Fiber & Dye Exhibit

March 11 – 26, 2017, daily | 10 am – 4 pm

The UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley invites you to learn more about the world of plant-based fibers and dyes.  From traditional uses to inspired future innovation in eco-fashion and textiles, a walk through our exhibit illuminates the connection of culture with nature. Learn about plants that create blue from their leaves, red from their seeds and magical yellows from petals and rhizomes! Updated with new signage and exhibition materials, the exhibit reminds us that we wear plants just as much as we eat them!

Free with Garden Admission


Check Our Calendar for Related Programs


Seasonal Exhibitions

Fiber & Dye


The University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley invites you to learn more about the world of natural fibers and dyes. From traditional uses to inspired future innovation in eco-fashion and textiles, a walk through our exhibit illuminates the connection of culture with nature.

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Foods of the Americas

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Explore our annual exhibit filled with colorful displays of foods first cultivated by ancient Mayan, Aztec, and Incan cultures. These include corn, tomatoes, potatoes, beans, squash, peppers, amaranth, quinoa and chocolate. Take an ethnobotanical tour of our Mexico, Central and South American collections, and special Crops of the World Garden and Tropical House.

Past Exhibitions

Anna Laurent: Dispersal

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DISPERSAL: Seed Pod Photography by Anna Laurent

January 17 – 30, 2017 every day | 10 am – 4 pm

Individually, each photograph is a fine art portrait of a unique botanic specimen; as a series, it is a scientific inquiry into the diversity of botanic design. Each includes companion text about the specimen’s form & function.

Anna Laurent is an artist with a unique insight into the natural world. In her series Dispersal, she explores the myriad forms through which plants reproduce. To the uninitiated, Laurent’s close up portraits of flora and seeds could easily be mistaken for works of abstract art or images of contemporary sculpture. From samples collected as far afield as Hawaii and Kurdistan, Laurent’s work serves as a stunning reminder of the diversity, beauty and fragility of the natural world.

Free with Garden Admission

David Lance Goines

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The UC Botanical Garden is pleased to host an exhibition of the artwork of David Lance Goines in the historic Julia Morgan Hall.  His work has been exhibited around the world from the Museum of Modern Art to the Smithsonian. He has long-standing ties to Bay Area treasure Chez Panisse, and we are thrilled to bring his work to the Garden.
Free with Garden Admission
(Closed April 1 and 2 for a special event and April 4 for First Tuesday)

Alcatraz Floreligium

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The Northern California Society of Botanical Artists (NCSBA) in collaboration with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and the Garden Conservancy has created a florilegium, a series of botanical paintings, to document the plants of The Gardens of Alcatraz. The UC Botanical Garden is thrilled to welcome the NCSBA to exhibit this special showing of the Alcatraz Florilegium, with over 70 drawings and paintings, in our beautiful Julia Morgan Hall.

The History of Florilegium

January 22 | 10-11:30 am
A Florilegium is a collection of botanical works depicting the plants of an area. This lecture, by Catherine Watters, will include noted historical florilegia such as The Banks Florilegium, Hortus Florida and The Temple of Flora.
$15, $10 Garden Member (Program Fee includes Garden Admission)


Member’s Hour in the Alcatraz Florilegum Exhibit

Saturday, January 23 | 9 – 10 am
Come spend a special members-only hour in our exhibit of the Alcatraz Florilegium. Enjoy coffee and light refreshments while browsing the artwork and talking with the artists from the Northern California Society of Botanical Artists.
Free, members only

The Restoration of the Gardens at Alcatraz

January 28 | 10-11:30 am
Join us for a special talk by Shelagh Fritz, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy’s Horticulturist & Program Manager at the Gardens of Alcatraz. Learn about the island’s rich garden history, the preservation work that has saved the plants, and the stories of the people who tended them.
Free with Garden Admission


