W. Gary Smith, Nests: Patterns from Nature

Categories: Exhibits

May 10 – November 10, 2019
An Environmental Art Exhibition in the Garden and Nature Preserve

W. Gary Smith is an artist and landscape architect with a simple mission – creating meaningful encounters between people, plants, and the natural world. Gary’s exhibition at Filoli features forms inspired by both patterns in nature and nesting animals. All the materials come from the Filoli Estate – from wind-felled native oak trees, to plane tree branches gathered from the formal Garden.

In this interactive exhibition, the abstractions of nests are a point of departure. Gary encourages the visitor to foster a personal connection with the form and the landscape in which the form sits. Meander along the serpentine of branches on the Estate Trail or climb into the 30’ nest in Filoli’s meadow.

One of North America’s leading landscape designers, Gary has designed numerous public gardens including children’s gardens at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, and the Santa Fe Botanical Garden. He developed environmental art projects at Lotusland and the New England Wildflower Center’s Garden in the Woods. His book, From Art to Landscape: Unleashing Creativity in Garden Design, received an American Horticultural Society Garden Book Award.

For this project Gary was hosted, in part, by Santa Clara University as a Visiting Artist for the Center for the Arts and Humanities. Gary worked with SCU students in Ryan Carrington’s course “Site Specific Art: Landscapes” to create installations included in the Filoli exhibition. The Center and Filoli are grateful for the support of the Department of Art and Art History and College of Arts and Sciences.





This art exhibition is made possible through a collaboration with: