Cornell University

This is a past event. Its details are archived for historical purposes.

The contact information may no longer be valid.

Please visit our current events listings to look for similar events by title, location, or venue.

Olivia Sheldon: Fern Flowers

Thursday, February 1, 2024 at 8:00am to 4:30pm

Experimental Gallery, Tjaden Hall

Exhibition Abstract
Ferns don't have flowers; they reproduce via spores. The fern flower is a magic flower found in several different cultural mythologies. According to the general telling of the myth, this flower blooms for a very short time on the eve of the summer solstice. It brings fortune to the one who finds it, but it is often said to be guarded by malevolent spirits.

Fern Flowers is a multimedia exhibition of works centered around storytelling and features many symbols of mythological folklore, including pixies, ferns, toads, selkies, and an emphasis on the unknown.

The show features painted glass windows casting light onto the gallery floor, paintings, photographs, sculptural elements, illustrative prints, and hand-bound books. These whimsical illustrations draw on the concept of scale and the simple magic of childhood exploration. Some pieces feature duplicates with mistakes/misprints. These misprints represent the beauty of error and are sometimes more whimsical in nature than the intended final products.

This show seeks to evoke a sense of wonder in the viewer through the use of immersion within light, color, and the narrative dichotomy of the known and unknown. The storytelling is furthered by references to folklore, botanical illustration, and numerous technical artistic techniques. The show seeks to inspire a sense of cross-disciplinary artistic practice that celebrates the breadth of study at Cornell and can be enjoyed by any member of the community.

To experience the maximum effect of ephemeral natural daylight through the painted windows, the show is best viewed between 12 and 1 p.m.

Exhibitor Biography
Olivia Sheldon (B.F.A '24) is a multidisciplinary visual artist and naturalist, born and raised in Ohio with a practice based in both Cincinnati and Ithaca. Her practice focuses on storytelling and the relationship between humans and their lived environment.

She is inspired by the beautiful complexity of ecology and the natural world, working from observation in painting, printmaking, photography, animation, digital illustration, and sculpture. Her work features an emphasis on scale, light, movement, and color as influenced by the living world.

Google Calendar iCal Outlook
Event Type




Contact Name

Department of Art

Contact Phone

(607) 255-6730

Recent Activity