Exhibits & Installations

In addition to our permanent display houses featuring gorgeous landscape architecture, we host a variety of dynamic exhibits and installations from Chicago-based artists, community members, and Conservatory staff. Peruse some of our most recent exhibits below, and check back for updates on our future and upcoming exhibit plans.

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The Creative Mind of George Washington Carver

“Since new developments are the products of a creative mind, we must therefore stimulate and encourage that type of mind in every way possible.”  

George Washington Carver 

 Most know George Washington Carver for his contributions to agricultural science through the development of hundreds of peanut products. However, he was also a gifted artist whose biggest inspiration was nature. It was Carver’s creative lens that motivated him in all of his greatest scientific achievements.  The Creative Mind of George Washington Carver Artist’s Garden Show will provide visitors insight about Carver’s artistic and scientific development and the gifts he shared with the world. 

Carver understood that our emotional peace is interdependent on our surroundings, and he believed that everyone deserved to be surrounded by beauty. George Washington Carver teaches about the endless inspiration available in nature and the power of allowing that creativity to blossom. Visitors will find inspiration in the Artist’s Garden this summer by enjoying the beautiful floral landscape inspired by Carver’s paint washes & botanical illustrations.  Through interpretive panels, visitors will learn more about the Carver’s fascination with the botanical and how it infused his work. 


The Creative Mind of George Washington Carver Artist’s Garden Show opens July 3, 2024 in the Artist’s Garden. It can and can be enjoyed through September 22, 2024.  

Reservations can be made on our website starting June 3rd,2024. 

Meeting History: A Garfield Park Citizen Archive

The exhibit “Meeting History: A Garfield Park Citizen Archive” is on display at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago from February 16 to June 21. This project visualizes the history of Garfield Park through a citizen archive built in collaboration with local residents. The resulting archive invites you to learn more about the Garfield Park neighborhood through the photographs and stories of those who spent their time there. 

This project is a collaboration between the CatchLight Local Visual Desk, led by CatchLight Local Fellow Samantha Friend Cabrera, in collaboration with CatchLight,  ProPublica, and the Institute for Nonprofit News, and made possible with generous support from the Kresge Foundation, McCormick Foundation and PhotoWings.


Programming to be held during the exhibition to be announced soon!

About CatchLight 

CatchLight, is a visual-first media organization that leverages the power of visual storytelling to inform, connect, and transform communities. They bring resources and organizations together to discover, develop, and amplify visual storytellers at all levels. In 2019, CatchLight launched the CatchLight Local Visual Desk–A collaborative model for visual journalism that is advancing trust and representation in local news and media

About ProPublica 

ProPublica is an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism with moral force. We dig deep into important issues, shining a light on abuses of power and betrayals of public trust — and we stick with those issues as long as it takes to hold power to account. 

Persian Lilies

By Dale Chihuly
See it in Aroid House

Reciprocally Prickly

By Chris Garofalo
See it in Desert House

Bulls with Maidens

Designed by Daniel C. French and Edward C. Potter for the Columbia Exposition of 1893
See them in the Outdoor Gardens

Zellij Fountain

By Said Ben Adiba, Hassan Jemghili, and Jawad Rizki
See it in Horticulture Hall

Pastoral and Idyl

By Lorado Taft
See them at the top of Fern Room


By student artists at Howe School of Excellence and Kat Powers
See it in the Community Room

A History in Photographs

Photos from the Chicago Park District Special Collections
See it in the Jensen Room

The Beacon

By Luftwerk
See it outside Palm House at night


See it outside Sugar from the Sun

Spring Flower Show: What's In A Name?

This year’s Spring Flower Show, What’s in a Name?, explains the history and science of botanical nomenclature alongside a beautiful flower show full of blooms.  Plant names are an important way of communicating history, culture, and identity. In addition, because there are many plants with the same common name, or many common names for the same plant, knowing the botanical name helps people know exactly which plant is which. Learn about how to identify plants amongst stunning spring blooms like Tulipa ‘Rococo’, Lilium ‘Josephine’, Viola ‘Matrix Yellow’ and Anemone ‘Giant Blue Poppy’.

The Spring Flower Show opens on February 14th,  and runs through May 12th, 2024, in the Show House and is included with every reservation.

Artist's Garden Flower Show: Fairy Garden

The whimsical world of wonder and architecture of our resident fairies!
This summer’s Artist’s Garden exhibit features more than 15 magical fairy houses set creatively within the beautiful flowers and greenery of the Artist’s Garden. Classic flowers including hollyhock, sunflower, sweet alyssum, and nasturtium are joined by enchanting varieties such as  ‘Dreamland Pink’ Zinnia, and ‘Spellbound White Blush’ Petunia. The mini-homes represent a wide range of design styles and materials, limited only by the builders’ imaginations.  If you don’t already believe in fairies, this display might just change your mind!

