Featured Exhibits

Arriving Home by Justina Freel

Justina Freel
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Gallery
March 23, 2024 -
July 14, 2024
9:00AM - 5:00PM
About the Exhibit:

‘Arriving Home’ envelopes the senses with the innate feelings of comfort inherent to all beings when returning to a place of belonging. Multidisciplinary environmental artist Justina Freel peeks into the little life moments of six local bird species in their indigenous habitat from the coastal prairies to the mountain forests through a progressive series of multilayered paper silhouettes and mineral pigment relief press prints. Site-specific silhouette scenes of wildflowers wrap the walls in layers of calming color papers pressed with textile textures, illuminated by subtle light and shadow. A flock of Cliff Swallows emerge from the wildflower walls to form kinetic sculpture mobiles floating along the ceiling, flapping their wings in the coastal breeze. This exhibition is a joyous invitation to grow a future filled with native flowers and trees that give space for the birds and all indigenous beings to thrive in the land where they feel they belong.

Come see this beautiful exhibit in the Garden’s gallery space between March 23 and July 14, 2024.

About the Artist:

Honoring sacred relationships with the indigenous flora and fauna of her homeland, Justina Freel (b. 1975, Pasadena, CA) is a transdisciplinary garden horticulturist, floral designer, and contemporary botanical artist, in the mediums of watercolor painting, printmaking, and silhouettes, known for illuminating ephemeral moments of native nature.

Centered around connecting to the beauty of wild untamed nature, and healing the trauma of fragmented ecosystems. The raw elements of pigment and paper are paired with hand processes of traditional arts and crafts, collaged through multiple overlapping mediums of watercolor painting, hand ground Earth mineral pigment relief printmaking, and hand-cut paper silhouettes. Actively preserving female generational heritage of matrilineal craft traditions, Justina collects and presses heirloom textiles into paper to record the story of every thread. These pressed paper textiles are backdrops for her watercolor paintings, and subtle textures of the sculptural silhouettes. She has a conscious commitment to using natural materials and processes that are non-toxic for herself and the environment.

Justina has received a BA from The Evergreen State College in Ethnobotany & Floriculture, and a BFA from Art Center College of Design in Illustration. Her works have been exhibited at California Botanic Garden and the Sturt Haaga Gallery in Descanso Gardens.

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