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.

No admission required to view the exhibits and/or to attend an artist reception/talk.

Fernwood Juried Photo Contest 2018 


Click HERE to download and print registration forms. Registration forms must be completed before dropoff at Fernwood.

Submissions Due
Tuesday, December 4, 5:00pm

Friday, December 7
Gallery Exhibit begins

Photos not selected to be displayed in the exhibit should be picked up on Friday, December 7, unless you would like to sell them at commission to be displayed in the print rack in the gallery during the show. Fernwood commission is 30%.

Artist Reception
Sunday, December 9, 2–4pm
Award Ceremony at 3pm

Sunday, February 3
Show closes at 5pm

Friday, February 8
Photos not picked up by 5pm become the property of Fernwood

Who is eligible to enter:
The contest is open to all ages
    Youth Division – age 14 and under
    Adult Division – any adult (age 15 and older)

Eligible image types:
Wildlife, plants, landscape, portraits with nature
The proceeds from the Fernwood Photo Exhibit support Fernwood’s Clark Gallery.
• All photographs must have been taken at Fernwood, between January 1, 2018 and December 2, 2018.
• Photos that were previously entered in Fernwood photo contests are not eligible.
• There is a limit of three entries total per photographer. The non-refundable admission fee is $10 for each photograph or $25 for three entries.
• Photo size must be 11” x 14” in color or black and white.
• All photos must be matted on 16” x 20” black mat board, not foam core, for uniform display. To secure the photo to the mat board, we recommend photo tape.
• Photographs will be judged on composition, quality, general appeal, and appropriateness.
• A digital image must be included for your submission to be complete. Please email to mpaulette@fernwoodbotanical.org, and include your name with .jpeg images at least 300x300 dpi and at least 9in. at the longest side.
• All submitted digital images become the property of Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve and may be used for promotional purposes with credit given to the photographer without compensation. Photographers retain all copyrights to their photos. By entering this contest, entrant or parent/legal guardian of entrant (if minor) agrees to the stated rules of this contest.
• Entry deadline is by 5:00pm on Tuesday December 4, 2018. Photographs and digital files must be received by the deadline. Either mail or deliver in person to the address listed below.
• A model release is required for identifiable people in any photo, with each photo requiring a separate release. The form is available at www.fernwoodbotanical.org
• Entries will be juried down to an appropriate number to fit in the gallery.
• All submitted photographs should be for sale. Please price your photo appropriately and add 30% for Fernwood’s commission. Normally photos of this size, unframed, sell for between $30-$80 (before commission). Checks will be issued for work sold 1-2 months after the exhibit closes. Should you wish not to sell your photo, please mark NFS on the form and declare insurance value.
• Winners will be announced at Fernwood on Sunday, December 9, 2018 at 3pm and need not be present to win.
• All juried entries will be displayed in Fernwood’s Clark Gallery from September 18 through November 6, 2016. Judges will pick a best of show for each division. Winners will be posted on Fernwood’s website with credit given to the photographer.

Clark Art Gallery
4th Annual Fernwood Juried Landscape Exhibition.   


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.

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 Sculptures 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.