The Carnegie Center is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit, Bernheim: A Natural Muse, celebrating 35 years of the Artist in Residence program at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest. This exhibit features work by Dick Arentz, Catherine Arnold, Stephen Ausherman, Jerry Bleem, Barbara Bosworth, Jaime Bull, Christopher Burkett, Madison Cawein, Barbara Cooper, Sandra DeSando, Nicholas Dowgwillo, Heike Endemann, Cathleen Faubert, Lynn Geesaman, David Graham, Nori Hall, Mei-ling Hom, Frank Hunter, Nancy Lloyd, Richard Lohmann, Ray Metzker, Yvonne Mullock, Julia Oldham, Don Pollack, David Sharpe, Todd Smith, and Laura Von Rosk.
About the genesis of this exhibit, Martha Slaughter, Visual Arts Coordinator at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, writes, “Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest was established in 1929, by I. W. Bernheim (1848-1945), a German immigrant who settled in Kentucky. From a humble beginning as a peddler, he became successful in the whiskey distilling business. Grateful for his good fortune, he purchased over 12,000 acres in Bullitt and Nelson Counties and gave Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest to the people of Kentucky as a gift to ‘…be used for a park, for an arboretum, and, under certain conditions, for a museum…for the people of Kentucky, and their friends, as a place to further their love of the beautiful in nature and in art.'” She continues, “The Artist in Residence program advances the idea of a ‘museum without walls’ by encouraging artists to research and explore concepts in their work while utilizing the arboretum and forest as a resource and site for their work. Each artist does so through their discovery of place and interaction with Bernheim’s horticulture, education, naturalist, operations, forest and regenerative design experts on staff… The selection of work in this exhibition is a reflection of the program but it is not all-inclusive. Much of the work made over the last thirty-five years has been ephemeral.” The exhibition will include 27 artists represented by 28 art works and 27 photographs. Media include painting, photography, sculpture, video, and mixed media.
Carnegie Center curator Daniel Pfalzgraf adds, “Although the Artist in Residence program only officially began in the 1980s, it is a natural manifestation born out of I. W. Bernheim’s original intentions to promote the beauty of nature and art when he first established the park in 1929. The work in this exhibition is a peek into Bernheim’s private collection developed over the past 35 years through this program, and we are fortunate enough to be able to share this unique look into a world that doesn’t often leave its home in Bullitt County, Kentucky.” He continues, “Art and Nature have long been close companions in the human psyche – for as long as humans have been creating artwork, artists have been divining inspiration from the natural world around them. Artists often view, think, react, and create in new and different ways that can provide new meanings and perspectives for others’ understanding and appreciation. Hopefully, the work in this exhibition will spark our visitors’ creativity and imaginations, and inspire them to explore the world around us, just outside our doors.”