In honor of the centennial anniversary of Dumbarton Oaks,
Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy presents:
FERNS OF DUMBARTON
Art exhibition by Sophia McCrocklin
IF FERNS COULD TALK Symposium
Exhibition dates: Monday, April 4th – Thursday, June 23rd
Open House to meet the Artist: 4 – 8 pm Thursday, April 7th
Symposium: If Ferns Could Talk 6:30 – 8:00 pm Thursday, May 12th
Location: The Writer’s Center, 4508 Walsh St, Bethesda, MD
Washington, DC— Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy presents an exhibition of 11 large-scale fiber sculptures and several pen and ink drawings by Sophia McCrocklin, from her Ferns of Dumbarton collection, from April 4th- June 23rd at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda, MD, to mark the 100th anniversary of the garden of Dumbarton Oaks Park in Georgetown. The Open House to meet McCrocklin, the Conservancy’s Artist in Residence, will be from 4 – 8pm. Thursday, April 7, 2022. The If Ferns Could Talk Symposium about the exhibition will be held on 6:30 – 8pm Thursday, May 12th at The Writer’s Center. Registration through www.eventbrite.com. Please view and agree to The Writer’s Center COVID Safety Policy: writer.org/covid.
Sophia McCrocklin was the first Artist in Residence of the Conservancy’s Art in the Park program from 2017-2019. Her botanical fiber sculptures document sixteen of the fern varieties McCrocklin discovered to have grown in Dumbarton Oaks over the past century. Eleven of these were chosen for this exhibit along with several pen and ink drawings. Every piece is made of Dacron and copper wire that is sewn by hand and machine, painted, and meticulously cut to scale with exquisite detail. The work is then mounted on canvas that is painted with cherry blossoms, as a nod to those that bloom in the garden during the spring. Each fern takes about six months to complete and is either 4.5 feet square or approximately 2.5 feet wide by 7 feet tall. McCrocklin’s collection highlights the elegance and tenacity of these ancient plants, which have endured as a species for over 300 million years.
The If Ferns Could Talk Symposium explores what we can learn from these ancient plants today. Speakers include: Julia Washburn, Superintendent of Rock Creek Park; Eric Schuettpelz, Research Botanist, Chair of Botany, Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian; Josh Tolkin, Sierra Club Director for the State of MD; Jeanne Braha, Executive Director for Rock Creek Conservancy; Lindsey Milstein and Liza Gilbert, Board Co-Chairs of Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy; and Sophia McCrocklin, Artist in Residence, Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy.
Dumbarton Oaks Park Conservancy was established in 2010 to restore Dumbarton Oaks Park in partnership with the Rock Creek Park, National Park Service (NPS). The 27-acre Park is one of the most notable wild garden landscapes in the country, designed by Beatrix Farrand, America’s first professional female landscape architect and a founding member of the American Society of Landscape Architects. The Park is an NPS designated National Historic Register site – a designed landscape of meadows and woodlands surrounding a stream with 18 small waterfalls. More information on the Park and its history can be found at dopark.org. The Conservancy established the Art in the Park program in 2016. The exhibit and associated programs are the culmination of our first Artist in Residence program, which continues the Bliss tradition bringing Art to the public.
McCrocklin was born in New York City and raised in the Appalachian foothills of Kentucky, graduated from Smith College, studied textiles at Penland School of Crafts, earned a law degree from the University of Louisville and practiced environmental law at the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC. McCrocklin was awarded three Artist Fellowships from the DC Commission for Arts and Humanities from 2019-2022 for her work in this area.
The Open House to meet the Artist is open to the public, no RSVP required. Registration for the symposium If Ferns Could Talk is available through www.eventbrite.com. All events will be held at The Writer’s Center located at 4508 Walsh St, Bethesda, MD. The Writer’s Center is open during business hours, please check https://www.writer.org/locations-hours/ for additional times.
For further information please contact:
Lindsey Milstein, DOPC, 202-333-3547, email@example.com, www.dopark.org
Zach Powers, The Writer’s Center, 301-654-8664, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.writer.org
Sophia McCrocklin 202-800-7006, www.sophiamccrocklin.com,