This seasonal outdoor exhibit will open on July 5th and run through September 17th, 2023

An Otherworldly Existence: Afrofuturism & the Environment

Afrofuturism is a social, political and artistic movement. It envisions an improved future world for African-descended peoples. The African-descended people and cultures play a key role in the creation of that world. South Side native, artist Kee Merriwether, made this body of work. Garfield Park residents also shaped the exhibit. It seeks to represent African-descended people in a rich and robust environment. The need to fight environmental injustice is no longer needed, because this world is now just.

Spring Flower Show: Bee's Knees

The Garfield Park Conservatory’s 2023 Spring Flower Show returns February 15th! This year’s show, “Bee’s Knees” is a peek into the wondrous relationship between bees and blooms. Beautiful blooming Spring bulbs such as tulips, daffodils, hyacinth, hydrangeas, and delphiniums will be featured this year. Empty observation and demo hives from GPC’s beekeeping program are set amongst the blooms, giving a glimpse into the world of a bee. 


The Spring Flower Show: Bee’s Knees February 15 through May 14, 2023.
Reservations required. 

Garden Nouveau

The 2022 Artist’s Garden exhibit Garden Nouveau was an homage to the Art Nouveau movement. Art Nouveau was influenced by the emerging science of botany and the shape and movement of nature. The garden layout is inspired by many of the motifs seen throughout the architecture and design of this art style. Garden Nouveau will showcase many of the flowers Élisabeth Sonrel, an artist known for magnificent posters and watercolors, painted such as lilies, roses, hydrangeas, and oleanders.  

This seasonal outdoor exhibit was open July 6, 2022 – October 2, 2022.

Knock Knock: Spring Flower Show

Knock Knock! Who’s there? The 2022 Spring Show!  

The Garfield Park Conservatory’s 2022 Spring Flower Show “Knock Knock” was a fun, playful reprieve from the long Chicago winter. Beautiful blooming flowers, including tulips, hydrangeas, daffodils, and hyacinth, were featured this year. Doors from the Rebuilding Exchange were hung among the blooms and there was be an abundance of knock knock jokes throughout the Show House.

The Spring Flower Show: Knock Knock ran February 26 through May 8, 2022.

Serenity: Winter Flower Show

The Winter Flower Show, Serenity, evoked a feeling of tranquility to remind visitors that the natural world is a great source of calm amidst the hectic season.  Pink poinsettias will help to calm anxiety, while plants with silver foliage will relax the mind.  Pleasant scents will remind visitors of the outdoors, and provide aromatherapy throughout the room.  New this year, the show featured many blooming flowers, which is atypical for a display during winter’s shorter days.  Blossoms such as hyacinth, zinnias, salvias, and cosmos filled the room with their own brand of peace on earth.

Still Life in Real Life

The 2021 Artist’s Garden exhibit  Still Life in Real Life: Charles Ethan Porter was filled with fruits and flowers that can be found in the still life paintings of African American artist Charles Ethan Porter; including strawberries, carnations, violets, sunflowers and much more. It ran from July 28 through October 17. 

Spring Flower Show: Saturation

Saturation concentrates groups of blooming flowers so that visitors will be able to see and understand the wide range of hues and tints within each color and enjoy their vivid, rich and intense nuances. Saturday, February 27 through Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 9.

The Flowers of Monet

September 5 through October 31, 2020.

Spring Flower Show: Golden Hour

Friday, February 14 through March 17, 2020. This exhibit closed early due to COVID-19.

A Genius of the Spot

Saturday, January 11 – Sunday, March 8, 2020

2019 Winter Show: Invisible Forces

November 29,2019 – January 5, 2020

2019 Spring Show: Understory

February 14, 2019 – May 12, 2019

2018 Holiday Show: Tickled Pink

November 23, 2018 – January 6, 2019

The Persistence of the Unsorted

Artist in Residence Exhibit


2018 Spring Show: Hashtag No Filter

February 10, 2018 – May 13, 2018

2017 Holiday Show: Fire and Ice

November 24, 2017 – January 7, 2018

2017 Spring Show: Spring Training

February 18, 2017 to May 14, 2017

2016 Holiday Show: Sky Forest

November 24, 2016 to January 8, 2017

solarise: a sea of all colors

September 23, 2015 to September 22, 2016