A ‘botanical world’ coming to CMU


Members of the CMU community gather after the Pride in Color event Tuesday, Oct. 11 in the University Art Gallery. 

Central Michigan University‘s Art Gallery is immersing into botanical gardens with its latest exhibit, “Field Notes,” set to open Jan. 18. 

The exhibition will be shown from Jan. 18 to Feb. 11. A reception will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Jan. 26 at the gallery for the public to meet both New York City artists. A gallery talk will take place at 4:30 p.m. to give a chance for the artists to speak about their pieces. 

The gallery is free and open to the public from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. To schedule an appointment to see the gallery call 989-774-7457.  

In an email, the Art Gallery refers to the exhibit as a “botanical world” that features work created artists Kenneth Buhler and Ellen Driscoll.  

Both artists gain inspiration from plants “in all their wonder and complexity,” the email said. 

Buhler is known for his blend of bold colors with abstract stencils and stamps in order to explore the unknowns of the natural world, his biography said. 

Courtesy of University Art Gallery: Ken Buhler’s watercolor on Rives BFK, “Shakespeare’s Garden 9”.

Buhler’s work can be found in public and private collections, according to his biography. Some locations include the Wichita Museum of Fine Art, the de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara University, the Maslow Collection and the Ulrich Museum of Fine Arts.

He currently lives in Brooklyn, where he also works at Bard College as an artist in residence, and has taught there since 2000. 

Driscoll and Buhler’s artwork has a “striking contrast,” as said by the Art Gallery. However, on Driscoll‘s website, she said she tries to create “slight shifts of perception that will provoke a wobble in the axis of certainty and create openings for perceptual realignment.” 

Courtesy of University Art Gallery: Ellen Driscoll’s walnut and sumi ink on paper collage, “Untitled 9”.

The art gallery describes Driscoll’s work as having warm earth tones that are “reductive yet lush.” 

On her website, Driscoll said her work is in collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of Art. She was also program director of studio arts at Bard College from 2013 to 2021 and is currently a visiting professor of sculpture.