Descanso Gardens to Debut "Unusual Views", The Third of its Open Call, Juried Competition Shows at the Sturt Haaga Gallery

Published : Monday, January 28, 2019 | 4:25 PM

Precarious by Nancy Ruby (Click on image to enlarge)

Descanso Gardens is proud to announce the debut of Unusual Views, the third in its series of open call, juried competitions at the Sturt Haaga Gallery. Always a favorite both with visitors and participating artists, the competition again invites a creative depiction of the garden, but this time encourages a uniquely interpreted, not simply represented, garden. The show will run February 11 – June 9, 2019.

In Unusual Views, Christeen Martinez, the gallery’s curator, sought artworks that represent new ways of looking at nature. She welcomed any genre and style of artwork for consideration, but the key to the selection process was that the artist presented views of the garden that were unusual and original. Jurors were asked to give priority in their selection to artworks that explore unconventional characteristics of Descanso Gardens and present an uncommon perspective.

Paper Garden by Lindsey Serata (Click on image to enlarge)

“Garden landscapes tend to invoke images that reflect reality: trees, flowers and butterflies, etc.,” explained Cristeen Martinez, curator of the exhibition. “For Unusual Views, artists were encouraged to make innovative use of media, present a personal point of view, and avant-garde representations of the Gardens. The competition represented an opportunity for risk-taking, for trying something creatively that’s never before been attempted.”

“In addition,” Martinez continued, “this year we are offering prizes for several awards, including Best in Show and People’s Choice. I believe this will be a truly unique exhibition.”

Unusual Views features the works of more than 82 artists, including the following:

Dates & Times:

Member preview: Feb. 8 – 10, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Opening reception: Feb. 10, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Open to public: Feb. 11 – June 9, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. daily

About The Sturt Haaga Gallery

The Sturt Haaga Gallery at Descanso Gardens, which opened in the fall of 2011, was conceived as an important addition to Descanso’s education mission. Programming in the gallery derives from and seeks to illuminate the intersection between contemporary arts and the sciences represented by the garden — botany, horticulture, biology, ecology, conservation, and the study of gardens as cultural artifacts. Three shows of three months’ duration each are presented in the gallery each year.

About Descanso Gardens

Founded as a public garden in 1953, Descanso Gardens is located at 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge. Descanso Gardens is open daily (closed Christmas) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $9 for adults; $6 for seniors and students with a school I.D.; $4 for children 5 to 12, and free for ages 4 and younger. Descanso Gardens is a member-supported garden accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. Join Descanso Gardens and enjoy free admission and early entry year-round. Information: (818) 949-4200 or







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