UPDATE: Phipps will reopen to members on Sat., June 6 and to the public on Sat., June 13. All tickets must be purchased in advance, and new safety protocols are required. Learn more about how you can join us!

This Week at Phipps: Aug. 5 – 11
Aug 05

This Week at Phipps: Aug. 5 – 11

By Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

There's always something new to see and do at Phipps! This weekly blog post provides a run-down of the latest happenings so you can plan your visit. Events listed below require no advance registration unless noted otherwise. 

Open Daily:

  • Van Gogh in Bloom
    Experience the captivating work of Vincent van Gogh brought to three-dimensional life through vibrant blooms, majestic trees and hand-crafted props as recreations of his legendary paintings take center stage at Phipps.
  • Butterfly Forest
    Watch colorful butterflies break free of their chrysalises to soar and glide among beautiful Phipps blooms. One may even land on you!
  • The Plants That Inspired Van Gogh: A Photographic Exploration
    In our Welcome Center Gallery, local photographer and Phipps volunteer Paul g. Wiegman highlights the essence of the plants that Vincent van Gogh was inspired to paint.
  • Invasives Most Wanted: A Youth Art Exhibition
    In the Center for Sustainable Landscapes Green Gallery, view fun "wanted poster"-style artworks about some of Western Pennsylvania's best known invasive species as created by middle school students involved in Phipps’ Fairchild Challenge.
  • Planets Earth
    A dynamic exhibit at the Center for Sustainable Landscapes addresses the pressing environmental issues of our time and proposes a new way of thinking about how to solve them.
  • Tropical Forest Cuba
    Experience the natural beauty and culture of Cuba, one of the most biodiverse Caribbean island nations on Earth, in our immersive new Tropical Forest exhibit.
  • Make the Switch at Phipps! Green Power Drive
    Join the more than 1,000 families who have switched their home electricity to 100% green power while visiting our Tropical Forest Conservatory and you can receive free Phipps membership!

Mon., Aug. 5:

  • Make-a-Craft Mondays  |  10:30 a.m. – noon
    Children are invited to engage in nature-inspired arts-and-crafts projects using recyclable materials.
  • Fermentation Series: Fervor for Fermented Fruit  |  6:30 — 8:30 p.m.  |  R.S.V.P. required 
    Discover the various ways of preserving your bountiful fruit harvest through fermentation. Learn how to use wild fermentation and starter cultures to make fruit-based soda, wine, vinegar, sauces and chutneys. In the meantime, start foraging, harvesting, and freezing your favorite seasonal fruits to prepare yourself for a fun, fruity and fizzy frenzy!

Tues., Aug. 6:

  • Let's Move Pittsburgh Walk and Talk Series: The World of Water |  9:30 – 10:30 a.m.  |  R.S.V.P. required
    Water is essential for all life, but do you know how much you should be drinking in a day? Phipps’ science education team will explore the different sources of water found in our local ecosystem, while learning about the benefits water has for our mind and body. Families will be able to take home water bottles and infused water recipes.
  • Bringing Van Gogh into Your Garden  |  6:30 — 8:30 p.m. |  R.S.V.P. required
    Garden designers often draw on the work of artists as inspiration for their designs. Vincent Van Gogh is beloved for his bold use of color and shape when painting flowers and landscapes in France. Learn how to bring his artist’s eye for color, shape, light and proportion into your own backyard by referencing his paintings. Based on practical tips and the exploration of artists’ gardens, find the inspiration you need to bring the gallery to your garden. Then enjoy a guided tour of Summer Flower Show: Van Gogh in Bloom.
  • Member Evening Tours |  6 — 7:15 p.m.  |  R.S.V.P. required
    Enjoy an exclusive evening tour of Phipps! R.S.V.P. is required and space is limited — email members@phipps.conservatory.org with your requested tour date, member ID number and the number of adults and children in your party.

Wed., Aug. 7:

  • Story Time Wednesdays  |  10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
    Kids will love listening to our storytellers weave tales about gardens, fruits, vegetables, animals and other fun topics. 

Thurs., Aug. 8:  

  • Story Time Thursdays  |  10:30 a.m.
    Kids will love listening to our storytellers weave tales about gardens, fruits, vegetables, animals and other fun topics. 
  • Summer Flowers  |  6 — 9 p.m.  |  R.S.V.P. required 
    Build upon your knowledge from Watercolor I to render a study of a summer flower using washes and dry brush techniques. Explore color mixing, light and shadows, rendering plant forms accurately, and composition.

Fri., Aug. 9: 

  • Pot-a-Plant Fridays  |  10:30 a.m. – noon
    Kids can pot their own plant to care for at home. 
  • Friday Extended Hours  |  Open until 10 p.m.
    Enjoy the gardens by twilight — it's the perfect way to wind down the week!

Sat., Aug. 10:

  • Colored Pencil Florals on Black Paper  |  9:30 a.m. — 4 p.m.  |  R.S.V.P. required 
    Colored pencil drawings are traditionally applied to white or light, neutral-colored papers. But some subjects — such as night-blooming flowers — can be much more effective against very dark backgrounds, and those backgrounds can be difficult (and labor-intensive!) to achieve with colored pencil. Discuss colored pencil opacity and explore key techniques for using colored pencil on black and very dark-colored surfaces to keep colors true and luminous
  • Saturday Plant Identification Walks: Grasses and Perennials for Visual Texture  |  10 a.m. — noon  |  R.S.V.P. required 
    The best way to learn about new plants is to see them firsthand in the landscape. On each Saturday walk, landscape architecture instructor and eminent plantsman Joshua Beblo will introduce you to dozens of plants in the landscape. Walks will focus on different themes, and any plants you pass are fair game for identification and discussion. Tune in to the wonderful world of plants all around you. Additional walk details will be sent out to registered students. 
  • Nature Lab Open Hours  |  11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
    The revolutionary Nature Lab at Phipps is now open for you to discover.
  • Planning Your 2020 Garden  |  1 – 3 p.m.
    Get a jump start on your 2020 gardening plans with Tim Choltco. 

Sun., Aug. 11:

  • Guided Open Studio: General Assistance  |  9:30 a.m. — 1 p.m.  |  R.S.V.P. required 
    Making time to concentrate on your art can be tough! Join fellow botanical artists at these open studio sessions, and find the inspiration and support to start, continue and finish projects. Work on class work, your portfolio or something totally new. Current Flora students may attend as part of their Flora Project fee. Bring your artwork and materials and enjoy the time to create.
  • Family Yoga with Let's Move Pittsburgh and YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh |  9 a.m.  |  R.S.V.P. required 
    Whether you're a yoga aficionado or trying it out for the first time, grab your mat, head to Phipps and bring the kids!
  • Essential Oils  |  1 – 3 p.m.
    Discover the uses and benefits of essential oils with Deb Bosco.

Photos © Paul g. Wiegman