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Garden & Gun Magazine Celebrates Fifteen Years with Immersive Art Exhibition Titled “Birdwatching”

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Credit: Sully Sullivan

In celebration of Garden & Gun’s fifteenth anniversary, the magazine presents Birdwatching, an exhibition that honors the Lowcountry’s avian biodiversity. Open now, the exhibition overlaps with the fortieth annual Southeastern Wildlife Exposition (SEWE) and will run through Sunday, April 3rd. This immersive experience takes viewers on a journey between three historic Charleston locations – The Charleston Museum’s Joseph Manigault House, The Dewberry hotel, and the Garden & Gun’s Cigar Factory offices—to engage with the city and its stories.

Here’s how Garden & Gun describes the exhibition:

Drawing from nature, the splendors of bird-watching, and the interconnectivity between humans and the natural world, Birdwatching is curated and artistically directed by Kelly S. Turner. The site-specific installations, or birdscapes, are inspired by nineteenth-century artist-naturalists and feature works from three ecology-minded contemporary artists: Brandon Ballengée, Clare Celeste Börsch, and J. Drew Lanham.

Each birdscape is thoughtfully composed of unique vignettes designed to “bring together avian specimens, objects, artifacts, and artworks either inspired by or pulled from the vast historic and natural history collections at The Charleston Museum,” Turner explains in the exhibition’s curatorial statement. “The intended fusion of historical archive research with creative narratives and design brings to life a spectacular aviary aimed at exploring the interconnectivity between humans and birds, shining a light on avian conservation,” Turner says.

Credit: Sully Sullivan

While there is no set itinerary between sites, the Joseph Manigault House’s birdscape is “the spatial and historic center of the exhibition—evoking the wonder of nineteenth-century artist-naturalists cabinets of curiosity.” Tickets to tour the site start at $12 and can be purchased through The Charleston Museum, either in person or on the museum’s website. The birdscape at The Dewberry hotel features an exclusive cocktail experience from the creative minds behind the brass bar as well as a one-of-a-kind topiary installation depicting the great North American wood stork. Garden & Gun’s birdscape offers the public the opportunity to visit the magazine’s first-floor gallery and view curated works from the exhibition’s featured artists, including an exterior projection and soundscape.

“From the magazine’s inception, the editors of Garden & Gun have chronicled the plight of Southern birds, as well as the conservation efforts seeking to protect them and their environments,” said Christian Bryant, vice president and publisher of G&G. “Through this curation of extraordinary Lowcountry stories and supporting contemporary artwork—brought to life in some of Charleston’s most beautiful, historically significant locations—we hope viewers walk away from the exhibition having learned more about avian history, inspired to take action to ensure the future of these precious species.”

To learn more about the exhibition, visit gardenandgun.com/event/birdwatching.

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