From Sicily to the Arnold Arboretum: Susan Pettee, artist, Mary Taylor Simeti, writer

February 2, 2017

From Sicily to the Arnold Arboretum: Susan Pettee, artist, Mary Taylor Simeti, writer

May 12 – July 16, 2017

Acanthus by Susan Pettee

Talk and Presentation by Mary Taylor Simeti, Sicilian Flora from the Grand Tour to the Present, Saturday, May 20, Noon-1:00pm
Opening Reception with the artists, Saturday, May 20, 1:00-3:00pm

From Sicily to the Arnold Arboretum: Sicilian Wildflowers in Art and Words brings together botanical artist Susan Pettee and writer Mary Taylor Simeti. Members of the Harvard Class of 1962, Pettee and Simeti, bring their creative vision and exploration of the wildflowers of Sicily to the Arboretum for this first look at an exciting watercolor illustration and research project that will eventually culminate in a book entitled The Garlands of the Gods: Wild Flowers from the Greek Ruins of Sicily. Working together for almost a decade, Pettee’s and Simeti’s sensibilities have evolved from sharing a passionate admiration for the Sicilian flora to an awareness of how climate change is affecting the flowering of these plants. The exquisite watercolor and rich, articulate text for each plant assume a more urgent relevance as the artists realize how the increased use of herbicides is threatening to alter forever the experience of visitors to the archeological parks of Sicily.

A graduate of Radcliffe College, botanical artist Susan Pettee has had her art included in the American Society of Botanical Artists’ International Juried Exhibition and has participated in exhibitions with New England Society of Botanical Art, including the 2016 show at the Arnold Arboretum. Her work has appeared in Washington, DC, Paris, Périgueux, France, and in the Berkshires, where Pettee currently lives.

Writer Mary Taylor Simeti is also a graduate of Radcliffe College. She has authored a number of books, including On Persephone’s Island: A Sicilian Journal and Pomp and Sustenance. Simeti writes travel and food articles that have appeared in The New York Times and various other American and British publications. She makes her home in Sicily, assisting on a family farm that produces wine, olive oil, and organic produce.

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