“Nests: Patterns from Nature” by W. Gary Smith on display at Filoli

by Linda Hubbard on May 17, 2019

Artist and landscape artist W. Gary Smith says his mission is simple – creating meaningful encounters between people, plants, and the natural world. That is much on display at an environmental art exhibition currently on exhibit at Filoli in Woodside through November 10.

InMenlo contributing photographer Robb Most wandered Filoli’s grounds to capture the myriad of nests designs gracing the property.

Background about the exhibit provided by the estate’s staff explains: “Gary’s exhibition at Filoli features forms inspired by both patterns in nature and nesting animals. All the materials come from the Filoli Estate – from wind-felled native oak trees, to plane tree branches gathered from the formal Garden.

“In this interactive exhibition, the abstractions of nests are a point of departure. Gary encourages the visitor to foster a personal connection with the form and the landscape in which the form sits. Meander along the serpentine of branches on the Estate Trail or climb into the 30’ nest in Filoli’s meadow.”

For this project Gary was hosted, in part, by Santa Clara University as a Visiting Artist for the Center for the Arts and Humanities. Gary worked with SCU students in Ryan Carrington’s course “Site Specific Art: Landscapes” to create installations included in the Filoli exhibition.

Photos by Robb Most (c) 2019: Top – Water Circle in the Sunken Garden; second from top -Upside Down in the Rose Garden; third from top – Nests Afloat in the Olive Grove; fourth from top – Giant Nest in the Meadow; bottom photo – Rookery in the Pool Pavilion


Turi Ruppert August 03, 2019 at 1:59 pm

Enjoyed visiting early July thought the nests were awesome! The gardens were beautiful! Lunch there very good too. Had a nice afternoon there with my son, grandson and friends.

Linda April 18, 2020 at 8:14 am

Is this Grady smith’s Brother9

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