Harvard Conservation Trust utilized $4,485 in Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts grant funding to put on a juried art show and exhibit titled ‘Destination: Nature,’ which was viewed at the Fivesparks gallery space Harvard in November and December 2022.

HCT collaborated with arts and culture nonprofit Fivesparks for the show that commemorated 50 years of HCT’s efforts to preserve Harvard’s unique character and natural resources. Artists were invited to submit artwork for jurying and selection, as well as for cash awards and other prizes, works representing and/or inspired by the thousands of acres of protected land and trails in Harvard.

“We welcomed interpretations from local and surrounding artists of the beauty of Harvard's protected land and what it means to preserve it for future generations,” HCT Executive Administrator Ana Hedberg relayed in a grant impact report. “The show was well-received in the community, earning high praises on social media and comments on Fivesparks' guest book.”

HCT and Fivesparks held three receptions which were attended at Fivesparks' guest capacity on all three occasions and the increased foot traffic at Fivesparks continued throughout the show as publicity in several newspapers and social media brought awareness regionally of the show.

“This project surpassed everyone's expectations in attendance, artists' participation, community outreach and engagement,” Hedberg shared. “The impact of Destination: Nature…was broad and surprising in many ways. In a post-Covid restricted era, the community was ready to congregate and celebrate the arts, while making nature and conservation the stars of the show.”

Artists from 27 regional towns selected for the show by Sarah Montross, Senior Curator at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, were able to compete for cash prizes totaling $850 thanks to the CFNCM grant funding. The all-inclusive show welcomed a wide variety of different mediums such as fiber art, ceramic, metal, plastic, and the more traditional oil, acrylics, pastel, and watercolor paints, and the large public attendance increased the artists' exposure, allowing them to connect with buyers and collectors.