Memphis Botanic Garden Announces New Seasonal Exhibit for Spring 2023

Bank of America to Present Rich Soil at the Garden

The Memphis Botanic Garden (MBG) today announced that it will host its fourth in a series of seasonal exhibits beginning in the spring of 2023, Rich Soil at the Garden. Building upon the success of its 2017 Big Bugs at the Garden, 2018/2019 Origami in the Garden, and 2022 Alice’s Adventures at the Garden exhibits, a new, outdoor exhibit developed and first displayed in the San Francisco, California, area is coming to Memphis for the spring and summer of 2023.

Rich Soil, created by American artist Kristine Mays, is inspired by the movements and gestures of Alvin Ailey’s dance composition “Revelations.” The exhibition will feature 29 sculptures in 7 groupings placed throughout the 96 acre grounds of the Garden. Each sculpture consists of thousands of pieces of wire hooked and looped together to create these intriguing forms which pay honor to ancestors–those that walked, lived on, and tended to this land–to the lives that have been overlooked and “forgotten” within our history. These forms deliver a message of strength while challenging how we view ourselves and others. Within the confines of hard metal wire is a sense of resilience and perseverance–a need to push forward and thrive. The work also speaks to identity–the question of who we are and what we can do with our lives and the impact our lives have on the world. The implied movement in the works evokes expressive gestures through the delicate balance between perceived fragility and realized strength.

Kristine Mays says of the work: “I breathe life into wire. Using hundreds of individual pieces of wire, I have developed a way of expressing the human form. As an artist I am very aware of the impermanence of life. With metal wire I have timelessly captured a fleeting moment that I hope will last for decades. My artwork points to the soul and spirit, transporting the viewer into another place.

“It’s about reconnecting to a deeper purpose — the soul and spirit of our lives. I transform hard rigid wire into soft flowing movement. I create the outer shell, the exterior of a human being, but provoke you to see what’s within. Memories and the way we have loved one another far outweigh our status or possessions — and yet sometimes a simple dress or a body in motion may trigger a memory from the past, allowing us to visit that which has imprinted our lives. As my practice has evolved, I have created work that points to the ancestors, making the invisible, visible.”

Kristine Mays currently lives and works in San Francisco, California. She has been an exhibiting artist since 1993. Mays seeks to create change with her art, creating socially conscious works of beauty that speak to social issues. She has participated in programming at the De Young Museum, the Museum of African Diaspora (MoAD), and exhibited at the California African American Museum (CAAM). Mays is represented by Modernism Inc. Gallery. Her work is a part of the permanent collection at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, CA. Collectors of her work include Star Wars creator George Lucas and collector/philanthropist Peggy Cooper Cafritz, with her work also displayed in many private collections throughout the United States.

A complete schedule of special events, educational programming, and performance arts collaborations are being developed to reach a broad mix of Memphis Botanic Garden members, guests, students, and tourists.

“We are thrilled to introduce Kristine Mays and her sculptures to Memphis. Kristine is the San Francisco, California, based creative force behind Rich Soil at the Garden, our next, and soon-to-open seasonal exhibit,” said Michael D. Allen, Executive Director of the Memphis Botanic Garden.

“Following on the heels of Alice’s Adventures at the Garden, our blockbuster 2022 exhibition, Rich Soil at the Garden gives us the opportunity to expand our audience and to both literally and figuratively encourage guests to explore deeper into our 96 acres of gardens,” said Allen.  “Additionally, I am excited by the opportunities we are forming to partner with Memphis-based performing arts organizations to bring their talents onto our grounds to share with our members and guests.”

“Bank of America has long believed in the power of the arts to help educate and enrich societies, bring communities together and create greater cultural understanding, including here in Memphis,” said Trevia Chatman, president, Bank of America Memphis. “The bank’s sponsorship of Memphis Botanic Garden’s upcoming Rich Soil at the Garden exhibit combines our commitment to the arts and diversity by highlighting the unique perspective of artist Kristine Mays, while supporting arts accessibility at an important Memphis institution. This exhibit will showcase Mays art form of wire creations which are exquisite pieces of art.”

Rich Soil at the Garden is presented by Bank of America.

The Memphis Botanic Garden is a not-for-profit 501(c) (3) organization dedicated to being an exemplary center for horticulture and environmental enrichment. Serving over 40,000 school-aged children annually, and hosting 260,000 visitors each year, Memphis Botanic Garden strives to enhance lives by connecting people with nature, increasing awareness and appreciation of our environment. For more information please visit

About Bank of America

At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at

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