Art & Nature Center

Boy and Arctic Wolf

Art & Nature Center

Completely redesigned, the expanded Art & Nature Center showcases original exhibitions that investigate our interconnections with nature through contemporary art, memorable objects and interactive experiences. Designed for visitors of all ages, the new family-friendly center features changing exhibitions, hands-on displays and art-making spaces.

Changing Art & Nature Exhibitions

These revolving shows explore timely topics at the interface of human experience and the natural world.

Our exhibition, Branching Out: Trees as Art, opened September 27th. Come explore art inspired by and made with trees!

Check out all of our Past Art & Nature Center Exhibitions below.

Art & Nature Displays

Discover art and natural specimens from the museum's collection that reveal stories about our evolving relationship with nature. Interactive sculptures and exploratory stations also invite you to play and invent as you investigate your own connections with the environment. The Investigate! Zone, with its fun things to do and create on low tables, shows toddlers and preschoolers there's a place here for them, too!

Art-making Spaces

Exercise your creativity at PEM! Visit the Art Nook and Create Space for a wide range of drop-in programs and art-making workshops. (See the Events Calendar for details.)

Check out the latest blog posts about the center by Meg Winikates, Art & Nature Center Programs Coordinator at Connected.

Past Art & Nature Center Exhibitions

Beyond Human: Artist–Animal Collaborations
Beyond Human: Artist–Animal Collaborations
October 19, 2013 to September 7, 2014
Ripple Effect, The Art of H2O
Ripple Effect, The Art of H2O
June 18, 2011 to July 8, 2012
Eye Spy, Playing with Perception
Eye Spy, Playing with Perception
June 19, 2010 to May 22, 2011
Trash Menagerie
Trash Menagerie
June 20, 2009 to May 23, 2010
Polar Attractions
Polar Attractions
June 28, 2008 to June 7, 2009
Origami Now!
Origami Now!
June 16, 2007 to June 8, 2008
A Sense of Place, An Artist's Tribute to the Seven Continents
A Sense of Place, An Artist's Tribute to the Seven Continents
December 16, 2006 to June 3, 2007
Owls in Art and Nature
Owls in Art and Nature
October 1, 2005 to December 3, 2006
In Nature's Company
In Nature's Company
October 9, 2004 to September 18, 2005

Related events For families

Fast as a Flying Cloud
Sunday, February 8, 2015 from 2pm - 3pm Story Trails

Ellen's father says she was born with saltwater in her veins, and she's determined to grow up to be the best ship's navigator ever. Hear about her adventure as we read Dare the Wind and then experiment with salt watercolor painting.

School Vacation Week
Monday, February 16, 2015 to Friday, February 20, 2015 from 10am - 4pm Creative Adventures

Explore the unexplored, create unique art experiences, take part in secret activities and blaze a trail through the museum! We'll spend the week experimenting and discovering some of the lesser-known art forms.


Made possible by the Lowell Institute


Lunar New Year
Saturday, February 28, 2015 from 10am - 4pm Weekend Festival

Join us for performances and activities as we celebrate the Year of the Goat.


Drop-in Art Activity

Lucky Lanterns
10 am-4 pm | Studio 1 | Create Space

Lanterns are an important part of Lunar New Year celebrations. Design your own with local artist, author and illustrator Jennifer DeCristoforo.



Gund Kwok: Lion Dance
11-11:45 am | Atrium

Help us kick off the celebrations with a lion dance performance by Gund Kwok, the only all-women lion dance group in the country.


Interactive Performances

Ribbon Dance
Noon-12:30 pm and 2-2:30 pm
East India Marine Hall

Professional dancer Liwen Wang demonstrate the art of ribbon dancing.


Boston Synchrony Chinese Percussion Ensemble 
12:30-1 pm and 2:30-3 pm
East India Marine Hall

Led by Dr. Chi-Sun Chan, the ensemble performs traditional Chinese percussion music and provides demonstrations. Audience participation encouraged!



Chinese Dulcimer Guzheng Youth Band
Noon and 2 pm | Morse Auditorium

Join us for two 40-minute performances by young musicians who have mastered ancient Chinese string instruments. A nonprofit organization founded in 2007, the band promotes Chinese instrumental music and culture in the United States and seeks to improve children's appreciation of Chinese music.



Chinese Folk Art Workshop
1-1:45 pm | Atrium

Members of The Chinese Folk Art Workshop, all between the ages of 12 and 18, perform traditional Chinese dances.


Art Cart

Double Happiness: Celebration in Chinese Art
1-3 pm | Level 2 Gallery

Drop by and get hands on in the galleries! Explore more with our interactive Art Cart. Touch objects, experiment with art-making techniques and discover stories about the art around you.


Gallery Spot

Up Close with Silk
1-3 pm | Level 2 Gallery

Drop by the exhibition Fish, Silk, Tea, Bamboo: Cultivating an Image of China to meet a museum educator and explore this elegant material.



Little Shaolin Monks
3 pm | Morse Auditorium
Recommended for ages 10 and up
Seats are first-come, first-served

Peek into the mysterious world of these 6- to 9-year-olds who live in the Shaolin Temple and practice the highest form of martial arts. 2007, 45 minutes, in Chinese with English subtitles.


Made possible by The Lowell Institute