Artwork by Claudia Riedener (behind tree).

EVOLUTION: Art, Science & Adaptation

A contemporary exhibition at Seymour Conservatory

W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory and Metro Parks Tacoma are pleased to present a unique exhibition: EVOLUTION: Art, Science & Adaptation through March 6, 2016. Thirteen Northwest contemporary artists explore evolution through mixed-media sculpture, installation, video, diorama and ceramics displayed inside the conservatory’s lush botanical gardens. This show opened Jan. 15 with a musical performance by Moon Age featuring 2015 Grammy-nominated artist Hunter Lea, and vocalist Melinda Lea.


Editorial cartoon of Charles Darwin in The Hornet magazine, 1871

Evolution retains the same aura of fascination it had when Charles Darwin introduced On the Origin of Speciesin 1859.  But today, it applies to areas of experience that extend beyond natural history. In human society, the arts, culture and belief systems all grow increasingly complex and adaptive over time in a way similar to how biological life forms do.

How do human beings cooperate or compete with natural progression?  Modern science has made it possible to manipulate and intervene in natural processes with unsettling and unintended effects. EVOLUTION: Art, Science & Adaptation offers a unique opportunity to ponder a cornerstone of scientific theory through the lens of contemporary art. Seymour Conservatory, one of the three major Victorian-style hothouses remaining on the West Coast, and host to hundreds of species of exotic tropical plants, provides a richly evocative setting for this show.

Read about the artists here.
Read the Tacoma News Tribune review here.


Give them your ear! Moon Age featuring Hunter Lea and Melinda Lea.


“Trespass” by Yuki Nakamura

Sean Alexander + Paul Cavanagh
Elizabeth Gahan
Don High
Ed Kroupa
Yuki Nakamura
Elise Richman
Claudia Riedener
Phil Roach
Jennifer Robbins
Susan Surface
Brent Watanabe
Curator: Lisa Kinoshita

Metro Parks Tacoma is presenting a series of expert talks around this fascinating exhibition, and the show will be featured on MPT’s tour of public art in Tacoma on February 28. Information coming soon, stay tuned!


“Ant Farm” by Sean Alexander and Paul Cavanagh. This “living painting” housing harvester ants contains a blue gel developed by NASA for sending ants into outer space.

CONSERVATORY HOURS: Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-4:30pm; Third Thursday Art Walk, closing time is 7pm
ADDRESS: 316 G Street in Wright Park, Tacoma
ADMISSION: $3 suggested donation


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