Inspiration Point

MICA alum Phaan Howng exhibits at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Howng with her work for The Future of Orchids: Conservation and Collaboration. (Hannele Lahti/Smithsonian)

For centuries, orchids have brought us inspiration. Today, orchids also inspire conservation—the work to protect our environment for the future. Drawing insight from orchids, or what she calls the most interesting plant in the universe, MICA alum Phaan Howng's ’15 (Mount Royal School of Art MFA) work is being shown in conjunction with the Smithsonian’s 28th annual orchid exhibit in Washington, DC. The garden spectacle The Future of Orchids: Conservation and Collaboration can be viewed through April 28 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum National Portrait Gallery.

Howng, whose wood focused on the complex relationship between humans and nature, was a natural fit for the exhibition. In The Future of Orchids, she has created boldly-colored sculptures that depict the varied environments of orchids and form an imagined future landscape.