An Introduction to Botanical Art with Catherine Watters

Thursday and Friday, February 11 – 12 | 10 am – 4 pm 
This two-day class will introduce you to the fascinating world of Botanical Art. Catherine Watters will teach you to observe, measure and draw plants in great detail and with botanical accuracy. Students will work with graphite, colored pencil and watercolors. All levels are welcome.
 $190, $175 Garden Members

Gary Bukovnik

Art Exhibition: Watercolors by Gary Bukovnik

August 25 – September 3, 2015 | Daily 10am – 4pm (Garden closed September 1

Bay Area watercolorist, Gary Bukovnik, has brought the artist’s eye to interpreting flowers for more than 30 years. At a time when modern American artists seem to have abandoned floral works, Bukovnik has made an illustrious career painting vibrant compositions of flowers.

Bukovnik’s work has appeared in many major art museums including the de Young, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Smithsonian, and others, Bay Area residents may recognize Bukovnik’s work from the San Francisco Symphony’s annual poster, which he has contributed to for the past 29 years.This exhibition will be held in the Julia Morgan Building.

Artist’s Salon & Reception

Sunday, August 30, 2015 | 6 – 8 pm
Join us for an special opportunity to interact with artist Gary Bukovnik. There will be a short presentation,a watercolor demonstration, and an opportunity for Q& A to learn more about Bukovnik’s unique approach.Several watercolors will be auctioned off. Sip wine and enjoy refreshments in the Garden’s lovely evening hours.

$50, $40 members; space is limited 

Watercolors with Gary Bukovnik: A Day Long Workshop

Thursday, September 3, 2015 | 10 am – 4 pm
Sign up for this unique opportunity to spend the day learning to paint with renowned watercolorist Gary Bukovnik. In this workshop you will learn principles of watercolors, and also a way of seeing and representing plants through Gary Bukovnik’s unique perspective.

$200, $175 members

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Plants Illustrated


The Plants Illustrated exhibition held in conjunction with the Northern California Society of Botanical Artists, invites viewers to explore the relationship between scientific study and fine art. The exhibit presents original artworks in watercolor, graphite, colored pencil and pen & ink and explores the many styles, forms and approaches unique to botanical art and illustration. Artist gallery sitters are on hand at the exhibit to answer questions and guide you through the show.

Following in the Bartrams’ Footsteps


This major art exhibition curated by the American Society of Botanical Artists,  includes forty-four original artworks based on the native plant discoveries made by John and William Bartram in their renowned and influential travels throughout the Eastern wilderness between the 1730s and 1790s. The UC Botanical Garden will be the only West Coast showing of this exhibition. On view in the new Julia Morgan Hall.

Natural Discourse


Natural Discourse: Artists, Architects, Scientists & Poets in the Garden is a collaborative project between The University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley (UCBG) and a multi-disciplinary group of artists, writers, architects and researchers who have been invited to spend time in UCBG’s extraordinary collection of plants, engage with the horticulturalists and develop new site specific work. The resulting works are as varied and multi-dimensional as the individuals who created the pieces.

Mary Anne Friel, Assistant Professor, Rhode Island School of Design, and Shirley Watts, award-winning Bay Area Landscape Designer, curated the exhibition which will open to the public July 14th with a day long event of artists in the Garden.

Participating artists are Mary Anne Friel, Todd Gilens, Matt Suib, Nadia Hironaka, Hazel White, Denise Newman, Deborah O’Grady, Ron Real, Viginia San Fratello, Gail Wight, Nami Yamamoto, Mitch Maher, Shirley Watts, Shane Myrbeck and Jane Flint.

Exhibition is free with Garden admission.

Marion Brenner


March 8 – March 15, 2013

The Garden presents a selection of renowned photographer and Berkeley resident Marion Brenner as our first Artist in Residence. Ms. Brenner has created a body of work featuring the beautiful plants and landscapes of the Garden and we are pleased to display this work in a one-woman show at the Garden.

Planting Comics


Planting Comics | June 21 – July 30, 2010

A site-specific comics installation by comic artist Ozge Samanci  of twenty original comics printed on ceramic tiles.