It is the summer of art at Pittsburgh Botanic Garden | Pittsburgh City Paper

It is the summer of art at Pittsburgh Botanic Garden

Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, located just west of downtown Pittsburgh, is a qualified caretaker for 460 acres of southwest Pennsylvania’s land and water. In addition to ongoing conservation efforts such as mitigating acid mine drainage and reforestation projects, the Garden provides 65 acres of cultivated gardens and woodlands for the public to connect to plants.

The Garden continues to express its commitment to environmental conservation through creative ways including this summer’s three art exhibits. Opening July 1 and running through October 31, these exhibits include:

Perennially Green by Michelle Stitzlein: Sculptures Inspired by Nature and Created with Repurposed Materials​ will be featured in the Garden’s Welcome Center. Michelle Stitzlein was born and raised in the small town of Coshocton, Ohio, and maintains a studio in a re-purposed, former grange hall in the rural community of Baltimore, Ohio. With family ties to the now mostly-defunct, manufacturing history of her hometown, a teenage life spent in a culture of 1980s wastefulness, and memories of a thrifty, fabric-scrap-reusing grandmother, Stitzlein creates sculpture with found items that resonate with fortune and abundance but that also address ideas of economic stress and natural depletion.

Stitzlein holds a BFA from the Columbus College of Art & Design, in Columbus, OH. Her work has been exhibited at the International Museum of Art & Science, McAllen, TX; Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, PA; Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center, Auburn, NY; Appleton Museum of Art, Ocala, FL; Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, Mt. Vernon, IL; Mulvane Art Museum, Topeka, KS; Carnegie Mellon University / Miller Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA; Ohio Craft Museum, Columbus, OH; COSI, Columbus, OH; Springfield Museum of Art, Springfield, OH; Franklin Park Conservatory, Columbus, OH; and the Desert Botanical Garden, Phoenix, AZ. She has been an artist-in-residence (Headlands Center for the Arts, CA; Millay Colony of Arts, NY; Shenandoah & Denali National Parks) and was awarded Individual Excellence Grants from the Ohio Arts Council in 2008 and 2017.

Unearthed: EcoArt in the Landscape features 7 local artists, and consists of large-scale, all-outdoor pieces which will be placed throughout the gardens and woodlands.

The artists include:

  • Dino DeIuliis is an elementary art teacher for the Pittsburgh Public Schools, splitting time between Lincoln Elementary in Homewood and Woolslair Elementary in Bloomfield. He is a happily married father of two beautiful girls.

  • La Vispera is an art collective between Kelly Jimenez and Alejandro Franco. Both were Colombian immigrants that lived and met in Florida. Now living in Pittsburgh, their work speaks about sustainability, ingenuity, and resourcefulness.

  • Jan Loney has been a professional metal artist for 30 years, specializing in artisan metalwork and small-scale commissioned objects for decorative and functional use.

  • Ducan MacDiarmid was raised in Philadelphia where he later studied architecture and then received his Master of Fine Arts in sculpture. Duncan has been a long-time member of Pittsburgh’s Society of Sculptors and currently serves as president.

  • Mary B. Mason was born and raised in West Virginia on the Ohio River, with both often reflected in each statement piece. As a lifelong art maker and educator spanning several decades in four states, she began to explore glass and metals. She designs, manipulates metal, and then melts it in a kiln in her home studio north of Pittsburgh.

  • Sarah Simmons collects and reuses materials that are abandoned and allows them to tell their stories in a new way, setting free unrealized potential and disrupting stereotypical expectations relating to value and purpose.

  • Sierra Weir was born and raised in Pittsburgh. Weir is a queer artist and scientist exploring place-based relationships with natural and waste-stream pigments. She has a B.A. in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, through which she has extensively studied the genetics, chemistry, and systematics of the pigments found in Betta splendens and Buprestidae (jewel beetles).

Carbon Cycle: An Earth Art Exhibit, was designed exclusively for the Garden by renowned artist W. Gary Smith. This art installation shares the story of the Garden’s transformation from a coal mine by symbolizing how carbon resealed from coal is now being captured and converted into minerals that help cultivate plants and bring renewed life.

The Garden is hosting a Celebration of Art in the Summer Garden on Friday, July 14. This is an opportunity to meet some of the local artists and hear about their inspirations. This reception begins at 5:30 pm and guests will have the opportunity to meet the artists and view the sculptures in the Welcome Center and throughout the gardens and woodlands. Registration is required and the cost is $15 for Pittsburgh Botanic Garden Members and $25 for nonmembers.

For more information, visit or call 412-444-4464. Summer hours are: Tuesday 9 am – 5 pm; Wednesday and Thursday 9 am – 7 pm, Friday – Sunday 9 am – 5 pm., Monday Closed.