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Where studio meets garden

Among the many wonderful things going on at the Museum of Life and Science for Pollinator Day this year was a workshop presented by Naomi Kasumi, Professor & Director of Design Study at Seattle University, in collaboration with the Museum’s Innovation & Learning and Family Events teams. Naomi is one of the incredible artists that submitted pieces to the 30×30: Art, Nature, and Science exhibition.

Artist Naomi Kasumi standing next to one of her art pieces, Home Sweet Home, in the Museum’s 30×30: Art, Nature, and Science exhibition. In part, this piece expresses her personal gratitude to the work of bees and their contribution to her life and art. (Photo by Steve Scholle)

Naomi travelled to Durham from Seattle to join us for Pollinator Day because connecting people to nature and conservation, as well as celebrating the incredible and vital work of our natural systems, including pollinators like bees, are central themes of Naomi’s art and life. Naomi wanted to offer Museum guests the opportunity to connect to the natural world more deeply and personally through a hands-on creative experience resulting in a community Pompom Garden for Conservation art piece. Each workshop attendee contributed their energy and inspiration to a community-created piece that we installed next to our Magic Wings Butterfly House. Each participant carried their pompoms to the garden as a bee might carry pollen granules from flower to flower.

Naomi gave an overview of some of her work exploring conservation and the natural world through her art. Naomi uses materials from nature to offer viewers opportunities to think about the natural world and the myriad connections we all share to the environment around us. (Photo by Steve Scholle)


Each participant worked on their own pompoms that would be representative of the work that pollinators do every day all around us. (Photo by Steve Scholle)


Naomi is excitedly helping Museum members create their pompoms for our Pompom Garden. (Photo by Steve Scholle)


Naomi working with workshop participants, including Museum President and CEO, Carrie Heinonen (center), to “plant” their pompoms in our Pompom Garden. (Photo by Steve Scholle)


A pair of workshop participants planting their combined, and particularly Seussian, pompoms in our Pompom Garden. (Photo by Steve Scholle)


Multiple families of workshop participants adding their pompoms to our Pompom Garden and inspecting their work with Naomi (center). (Photo by Steve Scholle)


Naomi (second from the left) helping workshop participants find spots for their pompoms in the Pompom Garden. (Photo by Steve Scholle)


Naomi taking photos of the Pompom Garden. She was excited to explore ways she might use images of the Garden that we made in her future work with other folks. (Photo by Steve Scholle)


Bugs-eye view of our Pompom Garden. (Photo by Steve Scholle)