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New Gainesville art gallery tells the story of native plants at Linwood Preserve
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A bee lands on native plants on Thursday. June 13, 2019, at the Linwood Nature Preserve. A new gallery of art is on display at the community center on the nature preserve that is intended to catalogue the native plants cultivated on the preserve. - photo by Nick Bowman

A new gallery of art in Gainesville celebrates both the native plants of Hall County and the life of the late Bruce Doll, a dedicated Redbud Project volunteer and Master Gardener.

The Bruce Alan Doll Nature Art Gallery opened in May and was on display for the Hall County Master Gardeners’ 2019 Garden Walk. It’s a project of Pat Ware, Beryl Angelus, Joann Keller and Margaret Rasmussen.

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The Bruce Alan Doll Nature Art Gallery is a collection of art based on native plants hanging in the community center at the Linwood Nature Preserve. The collection was assembled from mostly local Master Gardeners and is intended to capture the wide array of local plants tended by the Redbud Project at the property. - photo by Nick Bowman

The Redbud Project, of which Rasmussen is the executive director, has collected art representing the wide variety of native plants to be found at the preserve at 415 Linwood Drive in Gainesville. The gallery is located in the preserve’s community center off of Springview Drive. The center is only open for meetings of the Redbud Project and other groups using the space.

So far a collection of paintings, photographs, quilts and even a framed “Mark Trail’ comic donated by Rosemary Dodd — widow of the comic’s late creator, Ed Dodd — the hope for the gallery is that it will provide a one-stop look through the 30-acre property.

“There’s a lot more to do in terms of cataloguing,” Rasmussen said on Thursday, June 13. “But most of the people involved wanted to give.”

The collection is currently drawn from about 30 people, and it includes depictions of the grasses, shrubs, trees, flowers and insects that dot the landscape of the preserve.

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"Bee on Redbud," a photograph by Don Linke.

Three of Don Linke’s photographs command the main wall of the room under the plaques that commemorate Doll. Linke captured the organization’s namesake redbud tree in bloom, an American beautyberry and three ferns sprouting from the soil.

All of his pictures were captured at the Linwood preserve, and Linke is, like most of the 30 people who contributed, also a Master Gardener.

“I think a lot of Master Gardeners are really involved,” Linke said on Thursday. “We all love plants, and we like some insects better than others.”

The largest piece in the gallery is a painting by Chris Hamman named “Plant Spirits.”

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“Plant Spirits,” by Chris Hamman, is a visual representation of a dream Hamman had about plants. The piece is part of the collection at Bruce Alan Doll Nature Art Gallery in the Linwood Nature Preserve. The gallery was opened in May and pieces are still being collected by the Redbud Project. - photo by Nick Bowman

“Since he’s been a little boy, he dreams and he remembers these dreams in the morning. He was dreaming about plants, so he did this painting as plant spirits,” Rasmussen said, looking over the painting. “He was going to loan the piece and we went over to get it and he (decided to donate it). That’s what people do. They just know that there’s a mission about this.”

Other contributors painted, quilted or photographed a wide variety of native plants and insects.

And the gallery’s namesake, Bruce Doll, was a man on a mission himself. A retired engineer and veteran of the Air Force, Doll died June 29, 2018.
“He was most recently, at the end of his life, a Master Gardener. He was also a pilot,” Rasmussen said. “He was a man who, on his honeymoon, he and his wife ran the Appalachian Trail in something like 167 days. And then they stayed married for 47 years.

“That’s the kind of person he was. If anything needed to be done, he was on it.”

The gallery was funded by memorial gifts in Doll’s name after his death.

Contact redbudproject@gmail.com for more information about the gallery.

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A "Mark Trail" comic hangs in the community center at the Linwood Nature Preserve as part of the Redbud Project's Bruce Alan Doll Nature Art Gallery. Much of the work comes from Hall County Master Gardeners. The comic was donated by Rosemary Dodd, wife of the late Ed Dodd, creator of Mark Trail. - photo by Nick Bowman
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