Break for Spring at Powell Gardens

Mother Hood  (2022)  Oil and Enamel on Acrylic by Peregrine Honig. (photo by E.G. Schempf)

Powell Gardens awakens this spring with two events: Painted Garden and Orchid Delirium. Both are sure to evoke the season’s reawakening and leave you with a sense of wonder.

Painted Garden
Wednesday-Sunday, April 21 – May 15 | 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Peregrine Honig
Peregrine Honig

Oftentimes, we find ourselves drawn to the beauty of nature — its effortless use of textures and continuous display of vast colors. Painted Garden, Powell Gardens’ spring festival, combines Mother Nature’s work and the work of local artists to present a one-of-a-kind experience. This year, Powell Gardens is excited to work with celebrated artist, Peregrine Honig.

Born in San Francisco and an alum of the Kansas City Art Institute, Honig is the youngest living artist to be purchased for the Whitney Museum of American Art’s permanent collection. Having recently completed a 20-year survey at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art in 2021 and adapted a legacy of her practice to film, the West 18th Fashion Show Artistic Director continues to be a creative force. During the pandemic, Honig turned to filmmaking, writing Summer in Hindsight, a story of a young creative navigating the global pandemic. The film starred musician, Calvin Arsenia, and featured scenes set on the grounds of Powell Gardens.

Riverdress (2022) Oil and Enamel on Acrylic by Peregrine Honig. (photo by E.G. Schempf)

Internationally exhibited, Honig’s art unveils awkward social constructs and intimate revelations. Night Blooms, Honig’s latest work created for Painted Garden, is a Victorian tableau that provides Powell Gardens visitors the opportunity to explore the artworks of five regional artists set amidst a lush botanic and Victorian-inspired drawing room. Staged in the Conservatory, visitors are invited to explore the tableau, viewing reproductions of artworks created during a live drawing session held prior to the festival’s opening.

“Kansas City is a lively hub of artistic activity, and Powell Gardens is committed to engaging visitors through art and gardens,” said Tabitha Schmidt, Powell Gardens CEO.

“Peregrine Honig is a local talent with international recognition, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have her work as our centerpiece to Painted Garden. This new spring experience builds on the commonalities of the arts and gardens through the elements of principles and design. Both complement each other in beautiful ways — the Gardens as a gallery!”

Other key festival features include a curated selection of botanic container designs created by local designers who collaborate with Powell Gardens’ exhibition and horticulture teams. This spring, designers are drawing inspiration from The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art’s European painting collection. Created during the Victorian era and influenced by the surging trend to observe everyday life throughout the era, the paintings inspiring these botanic designs range from moody still lifes to colorful plein air landscapes to bustling city street scenes.

Visitors are encouraged to take a trip back in time and immerse themselves in the Gardens’ beauty spread out over 175 acres. Ditch the winter hues and warm up with spring’s palette at Painted Garden. For tickets, details about Honig’s installation, or for other festival information, please visit powellgardens.org/painted.

Orchid Delirium
Wednesday-Sunday, March 9 – 27 | 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Cattleya complex hybrid

Dating back to the 1800s, orchids and their unique beauty became the focal point of an intense obsession. For the upper class in England, collecting as many exotic orchids as possible showed off their wealth and status. This Victorian-era craze was appropriately named “orchidelirium,” and people found themselves spending thousands of dollars to get their hands on these priceless plants. Orchidelirium quickly became an emotional fixation. While the intense fascination has substantially subsided due to 20th-century advancements, orchids can still be enjoyed by the everyday person far and wide. 

Now, in 2022, Powell Gardens is putting a unique twist on the 19th-century frenzy with Orchid Delirium. This exhibition will showcase Powell Gardens’ transcendent 600-piece orchid collection, with select blooms on display, invoking the feeling of being immersed in a lush tropical greenhouse.
Although the orchid collection will be the star of the show, garden-goers and art enthusiasts alike will enjoy an indoor tropical oasis where the vibrant colors of the collection collide with rich history to put the awe in education. Don’t miss the Artful Garden Series, a two-part course exploring orchids in art, and exclusive photographer-only hours, an opportunity to photograph the orchid collection outside normal exhibition hours.

Laelia superbiens

Come for the stunning display and leave with a deeper understanding of why the beauty of this plant has enamored humankind for centuries. Visit powellgardens.org/orchid for more information.

–Sadie Pederson

CategoriesArts Consortium

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