A public garden & cultural center

Marion Wilson

Prickly, Tender and Steamy: Artists in the Hothouse 
Glyndor Gallery | April 8–May 18, 2014 

Marion Wilson paints miniature landscapes on glass slides based on scenic views and plant life. Wilson’s Anatomy of a Flower is a series of paintings on recycled photography glass that depicts sedum and Spanish moss, which she found to be especially alluring in the Conservatory during her time in the Winter Workspace in 2011. The accordion-style display of small paintings on glass allows each image to unfold, revealing a detailed observation of the various parts of the plant.

I consider myself an expert on winter. Because I teach at Syracuse University, I have spent many brutal winters there. Originally I thought I would be painting winter landscapes of the Hudson River, as the winter landscape of upstate New York had been the subject of earlier work. However, during the winter month I spent at Wave Hill, I spent every second I could in the greenhouses, photographing, drawing, teaching drawing lessons to the gardeners, and collecting fallen plant petals in lieu of a paint palette. I felt as though the warmth, the color, the smells and the moisture gave me a chemical lift.The Spanish moss was really full that month and was so untamed. I painted it and photographed it many times. There were six snowstorms in the time that I was there, and the Spanish moss also reminded me of the snow.


I became interested in the full lifecycle of a plant. That began at Wave Hill as I watched the gardeners at work. I was interested in the parallel way of “knowing” that both the artists and the horticulturists had. We both loved the plants. We both were watching the plants but looking for different things. That’s why I asked the gardeners to draw the plants; I wanted to see what information they were attracted to as compared to what I was drawn to.

—Marion Wilson

Wilson is an Associate Professor and Director of Community Initiatives in the Visual Arts at Syracuse University. In New York City, her work has been exhibited at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, Frederieke Taylor Gallery, Shroeder Romero Gallery, Exit Art, Sculpture Center and Dorsky Gallery. She has also shown at Massachusetts College of Art, Boston; Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; SPACES, Cleveland, OH; and Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, Buffalo, NY. She has received an Artist in Residency Grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts and was awarded a fellowship at Millay Colony for the Arts, Austerlitz, NY, sponsored by the Nancy Graves Foundation; she also received a residency at Sculpture Space in Utica, NY. In 2009, Wilson led the initiative to purchase and renovate the 601 Tully building in Syracuse and convert it into a community art center.

Winter Workspace 2011
Glyndor Gallery | January 4 – March 27, 201

Click here for more information about the artist.

The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.; Michael J. Shannon; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.