The Fort Worth Botanic Garden is pleased to present “Dornith Doherty: Illuminations: Past, Present, and Future of Fern Research,” an art exhibition free and open to the public from Feb. 17 through Jun. 30 at the Madeline R. Samples Exhibit Hall in the BRIT building at 1700 University Dr. Fort Worth, Texas 76107. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday. For more information, please call (817) 332-4441. 

A reception and panel discussion launches the exhibition Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas at 1700 University Drive, Fort Worth Texas.

The panel will feature Dornith Doherty in conversation with BRIT Research Botanist Alejandra Vasco, who also leads the Ferns of Colombia project, and BRIT Herbarium Director Tiana Rehman. The conversation will be moderated by BRIT Librarian Ana Niño. Light refreshments will be provided. 

The result of a two-year research-based creative affiliation with Vasco, Niño and Rehman, Doherty presents new large-scale artworks that engage with the past, chronicle the present, and project our possible ecological futures.

The exhibition includes Doherty’s large-scale transparencies made from diaphanized plants collected in 1956, artworks made from images of ferns recently discovered in the tropics of Colombia, and a projection of animated genomic data from these plants.  

“Among Dornith’s chief concerns are the philosophical, cultural, and ecological questions that are often left invisible when considering human entanglement in our rapidly changing environment,” Vasco says. “This confluence of interests led to her ongoing collaborations with scientists, archives, seed banks, natural history collections, and research institutes focused on the preservation of biodiversity and enhancing environmental resilience since 2008. It has been an incredible illuminating art and science collaboration, and we are thrilled that her artwork will be here for all to see.” 

With these new artworks, Doherty brings to light the complex web of global scientific histories and the promising results of current day environmental research. Doherty’s work is concerned with our stewardship of the natural environment, and this new project explores the subject and the importance of present-day efforts in preserving today’s plant diversity for future generations.  

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