North Gallery Exhibits

The North Gallery at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden features art and photography on natural and botanical themes throughout the year. The subject matter supports our mission — “Exploring, explaining and celebrating the world of plants.” The shows change regularly, showcasing artists from around the Midwest. Sales support the Botanical Garden’s annual fund. Artists and photographers interested in having a show are encouraged to contact the Education and Outreach Department at 515.323.6296.

Fatal Flora

Feb. 2-April 2

Molly Wood created Fatal Flora based on her interest in Renaissance women with knowledge of botanicals, who could use the same plants to both nurture and poison. These women were often perceived as threats to medics and clerics and accused of witchcraft.

Wood uses complex, potentially toxic plants that were present in women's Renaissance medicinal gardens. Their appearance and potency change drastically as they grow. When possible, Wood grew the plants herself.

These large-scale photographs let viewers examine every detail. Wood used only natural light and styled them like Dutch still-life paintings.

Wood sees botanicals as metaphors for her life. Situations that can be nurturing and healthy can also become toxic.

Permanent Exhibit

In 1982, the internationally recognized team of Newton, Iowa museum artists Norman Neal Deaton, Michelle Deaton, Blaine Haunsperger and Daniel Kohl accepted the commission to create a mural with accompanying wildflower replicas representing some of the many plants blooming in the Iowa prairie in the spring, summer and fall seasons.

The botanical models are all handmade. Actual plant specimens are taken apart and a mold is made of each part, including leaves, petals, sepals, etc. The parts are then cast in vinyl or acetate by a vacu-formed process, trimmed, reassembled and painted by hand. Some of the grass blades are mylar grouped with actual grasses that have been preserved and stabilized. Most of the stems of the plants are wire welded with a miniature jewelers' welder. 

This work of art is the gift of Myron and Jacqueline Blank in honor of their parents A.H. and Anna Blank and Lewis and Leah Navran.  

Upcoming Events

Slideshows

We are very excited to host many signature events throughout the season at our location to help bring something special to our gardens. Below are various slideshows from past events that take place throughout our different galleries and exhibits. Please see our upcoming events to see what excitement is coming to the gardens soon.