Art and Design Professors Turn Awbury Arboretum into Living Art Gallery

By Purnell T. Cropper | December 4, 2014

Two art and design professors are turning Philadelphia’s Awbury Arboretum into a living art gallery.

Associate Professor of Art and Design Carole Loeffler and Adjunct Professor of Art and Design Maryann Worrell will create and install eight site-specific sculptures throughout the Arboretum. The artwork will be on display Dec. 6 through mid-February.

“Meditative Mediations” encourages visitors to focus on the environment around them with nature-based art pieces. One piece revolves around the installation of an egg-like form in a tree while another involves gold-leafing the spikes, or thorns, of a locust tree.

“Our motivation [is] to create work at the Arboretum that highlights the natural beauty of the location and to draw viewers in,” said Loeffler, “to bring disparate objects, ideas, or things together and come to an agreement that ends in a place of understanding and deeper appreciation.”

A Faculty Development Grant helped fund the project.

An opening ceremony for Meditative Mediations is on Saturday, Dec. 6 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Arboretum. For more information, email Loeffler at

More sculpture examples include:

  • Francis Cope House – a cluster of small growth to the right of the Francis Cope House that will be used to create a “tangle” and pattern of fiber sculpture.
  • Beech Hollow – a “pond” of plexiglass mirrors to reflect the sky and create the illusion of a body of water in the middle of a field.
  • Big Red Cube – a 3’x3’x3’ red cube that will be relocated on the grounds of the Arboretum by the artists once a week for visitors to find.