Artist Lisa D. Watson works with natural materials as part of her creative process.

“Avant Gardener: A Creative Exploration of Imperiled Species,” an exhibit by Lisa D. Watson, will be on display at Coastal Discover Museum’s main gallery through Feb. 12, 2023.

Watson is an artist and a gardener. Her concern with human sprawl fuses with her love for plants and animals in her artwork, pushing her to create multilayered work that sparks a deeper awareness of human impact on nature. 

Since 2019, with the help of biologists, rangers and regional naturalists, she has ventured into the surrounding landscapes of the Southeast to study endangered, threatened and rare plants.

In this exhibit, Watson probes how loss of habitat, sprawl, chemical spraying, invasive exotic species, and poachers are changing native habitats into unhealthy and unsustainable lands. 

In the past, botanical illustrations were used by scientists and physicians for classification. What once was documented as discoveries, Watson feels an urgency to pay homage to before they disappear.

Watson’s materials are also essential to her process. “I cannot fully express the story of our remaining fragile environments without incorporating an art practice of reusing materials to prevent waste and unnecessary consumption,” she said. “Industrial wood scrap becomes my canvas. Shredded documents and security envelopes transform into lush foliage and textured landscapes.”

The exhibition will be accompanied by composer Eric Chasalow’s “What Shade of Green is Our Horizon?” The 42-minute aural land and seascape was composed for Avant Gardener after Lisa and Eric met at an artist’s residency at The Studios of Key West in 2022. 

Watson also will teach an “Art-full Seeding Workshop” from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 1. She will explain the planning, execution, and production of her limited-edition seed packets. Participants will then learn how to do the seeding and packaging process themselves and design and produce their own artful packet.

Cost is $30 and reservations are required.

Watson also will give a lecture, “The Seven Plant Blunders of Our Coast: Basics on Invasive Plant Species and Alternative Native Solutions,” at 2:30 p.m. Jan. 25.  Reservations required by calling 843-689-6767.

Gallery hours are Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Coastal Discovery Museum is located at 70 Honey Horn Drive on Hilton Head Island. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, call 843-689-6767or visit coastaldiscovery.org.