Rose are Red: Art Inspired by Botanical Influences on Human Culture

Wild Roses

Roses Are Red: Art Inspired by Botanical Influences on Human Culture was an exhibit co-created by Ink Dwell and Anjel Van Slyke exploring how plants have shaped our world—and how people have shaped the plant world, over millennia.

The value and impact of botanicals extend far beyond just their visual beauty and each work represents how plants impact a different human sense.


A 10-foot section of hand painted wallpaper by Jane depicts the evolution of roses from wild to domestic, with 15 intricately painted flowers. The piece illustrates how humans have manipulated plants as well as internal and external spaces with plant-inspired surface design.

Through a closed loop vein structure of leaves, co-curator Anjel Van Slyke, Founder of Crux and Canopy, depicts a model ideal for energy efficiency through a delicately hand cut paper installation.

*The notebooks were created by Olivia San Mateo, Founder of Olive-Route Design


Most of us don’t think of plants as musical organisms, but Dr. Kim Ritman offers evidence that suggests otherwise. In this installation, designed by Ink-Dwell and Van Slyke, Dr. Ritman has recorded the sound a banana plant makes as water flows through its veins–much like the noise of a beating heart.

Bradley Skaught, singer, guitarist and songwriter for Oakland-based band The Bye Bye Blackbirds shares a work composed with various acoustic emmissions of plants.


Landscape designer Christine Pyers highlights the sense of touch with her plant-scape pods in a storefront garden that provides a place to interact, manipulate and touch plants.


A scent chandelier, designed by Ink Dwell and Van Slyke is modeled around the basic structure of a scent molecule.


For a tasty treat, we shared delicious bites on opening night to highlight botanically inspired cuisine. A fun t-shirt was then hand printed on opening night to represent the sense of “taste” - Eat wild nettles. Saute them in garlic. Use them in a frittata. Yum!

Illustration by: Hannah Berman, Pie Bird Press

Lettering by: Anjel Van Slyke

Taste shirt