasing hundreds of live orchids in artistic arrangements. Different collection specimens will be rotated into the show throughout its duration, helping to ensure a new experience with repeat visits. The Museum of Botany & the Arts will showcase 15 large-format prints of the distinctive scientific photographs, which feature striking close-ups of their orchid subjects set against a jet-black background. Interpretive material will detail the photographic process and highlight six volunteer photographers who have contributed to an archive of more than 100,000 digital images of Selby Gardens’ plant collections. As a special feature of this year’s Orchid Show, a temporary photo studio will be set up in the Museum, where individual volunteers will periodically do their work in view of visitors and answer questions about it. The exhibition will be complemented by several programs and activities, including a virtual lecture on October 26 presented by Selby Gardens botany staff and an “Orchid Evening” on November 2 that includes after-hours access to the show and a live performance by The Circus Arts Conservatory. Access to the exhibition is included with general admission to the Downtown Sarasota campus. Admission tickets may be purchased in advance at selby.org or at the Welcome Center upon arrival. “The Orchid Show 2022: Capturing the Perfect Shot” is presented by Better-Gro. Sponsors include PNC Bank, Williams Parker Attorneys at Law, and WUSF Public Media.

Pictured: Paphinia herrerae. Photo by Phil Nelson.

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