Art & Nature Center

Boy and Arctic Wolf

The Dotty Brown Art & Nature Center

Completely redesigned, the expanded Art & Nature Center showcases original exhibitions that investigate our interconnections with nature through contemporary art, memorable objects and interactive experiences. Designed for visitors of all ages, the new family-friendly center features changing exhibitions, hands-on displays and art-making spaces.

Changing Art & Nature Exhibitions

These revolving shows explore timely topics at the interface of human experience and the natural world.

Our exhibition, Branching Out: Trees as Art, closes September 13th. Don't miss this opportunity to explore art inspired by and made with trees!

Our next show, Sizing it Up: Scale in Nature and Art opens October 10th. Come to the opening day celebration from 10 am to 4 pm!

Check out all of our Past Art & Nature Center Exhibitions below.

Art & Nature Displays

Discover art and natural specimens from the museum's collection that reveal stories about our evolving relationship with nature. Interactive sculptures and exploratory stations also invite you to play and invent as you investigate your own connections with the environment. The Investigate! Zone, with its fun things to do and create on low tables, shows toddlers and preschoolers there's a place here for them, too!

Art-making Spaces

Exercise your creativity at PEM! Visit the Art Nook and Create Space for a wide range of drop-in programs and art-making workshops. (See the Events Calendar for details.)


Check out the latest blog posts about the center at Connected.

Past Art & Nature Center Exhibitions

Beyond Human: Artist–Animal Collaborations
Beyond Human: Artist–Animal Collaborations
October 19, 2013 to September 7, 2014
Ripple Effect, The Art of H2O
Ripple Effect, The Art of H2O
June 18, 2011 to July 8, 2012
Eye Spy, Playing with Perception
Eye Spy, Playing with Perception
June 19, 2010 to May 22, 2011
Trash Menagerie
Trash Menagerie
June 20, 2009 to May 23, 2010
Polar Attractions
Polar Attractions
June 28, 2008 to June 7, 2009
Origami Now!
Origami Now!
June 16, 2007 to June 8, 2008
A Sense of Place, An Artist's Tribute to the Seven Continents
A Sense of Place, An Artist's Tribute to the Seven Continents
December 16, 2006 to June 3, 2007
Owls in Art and Nature
Owls in Art and Nature
October 1, 2005 to December 3, 2006
In Nature's Company
In Nature's Company
October 9, 2004 to September 18, 2005

Related events For families

PEM Pals
Wednesdays from 10:30am - 11:30am on Wednesday, September 9, 2015

This fun, interactive program with books, movement, music, art and hands-on activities is designed specifically for preschoolers and their caregivers.

Stay tuned for Fall/Winter PEM Pals listings!

Here is our list of PEM Pals favorite books of 2014.

Read The Inside Story: PEM Pals continues to grow from Connections magazine.

PEM Pals
Wednesdays from 10:30am - 11:30am on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

This fun, interactive program with books, movement, music, art and hands-on activities is designed specifically for preschoolers and their caregivers.

Stay tuned for Fall/Winter PEM Pals listings!

Here is our list of PEM Pals favorite books of 2014.

Read The Inside Story: PEM Pals continues to grow from Connections magazine.

Celebrate the Beest
Saturday, September 19, 2015 from 10am - 4pm FAMILY FESTIVAL – Creative Adaptations

Build a beest of your own to live in one of three habitats designed at PEM. Find inspiration in live critters and work with guest artists, scientists and engineering advisors from Einstein's Workshop to make your beest thrive and adapt to different environments.

 

All-Night Hackathon

1 pm-1 pm

Join us for this high-energy, collaborative event that brings together a diverse group of tech-savvy folks to solve a Strandbeest challenge created by Strandbeest artist/mastermind Theo Jansen. We have room for eight teams total, four to six people per team. The first eight teams to register and submit payment ($50 per team) will participate in the Hackathon. Registration ends Monday, September 14. For information, contact makerlounge@pem.org.

PEM Pals
Wednesdays from 10:30am - 11:30am on Wednesday, September 23, 2015

This fun, interactive program with books, movement, music, art and hands-on activities is designed specifically for preschoolers and their caregivers.

