Connecting with Nature through Art

Farah McIntyre, Member and Visitor Engagement Director, and Mark Gialanella, Education Programs Supervisor


Chattahoochee Nature Center’s mission is to connect people with nature. However, it does not stop at encouraging people to go outside and walk around in nature; CNC also encourages people to connect with nature through art utilizing collaborations with multiple art-focused partners.

In cooperation with the Georgia Nature Photographers Association (GNPA) and the Roswell Fine Arts Alliance (RFAA), CNC hosts seasonal gallery hangings in the Discovery Center. The gallery theme changes every quarter, but the focus is always related to nature, and each organization strives to ensure the photography and artwork represent CNC’s mission. Themes for each quarter are predetermined so that the artists and photographers have time to create beautiful art that will wow members and visitors.

In recent years, CNC’s fall quarter gallery hanging has been Double Vision. Double Vision is a special exhibit that shows the connection between nature and art by viewing one subject as envisioned by the photographer and the artist. Double Vision begins with a theme, and then the GNPA photographers take photos of anything related to that theme. For example, the theme could be Georgia’s natural water bodies. Once the GNPA selects 24 photographs for the show, they give them to the RFAA artists who create any kind of artwork they’d like with the freedom to reinterpret the photography however they choose. The exhibit’s focus is to illustrate the multiple ways of viewing and interpreting art, and CNC’s partnerships with GNPA and RFAA perfectly illustrate the different ways to connect with nature via art.

VamosChicos is another partnership that helps us connect people with nature through art. Katterina and Michael Nangle of VamosChicos are talented artists who contribute beautiful, eco-friendly art pieces to CNC’s seasonal exhibits such as Naturally Artistic and the Enchanted Woodland Trail. For two years, VamosChicos has created art entirely from recycled materials for display outside for CNC’s Naturally Artistic exhibit. VamosChicos strives to help CNC’s members and visitors see the connection between art and nature by reusing materials to create new and amazing works of art!

Programs at CNC also benefit from these valuable partnerships, especially the adult programs.  Eric Bowles with the GNPA has provided many photography classes at CNC. On October 21, he will join CNC’s canoe guides to lead the Photography by Canoe class on the Chattahoochee River. This is a great early morning opportunity to take some excellent photos on the river and learn at the same time.  RFAA will continue to provide their excellent art classes in nature on November 1 with their class, Learning to Paint Outdoors:  An Introduction to Painting En Plein Air.  These are just a few of the new upcoming class offerings for adults to learn from CNC’s art partners.

To learn more about our partners and the classes offered at CNC, visit the adult programs page.