Poet, singer-songwriter, author, and visual artist Patti Smith has been named Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ inaugural artist in residence. The new relationship was announced this week at a live performance by Smith at the gardens’ downtown Sarasota campus.
Smith’s artistic residency will include two return visits to Selby Gardens—one in 2023 and one in 2024—where she will combine public activities such as readings and performances with private time drawing creative inspiration from the organization’s two bayfront campuses and world-renowned collections.
Smith’s relationship with Selby Gardens stems from the gardens’ current exhibition, Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith: Flowers, Poetry, and Light. The show, which runs through June 26, explores Mapplethorpe’s flower photography and Smith’s lyrics and poetry about flowers and nature, in dialogue with original horticultural installations inspired by their art.
Smith first visited Selby Gardens in February to tour Flowers, Poetry, and Light and perform songs and readings she selected to complement the exhibition. She called the interdisciplinary show “a beguiling exhibition” and said she “was very moved to be asked to be a part of it.”