Art at The North Carolina Arboretum honors the unique cultural and natural heritage of the region. The collection and exhibits, inspired by the land, the people and the creative process, bring art and craft into public spaces while enriching and stimulating thought and imagination.

Mission Statement for The North Carolina Arboretum Art Collection

The Arboretum’s art collection began in 1989 with the commission and purchase of 18 pieces for indoor use within the Artworks for State Buildings program. To date, the Arboretum’s current collection totals around 200 pieces including paintings, prints, fiber art, basket art, photography, wood carving, sculpture, and functional items. New works of art are being added to the collection each year. Artworks are exhibited indoors and in outdoor landscape exhibits. Explore the collection by picking up an Art Walk Guide at one of the information desks.

Goals for the Arboretum Artwork collection:

  • Infuse public spaces with art to encourage and support the art industry and economy of the region, and stimulate the interaction of the public with art.
  • Acquire and exhibit artwork of varying style, scale, medium, form and intent that are representative of local, regional, national and international artists and art communities.
  • Encourage dialogue through educational materials and programs that aim to increase public understanding of the role and value of public art and the relationship of the collection to the Arboretum’s mission and purpose.
  • Remain relevant for succeeding generations through periodic assessment, maintenance and conservation of the collection.

The Art Walk

The Art Walk provides a guide to help visitors view some of the Arboretum’s permanent art collection. Information about the subject, artist and medium of each piece is included in the Arboretum’s Art Walk brochure. The collection is located throughout the Education Center, Baker Exhibit Center and landscapes. To view pieces of the collection that are not on display in public spaces, please contact the administrative receptionist on the second floor of the Education Center or inquire at an information desk.

Art Exhibits

The Arboretum features rotating art exhibits from established visual artists whose work will help further the Arboretum’s mission: to connect people with plants through creative expressions. These exhibits can be found periodically on the second floor of the Baker Exhibit Center.