Fabric, Fiber & Phenology


Saturday, August 10, 2019, 1:00pm to 3:00pm


Hunnewell Building

Opening Reception, Saturday, August 10, 1:00-3:00pm

Workshop with the Artist, Saturday, September 28, 1:00-3:00pm

LocationHunnewell Building Visitor Center

Steffanie Schwam brings her enhanced botanical prints on fabric and fiber to the Hunnewelll Visitor Center for a special show. Using the Arboretum as both a source and inspiration for her art, she selects plants that will print on paper or fabric that is fused to watercolor paper. Supports are pre-soaked in a binding solution, then removed to form a base for building bundled layers. Leaves and flowers are dipped in a ferrous sulfate solution and layered under other materials. Schwam compresses and steams the bundles to produce prints.

Schwam's work has been included in group exhibitions in Houston, and San Antonio, Texas, and Lowell, Truro, and Worcester, Massachusetts. Her fiber art is in private collections, and she is an active member of the Surface Design Association.

Included in conjunction with Schwam's exhibition, is an informative narrative on The Tree Spotters program at the Arnold Arboretum. By July 2019, 485 citizen scientists had been trained on collecting phenology (study of plant and animal life cycles) data comprising over 232,793 observations. The dataset compiled is accessible to researchers and the general public through the NPN (National Phenology Network) website. New Tree Spotter training is September 21. Sign up for both morning and afternoon sessions. Schwam is herself one of the Tree Spotter volunteers. She incorporated leaves from trees used in the program into her art, and is active in this important and successful, citizen science initiative.

Free, public invited