Plants Aren’t the Only Artistic Beauties on Display at Naples Botanical Garden This Winter

Steve Tobin: Nature Underground
On view through September 6, 2021

Take a glance across the Water Garden pond dotted with waterlilies and aquatic plants, to the grassy lawn beyond; then lift your eyes. You’ll be met with an unexpected site: Massive red roots emerge from the ground below, towering more than 20 feet overhead, into the horizon.

Series of “legs” twist and wend, forcing your eyes to focus on the leaves, trunks, and blooms behind—the natural scenery left in the negative spaces. These bronze and steel sculptures take on a life of their own as you round the corner of each cultivated garden. Depending on the light, time of day, and where you choose to stand, you’ll see something different with each glimpse.

As you step into Kapnick Hall, another scene welcomes you to our indoor exhibition space. Luscious, large-format florals abound. You’ll take your time as you explore these abstract botanical paintings, often created in mixed media.

While exhibitions may not be the first thing one may associatewith botanical gardens, they serve as a perfect locale for creative expression. This winter, Naples Botanical Garden’s 170 acres house not only thriving collections of tropical and subtropical plants, but the campus serves as a meeting ground for two very different interpretations of the natural world that surrounds us.

Throughout the Garden, guests can experience Steve Tobin: Nature Underground, a series of 12 sculptures that invite us to explore the wonderful domain of roots, and the ground beneath our feet.

Those who venture into Kapnick Hall can contemplate our connection to the natural world with Carmelo Blandino: Convergence. The exhibition features new works inspired by our living collections, including a collaborative piece in which Blandino worked from Garden photographs submitted by the public.

In addition to hosting these two major exhibits, the Garden will welcome artistry of a different sort—the kind illuminated by light and holiday cheer.

Night Lights in the Garden offers the opportunity for friends and families to stroll the lighted pathways, listen to live music, and celebrate winter in the tropics. Tobin’s works promise to add an element of surprise and delight to this annual tradition here in Southwest Florida.

Carmelo Blandino: Convergence
On view in Kapnick Hall through

“I think art and nature go hand in hand,” says Erin Wolfe Bell, Director of Exhibitions & Special Programs. “At the Garden, which to me is our biggest work of art, we approach art and exhibitions as a stepping stone to talk about the role of plants, the importance of conservation, and other big ideas we want to share with visitors.”

These works aren’t only for adults to enjoy. Families may pickup their W.O.N.D.E.R. in the Garden packets when they check in at Ticketing, which include our “Roots Route for Sprouts” and self-guided activities to enjoy during your visit and beyond. Plus, both exhibitions are included with general Garden admission.

To know before you go:

  • The Garden is open 9am–5pm daily, with timed entry. Tickets must be purchased in advance at
  • Bring your cellphone to experience self-guided audio tours, and a reusable water bottle for use at our touchless water bottle filling stations.
  • Please bring a mask for use at the Garden’s entrance and in specified areas.

Night Lights in the Garden
November 27, 2020 – January 3, 2021
(No Night Lights December 24, 25, or 31)

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