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Six Nature-Inspired Art Pieces to Be Featured at Arbor Day Farm's "Art in the Woods" Grand Opening Saturday

date 06/07/12

For more information, contact

Jeff Salem, Director of Communications & Public Relations,   email

Nebraska City, Neb. (June 7, 2012) – Six winning nature-inspired art installations will be unveiled June 9 at the grand opening for this year's Art in the Woods exhibit at Arbor Day Farm.

Submissions were received from more than 30 artists spanning eight U.S. states and Canada, with media that ranged from stained glass and steel to willow branches and ceramics. Four of the winning artists – including a group of students from Wayne State College – hail from the state of Nebraska. One winner is from Chicago and another is from Lucas, Kansas.

Art in the Woods aims to broaden people's connection to the outdoors by engaging all of the senses and sparking new ways of thinking about nature and art.

The exhibit at the Arbor Day Farm Tree Adventure launches with a formal unveiling at 10am this Saturday, June 9, and will remain open during regular hours through the fall. Art in the Woods has received generous support from the Nelson Family Foundation of Nebraska City.

Winning artists and their contributions include:

Doug Hoevet of Gering, NE – Is it a forest? Or is it a family? It depends on your perspective. The visual experience of Hoevet's collection of 10 steel sculptures – arranged in a natural setting – will leave you questioning the real from the abstract.

Leslie Bruning of Omaha, NE – Entitled "Quiet Presence," Bruning's canoe sculptures recall the quiet footprint of the Native American inhabitants on our region, from hunting the native plains and fishing in the streams and also their disappearance from these woods. This is the second time Bruning's work has been selected for display at Arbor Day Farm.

Brian Hamilton of Omaha, NE – In the natural world, burls on a tree are indications of stress or deformity. But in "Burl: Arbor Apparatus," Hamilton explores the symbiotic relationship between these bulbous protrusions and the natural organisms they serve.

Wayne State College Department of Art and Design Visual Arts Club with Steve Elliott, Sponsor; Wayne, NE – Remember those "helicopter" maple seeds that spin and dance as they float to the ground? In "Seeds in the Round: Intersection of Nature and Viability," you will enjoy a larger-than-life perspective on these familiar and elegant forms. This is the only installation created by a team of collaborating artists.

Erika Nelson of Lucas, KS – Animal forms covered in colored stone and sand come together to create unique textures, patterns and petroglyphs reflecting the Native Fauna once found in Southeast Nebraska. Each surface design is derived from the Caddoan, Otoe and Kiowa tribes of Native Americans.

Jeff Harms of Chicago, IL – Step inside this wooden walk-in sculpture titled "Ganzfeld 2" and you will sense a feeling of expansiveness even within the defined space. More than 4,000 feet of pine lath radiate from two points, curving around your field of vision as though the trees themselves are bending down to say hello.

Arbor Day Farm Tree Adventure is open daily, and access to Art in the Woods is included with regular admission. More information on hours, admission and directions can be found at Photographs are available upon request.

About the Arbor Day Foundation: The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization of one million members, with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation and its programs can be found at, or by visiting us on Facebook, Twitter or our blog.

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