“Natives on the Rooftop” Exhibit

In a collaboration between Phipps Conservatory’s Botanical Art and Illustration Program and the Allegheny Highland Botanical Art Society, Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts (ARCA) presents its third guest art exhibition of the year, “Natives on the Rooftop”, an exhibit of the Phipp’s annual Flora Project, in the Upstairs Gallery from Friday June 20 through Sunday July 13th.

 “Natives on the Rooftop”  features native plants that grow on the rooftop of Phipps Conservatory’s newest building in Pittsburgh’s Oakland district – the Center for Sustainable Landscapes. The Exhibit presents botanical works that highlight the native plants that not only are beautiful in the landscape, but also that have been used by humans for food, craft, or medicine.

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The Fiddlehead Fern by Red Brick Gallery’s own Donna Edmonds was used to promote the exhibit at Pittsburgh’s Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park in April, 2014.

Matteuccia struthiopteris, Ostrich Fern – watercolor
Donna Edmonds

The Ostrich Fern is so named because the sterile green fronds resemble an ostrich plume. They grow in a vase-like configuration in moist, shady forest locations. The small, tightly wound new shoots known as fiddleheads that pop up for a very short time each spring are edible. The fiddleheads have a taste somewhere between a nutty asparagus and broccoli and are a highly prized, regional delicacy.

Donna Edmonds and companion artists from the Highland Society including Foxburg’s friend, Bill Paxton, will exhibit water colors and colored pencil botancial art works capturing diverse plants including the Flowering Raspberry, Virginia Bluebells, Spiderwort, Dense Blazing Star, Red Chokeberry, Foam Flower, and Nodding Onion.


Tiarella cordifolia ‘Brandywine’, Foam Flower   –  watercolor
Donna Edmonds

The foam flower has a high tannin content, making it a natural astringent. The leaves and roots have been used by Native Americans for a range of medical purposes, including a mouthwash for mouth sores, an antacid, and a poultice for wounds.

Whether one is a gardener, wild flower enthusiast or just one who appreciates exquisite detail and eye catching color, visiting the show is a great way to spend a quiet and enthralling summer moment. The Red Brick’s Upstairs Gallery is air conditioned for those humid summer afternoons.