Durango BOtanical Society
Building Public Gardens Committed to Demonstration and Education
Visitors to our gardens frequently inquire about some of the striking pieces of art in the gardens. The Demonstration Garden is home to a number of artworks and, during 2019, you will see more, equally interesting pieces in The Arboreta gardens. We will be adding descriptions of those soon. Art and gardens, better together!
The striking Puma in the Demonstration Garden was part of the San Juan Mountain Association's Pumas on Parade fundraising and public art event, which commissioned 30 artist interpretations of these beautiful, but elusive creatures. The program also celebrated the San Juan National Forest Centennial. Pumas on Parade was modeled after dozens of similar public art projects world-wide, among them: “Orcas in the City” in British Columbia, and closer to home, The Trail of Painted Ponies in New Mexico. Our particular puma was created and local artist, Miki Harder, and donated to the Durango Botanical Society by Matt and Jenna Kenna. The Kennas wanted the Puma to be incorporated into the Durango Botanical Society’s Library Demonstration Garden, located on the river trail behind the Durango Public Library. The Kennas are environmentally conscious supporters of non-profits. Janet was one of the founders of Durango Nature Studies in Durango and the former owner of For the Birds.
RAVENS IN FLIGHT
The Demonstration Garden is also home to the Thomas Grams Memorial sculpture, also designed by Harder. to capture of spirit of birds in flight. In the photo here Harder demonstrates how the base can turn to further capture the feeling of flight. Thomas Grams was a local dentist who joined the International Assistance Mission, providing dental care in remote places such as Guatemala and Afghanistan. Grams was an avid volunteer and humanitarian. He was killed while on a humanitarian mission in Afghanistan. The Demonstration Garden is also an all volunteer garden and this seemed the perfect place to honor his memory. The theme of both of these sculptures incorporates the ravens Miki is so well known for. It seemed only natural for the Puma live side by side with the Grams memorial. The Puma is now the property of DBS but still needs to meet the city criteria for art placement (this is for a concrete pad to be placed in the garden).
DECORATIVE ART PANELS
Three new metal panels now grace the new Arboreta Gardens. The panel shown at left was fabricated by Bryan Seran based upon an original painting, Glow, by local artist, Annette LeMaire. The painting is owned by John and Theresa Anderson who commissioned the metal panel, based upon the painting, as a donation to the Durango Botanic Gardens. Two other panels currently in the gardens were purchased and donated by Clark and Melanie Palmer and Bill and Annette LeMaire. Below, Seran installs the LeMaire panel.