Stay tuned for Fall/Winter PEM Pals listings!

Here is our list of PEM Pals favorite books of 2014.

Read The Inside Story: PEM Pals continues to grow from Connections magazine.

PEM Pals
Wednesdays from 10:30am - 11:30am on Wednesday, September 30, 2015

This fun, interactive program with books, movement, music, art and hands-on activities is designed specifically for preschoolers and their caregivers.

Stay tuned for Fall/Winter PEM Pals listings!

Here is our list of PEM Pals favorite books of 2014.

Read The Inside Story: PEM Pals continues to grow from Connections magazine.

PEM Pals
Wednesdays from 10:30am - 11:30am on Wednesday, October 7, 2015

This fun, interactive program with books, movement, music, art and hands-on activities is designed specifically for preschoolers and their caregivers.

Stay tuned for Fall/Winter PEM Pals listings!

Here is our list of PEM Pals favorite books of 2014.

Read The Inside Story: PEM Pals continues to grow from Connections magazine.

The Big Draw and Sizing It Up Mash-Up
Saturday, October 10, 2015 from 10am - 4pm WEEKEND FESTIVAL

From massive to minuscule, explore art and nature on a vast scale! PEM combines the opening of Sizing It Up and the annual Big Draw Festival for a lively day of art and investigation. 

 

DROP-IN ART MAKING

Mega Heart Meets Mini Heartbeats
10 am-4 pm | Atrium 

Explore Marilu Swett's giant abstract heart and add your own heartbeat drawing to the inside of the sculpture. 

 

Tinkering with Scale
10 am-4 pm | Maker Lounge 

Doodle in 3-D, make a pattern with a pantograph and tinker with tools and techniques for making drawings big and small. 

 

ARTIST DEMONSTRATION

Nail Scale Art
10 am-12:30 pm and 1-3:15 pm | Atrium 

Pick a nail for Nina Park to use as the canvas for one of her mini scenes. Animal face nail stickers are available for younger guests. 

 

STUDIO DISCOVERY

Tiny Giants: Marine Microbes at a Grand Scale
10 am-4 pm | Create Space 

Discover why marine microbes are called tiny giants as you investigate live organisms and create your own scale-warping art. Scientists and artists are on hand to share ideas, answer questions and help with your creation.

Made possible by American Dental Partners

 

FILM

Mysteries of the Unseen World
11 am-4 pm, runs hourly | Morse Auditorium
Recommended for families with children ages 3 and up 

Discover events in nature that are not visible to the human eye. From microscopic creatures to actions that occur in only a millisecond, this film gives us a peek into the unseen.

39 minutes, 2013. 

PEM Pals
Wednesdays from 10:30am - 11:30am on Wednesday, October 14, 2015

This fun, interactive program with books, movement, music, art and hands-on activities is designed specifically for preschoolers and their caregivers.

Stay tuned for Fall/Winter PEM Pals listings!

Here is our list of PEM Pals favorite books of 2014.

Read The Inside Story: PEM Pals continues to grow from Connections magazine.

PEM Pals
Wednesdays from 10:30am - 11:30am on Wednesday, October 21, 2015

This fun, interactive program with books, movement, music, art and hands-on activities is designed specifically for preschoolers and their caregivers.

Stay tuned for Fall/Winter PEM Pals listings!

Here is our list of PEM Pals favorite books of 2014.

Read The Inside Story: PEM Pals continues to grow from Connections magazine.

PEM Pals
Wednesdays from 10:30am - 11:30am on Wednesday, October 28, 2015

This fun, interactive program with books, movement, music, art and hands-on activities is designed specifically for preschoolers and their caregivers.

Stay tuned for Fall/Winter PEM Pals listings!

Here is our list of PEM Pals favorite books of 2014.

Read The Inside Story: PEM Pals continues to grow from Connections magazine.

PEM Pals
Wednesdays from 10:30am - 11:30am on Wednesday, November 4, 2015

This fun, interactive program with books, movement, music, art and hands-on activities is designed specifically for preschoolers and their caregivers.

Stay tuned for Fall/Winter PEM Pals listings!

