Baran-Unland: What factors did you consider when creating the programming?
Riley: We wanted to provide complementary programming that would appeal to different age groups and those with varied interests. That’s why you’ll see programs that focus on botanical aspects, creativity and art, and Frida herself.
Baran-Unland: Is this exhibit for all ages?
Riley: The exhibition is open to all ages, though it might be most appreciated by those ages 10 or older. There is a small section of the exhibit geared to younger children, and we will have a variety of fun activities for all ages in “Frida’s Garden Studio.” All of our program listings indicate the age of the intended audience.
Baran-Unland: What is the one thought you hope attendees remember about Frida?
Riley: I hope that visitors will be reminded that local landscapes and cultures have been, and continue to be, a source of inspiration for artists from all over the world. Frida had a unique perspective and a wonderful gift for communicating her thoughts, beliefs and values through the home environment she built with her husband, artist Diego Rivera, and the paintings and drawings she created throughout her lifetime. “Frida Kahlo’s Garden” helps us to understand the influences and messages reflected in her art, home and garden.
Baran-Unland: For devotees of Frida's work, what's one thing they might be surprised to know?
Riley: Much has been written about Frida’s personal pain and suffering, her iconic fashion styles, and her relationships throughout her lifetime. This exhibit zooms in on something just as intimate, yet maybe not as well examined.
Frida’s home and garden served as places of refuge and respite for her. Frida’s collections of plants, folk art, books, photographs, clothing and jewelry were extensions of her personality and reflected interests, friendships, and important elements of the Mexican culture she embraced. Understanding those influences may shed a different light on Frida, the woman, and her artwork.
(Above Frida with Picasso earrings, 1939. Photo by Nickolas Muray, Nickolas Muray Photo Archives)