The Art in the Arboretum art exhibit will feature original works of paintings

Almost any day I can stroll through the New Hanover County Arboretum Gardens and be greeted by lush green in myriad shades, sizes and textures, a rainbow of colorful blooms and a faint sweet scent that makes me stand with my eyes closed, face lifted, and wonder “what flower is it from?” Then I open my eyes, gaze around me at the tapestry of beauty, let out a contented sigh, and softly whisper, ❝It doesn’t get much better than this.❞ But in the early fall each year, the land of the Arboretum transcends its normal beauty as more than a hundred artists fill the gardens and galleries with works of art to capture your heart and your imagination.

Presented by the Friends of the New Hanover County Arboretum and the Wilmington Art Association, Art in the Arboretum celebrates its 27th year of offering for sale artwork by local and regional artists. This familiar and beloved art and fundraising exhibit has been reimagined and is now effectively two exhibits in one. The gallery’s traditional exhibition featuring original works of paintings in many mediums, photographs, textiles and specialist art techniques is always a favorite. This year, the outdoor part of the show will take on a more festive atmosphere with performers pitching their own tents or settling around the main buildings and filling their space with marvelous works of art fashioned by their own hands.

Beautiful three-dimensional works of art will be on display.

Bradley Carter, local artist and president of the Wilmington Art Association and big supporter of Art in the Arboretum, said, “The Art in the Arboretum is an amazing show because it brings together so many different elements of the arts community. Plus, it’s hard to beat the beautiful backdrop the Arboretum provides for this show.❞

Art at the Arboretum is definitely a family affair. This year’s offerings include traditional two-dimensional art, ceramics, pottery, woodworking, jewelry, metal forging, reclaimed driftwood art, whimsical garden and much more. Live music will fill the air with the wonderful and tantalizing aroma of the daily food truck. The Wilmington Children’s Museum will be on site and will offer art-related activities for children of all ages. Young artists from local middle and high schools were invited to show off their budding talents.

❝I love that everyone comes together to make this show a great success,” said Angie Pearsall, Co-op Extension Staff and Show Committee Member. “So many artists generously donate a raffle item to help us with our fundraising efforts.

The Arboretum Gardens provide an ideal backdrop for Arboretum art.

Local businesses supporting the show this year include Jeff Gordon Chevrolet, The Stone Garden, Johnson’s Nursery, Art in Bloom Gallery, Hotel Ballast and many more joining weekly. Proceeds from the show will go toward family-friendly, long-lasting improvements to this garden gem.

Art in the Arboretum is open to the public Saturday and Sunday, October 1 and 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Admission to the show is just $5 per person and is free for current members of the Friends of the New Hanover County Arboretum, children 12 and under, and military members with current ID.

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Roben Jarrett is the Administrative Assistant for the NC Cooperative Extension Center for New Hanover County, located at 6206 Oleander Drive. The gardens are free and open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Contact her at [email protected] or 910-798-7671.

Dora W. Clawson