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Airport Exhibition Aims to Reconnect Plants with People

Posted on May 13, 2019 in Art

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The Missouri Botanical Garden (MBG), one of the top botanical gardens in the world, is giving visitors and travelers at St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL) a unique view into the special connection people have had with plants throughout history. The Plants and People: The Collections of the Missouri Botanical Garden exhibition aims to tell the unique story the Garden’s work in research, conservation, and environmental stewardship through their partnerships with botanists and organizations throughout the world.

It’s often easy to forget how intertwined humans and nature are. For thousands of years, people have used plants and items made with plant materials to sustain and enhance their lives. The artifacts in this collection represent the interchange between plants and people, and can range from plant-based medicine to tools, household items, textiles, baskets, weapons, clothing, and decorative objects. These artifacts aim to remind viewers of that connection with plants and understand how their current life interacts with nature. Items collected by botanists working for the MBG in South America such as a basket made from Totora and a large spoon made from coconut palm art just one part of the exhibition. Plants and People: The Collections of the Missouri Botanical also includes items from MBG’s permanent research base in Madagascar, the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House, Shaw Nature Reserve, and the MBG’s William L. Brown Center, which, among other things, investigates how climate change is affecting both plants and people.

Plants and People: The Collections of the Missouri Botanical Garden is now on display through November 10, 2019 in the Lambert Gallery near the C Concourse exit in Terminal 1 and is part of the Lambert Art & Culture Program’s temporary exhibitions program. The program is supported by the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis.

The Missouri Botanical Garden was chosen to exhibit in the Lambert Art & Culture Program through the Airport’s seven-member Airport Art Advisory Committee. Current members are Lisa Cakmak, Associate Curator of Ancient Art at Saint Louis Art Museum; Ellen Gale, Executive Director Clayton Chamber of Commerce; Shelley Hagen; Leslie Markle, Curator of Public Art, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum; Kiku Obata, Founding Principal of Kiku Obata & Co.; Roseann Weiss, consultant with ART+; and design artist and illustrator Carlos Zamora.  

The Lambert Art and Culture Program builds upon the culturally rich legacy of St. Louis Lambert International Airport. Our mission is to elevate the visitor experience and uplift regional pride through the presentation of artwork created by local, national, and international artists. Currently, there are 29 works of art or collections of art (temporary, permanent or on-loan) on view at the Airport. For more information, visit www.artoftravelstl.com