Ocean Muse by Cambid-J Choy


Visual Arts

The arts have always been important at Fernwood. Founder Kay Boydston was a weaver, dyer, silversmith, miniaturist, needle worker, and print maker. That tradition continues in periodic exhibits of work from Fernwood’s early days and in monthly classes offered by the Niles Handweavers Guild. 

The Clark Art Gallery displays art on nature and garden themes in exhibits that change bimonthly. The work of local sculptors is occasionally showcased in the gardens.

Even the landscapes at Fernwood are works of art, being carefully designed to complement the natural areas nearby.

Clark Lecture Hall and Art Gallery

Exhibits at Fernwood's Clark Lecture Hall and Art Gallery change every two months and feature various mediums. The Clark Gallery was generously funded by Clark Equipment Company, and later enhancements were made possible by a gift from Leo J. McKernan.

On occasion, the Gallery is used for private events. Please call ahead to ensure that your next visit includes viewing the beautiful artwork on display.

Currently in the Clark Gallery

Ellen Ridenour: Colagraphs using Fernwood Flowers
Continuing through February 19.

Ellen is a prolific professional Elkhart artist who has been working with flowers in her large scale printmaking, including the use of flowers and vegetation from Fernwood in some of her works.  

Upcoming Exhibits

Howard Scott Cartography
Friday, February 24 – Sunday, April 9

Reception on Sunday, March 5, 1–3pm

Lubeznik’s Area Art Association: New Spring Work  
Tuesday, April 11 – Saturday, May 28

Reception on Sunday, April 23, 3–5pm

In the Library

Designed to Sell:
Birdhouse Edition
By Niles New Tech Students

After learning about birds and habitats at Fernwood, these learners created beautiful bird houses for home display or use in your garden. All proceeds from sales support our educational programs. On display in the Library, birdhouses can be picked up after Friday, December 16 – just in time for gift-giving!

Sculpture Fernwood

Sculpture Fernwood, an outdoor sculpture exhibit placed throughout the grounds at Fernwood, is curated by Father Austin I. Collins, CSC, Professor of Sculpture in the Department of Art, Art History and Design at the University of Notre Dame. A map is available for your visit and an exhibit catalog is available for purchase. Click here to visit the Sculpture Fernwood page. 

Take Five

Artist Patrick Dougherty created Fernwood's new stick sculpture, Take Five, in April 2014. Made from locally harvested willow and dogwood, Take Five is composed of five rooms that lean into each other connected by doorways and alleys. The roof is an oculus, as in an eye, opening at the top of each room, providing views of blue sky and sunshine. People are amazed at the size, sturdiness, and sweeping design of Take Five. Explore the sculpture, located adjacent to the South Vista garden, on the way to Fernwood's Railway Garden. Click here to learn more about Patrick Dougherty and Take Five.

Other Sculpture at Fernwood

Aside from the ten sculptures in Sculpture Fernwood, and Patrick Dougherty's stick sculpture, you will find two other sculptures on Fernwood's grounds, bringing the total to thirteen! 


 by Fritz Olsen

John and Mary Ann Butkovich of South Bend donated Aviary, a kinetic sculpture created by Fritz Olsen, an artist from Sawyer. Aviary is on exhibit in the entry garden outside the Visitors Center. Another Olsen sculpture, Sheltered Heart, is on exhibit as part of Sculpture Fernwood.  

June sculpture

 by David Skora

June is an attractive new sculpture in the Hosta Bowl garden, in memory of June Thomas from South Bend, Indiana. June loved Fernwood. Her son, Roger Thomas, and son-in-law, artist David Skora, originally from New Buffalo and now living in Connecticut, visited Fernwood after June's passing and thought a sculpture in her name on Fernwood's grounds would be a fitting memorial to Mrs. Thomas.