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Grantee: The Botanical Alchemists

Project Title: Community Nature Art Workshop Series
Year awarded: 2020, Round 1

SAGA support will help The Botanical Alchemists create pieces of art with the public that are ephemeral, and increase connection to the natural world and community.

Once it is again safe to do so, Sarah Edwards and Ava Barany of the Botanical Alchemists will be offering a three-part, seasonal, free-to-the-public Community Nature Art Workshop Series, seeking to engage people of all ages in Spokane.

This workshop series will give participants the opportunity to explore the amazing botanical variety of beautiful Spokane and use it to create ephemeral art.

Making art out of found objects in nature is such a simple act, yet so powerful. Any time of year, one can find botanical items: from sticks, pine cones, moss, leaves and even snow, to stones, seed pods, feathers and beyond. There is something very special about making art with no attachment, about making art for art’s sake and for the sake of connecting with ourselves.

There is also something magical for the broader community in finding one of these artworks unexpectedly. It brings about a sense of awe and wonder—something so many people long for.

Prior to each of the three outdoor events, Ava and Sarah will visit the park location with a team of volunteers to clean up any trash and non-nature items. The Alchemists underscore this activity as a part of their program:

This is a very important aspect of the project to us. We will leave each area where we create art in a better state than we found it.

At each session, participants will create a personal artwork and then join in the creation of a large community collaborative project. Individual artworks will range in size from a few inches to a few feet, while the collaborative projects will reach 7-10 feet across. The works will then be left for the public to discover in their wanderings. A gallery show documenting the workshops, artwork, and the public’s role in creating the pieces will culminate the series.