Sea Life, 2002

Sally Dillon

In Nature's Company

On view October 9, 2004 to September 18, 2005

Located in the: Art & Nature Center

The natural world has been an inspiration for artists throughout time. In Nature's Company explores this connection, drawing on the work of more than 20 Massachusetts artists for whom nature is a rich source of creativity and subject matter.

The exhibition features a wide variety of works including paintings, photography, sculpture, furniture, and quilts. Through these works, the artists reflect on their own experiences and interpretations of nature. Sandy Litchfield uses nature walks as inspiration for her fascinating, layered paintings, which blend digital images, oils, and watercolors. Judy Kensley McKie’s brass Monkey Chair combines whimsy and functionality. Sally Dillon reflects the vibrant colors and wonders found in the ocean in her quilt Sea Life. Steve Hollinger’s Bat uses sunlight and heat to make a bat skeleton move in its glass case. Some works echo the vital forces of nature, while others convey the fragility and delicate balance of the natural environment.

The Art & NatureCenter

The Art & Nature Center is an innovative space for families and K?6 school groups featuring dynamic, interactive displays and activity stations that highlight the connections between art and nature. Rotating theme-based installations and an exploration zone celebrate this region’s unique natural heritage while referencing the global influences nature has had on artists, art, and culture.

Related Events

Maker Lounge Open House ›
Sunday, March 29, 2015 from 2pm - 4pm

Stop by the Maker Lounge to Meet David Yann Robert, our newest maker-in-residence. Robert is currently an exhibiting artist in Branching Out: Trees as Art in the Art & Nature Center and co-founder of the Center for Children's Speculative Design. At the Open House, he and a few youth designers will talk about the Speculative Lifeforms project they are working on during Robert's residency.
Also, learn about:
- upcoming low-cost workshops for adults
- events for all ages
- the equipment and materials in the space
Share your feedback and suggestions for programs you'd like to see in the Maker Lounge. You'll also meet other makers, tinkerers, technologists, creatives and crafters here in Salem!


Dawn Chorus: Birdsong before Sunrise › For preteens through adults
Friday, April 10, 2015 at 7:45pm
Reservations not required


Join the author of The Singing Life of Birds for a special art and science acoustic tour of some of the finest and most intriguing dawn performers among North American songbirds.

listen to sparrows

Don Kroodsma's recording of male Brewer's Sparrows all singing madly in the dark, well before sunrise.

Let it Grow – School Vacation Week ›
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 from 10:30am - 4pm

Included with museum admission

Spread your branches to celebrate the return of spring and join our Earth Day festivities!


The Leaf Men
10:30-11 am | meet at information desk

Who are the mysterious Leaf Men and can they save the backyard from the evil Spider Queen?



Bark Building
10:30 am-1 pm | outside the museum

Join Branching Out artist Kyle Browne to create a forest mural along the front of the museum.



Seedling Pots
11 am-2 pm | Create Space

Decorate a seedling pot and be ready to plant for spring! Early participants also get an evergreen tree seedling to take home.



Tree Eavesdropping
1-3 pm, | outside the museum

Meet Branching Out artist and Maker Lounge Artist-in-Residence David Yann Robert and learn how to eavesdrop on the inner life of a tree, then create an original artwork.



Leaf Carpet
1-4 pm | Atrium

Compose patterns and original designs with laminated leaves, inspired by the work of Branching Out artist Joan Backes.


Further Reading