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Seeing the Invisible – Spanish Pointe, Our Town Sarasota News Events

Seeing the Invisible – Spanish Pointe


Featuring Contemporary Art Created with Augmented-Reality Technology, Innovative Show Will Be on View at 10 Sites in Eight Countries During “Season 2”

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens will host a second year of the cutting-edge contemporary-art exhibition Seeing the Invisible at its Historic Spanish Point campus.

The most ambitious and expansive show to date of contemporary artworks created with augmented-reality (AR) technology, the exhibition launched last year at 12 botanical gardens around the world. Selby Gardens is one of four inaugural sites that will continue to host the show for a second year, through September 2023. Six new garden and museum sites will join the global exhibition in October.

“Selby Gardens is known for presenting innovative art exhibitions in our botanical garden setting, and Seeing the Invisible has raised that model to a whole new level at our Historic Spanish Point campus,” said Jennifer O. Rominiecki, president and CEO of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. “Placing this augmented-reality artwork amid the native Florida nature and historic structures on our bayfront campus in Osprey has created an experience like no other in our region.”

Seeing the Invisible features works by more than a dozen internationally acclaimed artists, including Ai Weiwei of China, El Anatsui of Ghana, Isaac Julien CBE RA of the United Kingdom, and Sarah Meyohas of the United States. At Selby Gardens’ Historic Spanish Point campus, the show’s 13 AR works are installed in carefully curated locations throughout the 30-acre preserve. Visitors engage with the art through an app that can be downloaded to a smartphone or tablet. An updated version of the app for Season 2 will be available in October.

Seeing the Invisible is the first exhibition of its kind to be developed as a collaboration among botanical gardens around the world. The same commissioned artworks are placed in outdoor settings at the participating institutions, creating parallels and contrasts between them. The AR nature of the exhibition has allowed for the creation of expansive, immersive works that engage with existing features of the natural landscape, going beyond the limitations of what is possible with physical artworks. The collaboration also allows the partner gardens and museums to bring leading contemporary art to their communities in a sustainable way.

The show was initiated by Hannah Rendell, Executive Director at the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens, and Candida Gertler, co-founder of the London-based Outset Contemporary Art Fund, with support from The Jerusalem Foundation’s Innovation Fund. Seeing the Invisible is co-curated by Hadas Maor and Tal Michael Haring. For Selby Gardens’ installation, Vice President for Visitor Engagement and Chief Museum Curator Dr. David Berry led the local curatorial team. The show is sponsored here by Gulf Coast Community Foundation.

As part of Seeing the Invisible, the Eden Project in the U.K. has developed accompanying educational content that explores the exhibition’s themes of art, nature, sustainability, and technology. Selby Gardens will introduce its educational programming in October, with activities such as plant and animal scavenger hunts, seed-planting kits, recycled-material art projects, and much more planned throughout Season 2. Follow Selby Gardens on Facebook and Instagram for announcements about monthly themes, pop-up activities, and opportunities to engage with the exhibition online.

In addition to Selby Gardens’ Historic Spanish Point campus, year two of Seeing the Invisible will be presented at:

  • Adelaide Botanic Garden (Australia)
  • Eden Project (England)
  • Gardens by the Bay (Singapore)
  • The Jerusalem Botanical Gardens (Israel)
  • Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s Garden at Elm Bank (U.S.)
  • Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto (Canada)
  • National Garden, Athens (Greece)
  • The University of Texas at Austin Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (U.S.)
  • Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden (South Africa)

Seeing the Invisible features AR works by the following artists:


  • Ai Weiwei (b. 1957, Beijing, China; lives and works in multiple locations, including Beijing, China; Berlin, Germany; Cambridge, U.K.; and Lisbon, Portugal)
  • Refik Anadol (b. 1985, Istanbul, Turkey; lives and works in Los Angeles, U.S.)
  • El Anatsui (b. 1944, Anyako, Ghana; lives and works in Nigeria)
  • Ori Gersht (b. 1967, Tel Aviv, Israel; lives and works in London, U.K.)
  • Isaac Julien CBE RA (b. 1960, London, U.K.; lives and works in London)
  • Mohammed Kazem (b. 1969, Dubai, UAE; lives and works in Dubai, UAE)
  • Sigalit Landau (b. 1969, Jerusalem, Israel; lives and works in Tel Aviv, Israel)
  • Daito Manabe (b. 1976, Tokyo, Japan; lives and works in Tokyo, Japan)
  • Sarah Meyohas (b. 1991, New York City, U.S.; lives and works in New York)
  • Mel O’Callaghan (b. 1975, Sydney, Australia; lives and works in Paris, France)
  • Pamela Rosenkranz (b. 1979, Switzerland; lives and works in Zurich, Switzerland)
  • Timur Si-Qin (b. 1984, Germany; lives and works in New York City, U.S.)
  • Jakob Kudsk Steensen (b. 1987, Denmark; lives and works in Berlin, Germany)