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Santa Barbara Botanic Garden Art Show Expresses Reason for the Seasons

Demeter in Summer by Lenore Tolegian Hughes.
Demeter in Summer by Lenore Tolegian Hughes. (Lenore Tolegian Hughes)

The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden will present an exhibit of artworks by local artist Lenore Tolegian Hughes, Dec. 6-March 31, in the Botanic Garden's Pritzlaff Conservation Center Gallery, 1212 Mission Canyon Road. There will be an opening reception on Dec. 6.

Through her artworks, Hughes tells the story of The Reason for the Seasons as described in Greek mythology. She illustrates the power of love — its ecstasy and its pain — in a display of visual art based on the love of Demeter, the goddess of agriculture and harvest, for her daughter, Persephone.

Demeter’s love brings on fall and winter when Persephone descends to Hades for half the year, and spring and summer when she returns.

The relation of the goddess’s love to the seasons is depicted in a series of watercolor portraits in which the ecstatic faces of mother and daughter morph into and intertwine with the delights of spring and summer and their agonized faces become one with the loss that is fall and winter.

Also in the exhibition is a collection of lush and saturated watercolor collages of florals capturing the mood of spring and summer.

Hughes’ work designing the Children’s Maze and Wooded Dell at the botanic Garden, combined with her fascination with mythology, inspired this exhibit of watercolors and collages. All the artwork is for sale with a portion of proceeds to benefit the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.
Access to the Pritzlaff Conservation Center Gallery is free with paid garden admission. The garden is open to visitors 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

On Thursday, Dec. 6, guests have the opportunity to meet the artist in the Pritzlaff Conservation Center Gallery for an opening reception. Light refreshments will be served. RSVPs required at sbbg.org or by calling 805-682-4726, ext. 102.

Hughes works in a wide spectrum of mediums, including watercolor collages and paper weavings. Her signature paper collages weave together contemporary secular images with the divine, illuminating a fresh understanding of the meaning of life. For more information, visit lenorehughes.com.
— Flannery Hill for Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.


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