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Thanks to everyone who tuned into THE ART OF NATURE gala on Thursday, February 10. The evening was a tremendous success, grossing more than $310,000 in support of the Arboretum and Seattle Japanese Garden.

If you didn’t get a chance to join us, you can watch the recording on YouTube. The livestream program starts at 28.40 minutes into the video.

The evening began with a welcome from our gala co-chairs, Bill McGee and Joanna Thiagarajan, and a land acknowledgment from our board president, Jenny Wyatt. Then guests enjoyed a sequence of videos exploring the intersection of nature, art, and community at the Arboretum.

Environmental historian Jennifer Ott told the story behind the original Olmsted design for the Arboretum, while UW Botanic Gardens’ Ray Larson described how that design work is still being interpreted and developed today in the restoration of historic Rhododendron Glen.

Viewers were then introduced to nature-inspired artists Gerard Tsutukawa and John Grade, who are both working on new projects for the Arboretum. Other artists featured included composer Paul Chihara, whose chamber piece, “The Garden of Enchantment,” debuted in the Japanese Garden last year as part of the 60th anniversary celebrations, and young students from the Arboretum’s Fiddleheads Forest School, who learn about ecology through hands-on, creative play.

Studio host King 5’s Angela Poe Russell did a fabulous job emceeing the live program, along with Arboretum Foundation director Jane Stonecipher. Special guests included UW Botanic Gardens director Christina Owen and the one-and-only Ciscoe Morris, who was our “weatherman” for the evening, keeping tabs on the auction “thermometer.”

Some auction highlights: The winning bid on Julie Speidel’s painting “Delvin,” which she created especially for the gala, was $8,500! The winning bid for the personal tour of John Grade’s workshop and studio was $3,500!

Still time to donate: If you didn’t have a chance to donate to the gala, please make a gift to the Arboretum on our website today!

THANKS to everyone who made THE ART OF NATURE such a success: our sponsors, auction donors, video participants, photographers and videographers, artists, and studio hosts, plus our production team at PNTA/Seattle Lives. A special shout out to event co-chairs Joanna Thiagarajan and Bill McGee, and to our event planning committee members Joan Affleck-Smith, Josh Dickson, and Carol Hoerster.

Most of all, thanks to you—our amazing supporters—for helping sustain and enhance this beloved green space and plant collection!