Here is our list of PEM Pals favorite books of 2014.

Read The Inside Story: PEM Pals continues to grow from Connections magazine.

PEM Pals
Wednesdays from 10:30am - 11:30am on Wednesday, November 4, 2015

This fun, interactive program with books, movement, music, art and hands-on activities is designed specifically for preschoolers and their caregivers.

Stay tuned for Fall/Winter PEM Pals listings!

Here is our list of PEM Pals favorite books of 2014.

Read The Inside Story: PEM Pals continues to grow from Connections magazine.

PEM Pals
Wednesdays from 10:30am - 11:30am on Wednesday, November 4, 2015

This fun, interactive program with books, movement, music, art and hands-on activities is designed specifically for preschoolers and their caregivers.

Stay tuned for Fall/Winter PEM Pals listings!

Here is our list of PEM Pals favorite books of 2014.

Read The Inside Story: PEM Pals continues to grow from Connections magazine.

PEM Pals
Wednesdays from 10:30am - 11:30am on Wednesday, November 11, 2015

This fun, interactive program with books, movement, music, art and hands-on activities is designed specifically for preschoolers and their caregivers.

Stay tuned for Fall/Winter PEM Pals listings!

Here is our list of PEM Pals favorite books of 2014.

Read The Inside Story: PEM Pals continues to grow from Connections magazine.

PEM Pals
Wednesdays from 10:30am - 11:30am on Wednesday, November 18, 2015

This fun, interactive program with books, movement, music, art and hands-on activities is designed specifically for preschoolers and their caregivers.

Stay tuned for Fall/Winter PEM Pals listings!

Here is our list of PEM Pals favorite books of 2014.

Read The Inside Story: PEM Pals continues to grow from Connections magazine.

PEM Pals
Wednesdays from 10:30am - 11:30am on Wednesday, November 25, 2015

This fun, interactive program with books, movement, music, art and hands-on activities is designed specifically for preschoolers and their caregivers.

Stay tuned for Fall/Winter PEM Pals listings!

Here is our list of PEM Pals favorite books of 2014.

Read The Inside Story: PEM Pals continues to grow from Connections magazine.

PEM Pals
Wednesdays from 10:30am - 11:30am on Wednesday, December 2, 2015

This fun, interactive program with books, movement, music, art and hands-on activities is designed specifically for preschoolers and their caregivers.

Stay tuned for Fall/Winter PEM Pals listings!

Here is our list of PEM Pals favorite books of 2014.

Read The Inside Story: PEM Pals continues to grow from Connections magazine.

PEM Pals
Wednesdays from 10:30am - 11:30am on Wednesday, December 9, 2015

This fun, interactive program with books, movement, music, art and hands-on activities is designed specifically for preschoolers and their caregivers.

Stay tuned for Fall/Winter PEM Pals listings!

Here is our list of PEM Pals favorite books of 2014.

Read The Inside Story: PEM Pals continues to grow from Connections magazine.

PEM Pals
Wednesdays from 10:30am - 11:30am on Wednesday, December 16, 2015

This fun, interactive program with books, movement, music, art and hands-on activities is designed specifically for preschoolers and their caregivers.

Stay tuned for Fall/Winter PEM Pals listings!

Here is our list of PEM Pals favorite books of 2014.

Read The Inside Story: PEM Pals continues to grow from Connections magazine.

PEM Pals
Wednesdays from 10:30am - 11:30am on Wednesday, December 23, 2015

This fun, interactive program with books, movement, music, art and hands-on activities is designed specifically for preschoolers and their caregivers.

Stay tuned for Fall/Winter PEM Pals listings!

Here is our list of PEM Pals favorite books of 2014.

Read The Inside Story: PEM Pals continues to grow from Connections magazine.

PEM Pals
Wednesdays from 10:30am - 11:30am on Wednesday, December 30, 2015

This fun, interactive program with books, movement, music, art and hands-on activities is designed specifically for preschoolers and their caregivers.

Stay tuned for Fall/Winter PEM Pals listings!

Here is our list of PEM Pals favorite books of 2014.

Read The Inside Story: PEM Pals continues to grow from Connections magazine.