Featuring camera-less photography of weeds and nature-themed Victorian hair art made from human, horse and synthetic hair, “Phytophilic” showcases the work of UofL art professor Gabrielle Mayer and fellow artist Gale Wisdom. It will run from June 5-July 18 at the Cressman Center, 100 E. Main St. 

Phytophilic is an adjective describing any organism that thrives around plants. Mayer, who began her career as a fiber artist before focusing on painting, chose Victorian hair art for her portion of the show. Traditional Victorian hair art was primarily made as a celebration of family, friends and life and meant to mark a certain time in one’s life. Several students and faculty from the Hite Art Institute at UofL donated hair for the pieces. 

Mayer’s pieces for “Phytophilic” are nature-oriented with hair twisted, braided and entwined into wreath-like patterns and floral motifs. The floral focus ties in with Wisdom’s images of weeds.

Wisdom’s medium is camera-less photography, or photographic contact printing, and her subject is botanicals. For “Phytophilic,” she collected weeds and wild plants, then arranged them on light-sensitive paper. Exposing the paper to light captures the plants invisible image and chemically processing the paper brings the print to life.

An opening reception for “Phytophilic” will be 6-8 p.m., Friday, June 5, at the Cressman Center. The reception and exhibit are free and open to the public. For more information and Cressman Center hours, visit louisville.edu/art

Erica Walsh
Erica Walsh is the marketing director for the Office of Communications and Marketing. Her job lets her share UofL’s good news in all avenues of communications including UofL Magazine, advertising, content marketing and branding. Walsh joined UofL in 2014 after previously serving as the public relations specialist at Indiana University Southeast. Prior to her career in higher education communications she was an award-winning newspaper reporter. Red is one of her favorite colors and it’s a good thing, too, because she earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Western Kentucky University and her master’s in communication from UofL.