Skip to main content
Join Member Login
HomeCurious Allies Exhibition

curious Allies: Mutualism in Fungi, Parasites, and Carnivores 

The Fifth New York Botanical Garden Triennial

May 18, 2024 - October 27, 2024, traveling into 2026

The Exhibition
Call for Entries
The Artists/Backstories
The Art
Photo Gallery

©2022 Christiane Fashek

Soldiering On
Cladonia cristatella
Colored pencil and watercolor on paper
10-1/2 x 14 inches

Curious Allies: Mutualism in Fungi, Parasites and Carnivores, is on view at the New York Botanical Garden in Ross Gallery through October 27, alongside the garden-wide exhibition Wonderland: Curious Nature. Unusual plants with fascinating relationships have been chosen for this Fifth Triennial by a jury team of Joanna Groarke, Robin Jess, Patricia Jonas, and Susan Mintun. Chosen are 48 artworks from artists in the US, Brazil, Canada, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, South Africa, and the UK. The artworks included illustrate various elements of the theme, examining important and often unobserved relationships fungi, lichens, mycotrophic, parasitic, and carnivorous plants have with other plants and animals. Mushrooms and fungi serve as decomposers, form networks between plants, and can clean up environmental toxins. Lichens are themselves relationships between fungi and a chlorophyll-containing bacteria or algae. Parasitic plants attach directly to a host and draw nutrients from the host, sometimes harming the host. And carnivorous plants supplement nutrients from soil and water with a diet of insects, consuming them for additional nutrients. 

All of these organisms develop relationships that are critical to functioning ecosystems, but many times their impact is not fully appreciated. This exhibition hopes to shine a light on the many environmental benefits derived from these mutualistic relationships and new discoveries being made about their impacts. 

Artists with work included are: Susan Benjamin, Margaret Best, Jessica Daigle, Rebecca Davies, Maria Alice deRezende, Ronda Dick, Shevaun Doherty, Jean Emmons, Akiko Enokido, Christiane Fashek, Lara Gastinger, Janet Goltz, Prerna Gupta, Yoko Harada, Erika Hargesheimer, Albina P. Herron, Asuka Hishiki, Ann Hoffenberg, Mariko Ikeda, Mieko Ishikawa, Karen Kluglein, Patricia Luppino, Lucy Martin, Tammy S. McEntee, Sarah Morrish, Eunike Nugroho, Barbara Oozeerally, Nina Petrochko, Sengmany Phommachakr, Linda Powers, Theresa Ream, Gillian Rice, Betsy Rogers-Knox, Daleen Roodt, Elaine Searle, Beverly Simone, Kim Spink, Jane Sturgeon, Rose Torres, Donnett Vanek, Janene Walkky, Yuan Yuan Wang, Carol Woodin, and Fatima Zagonel.

ASBA gratefully acknowledges these Exhibition Sponsors, who generously provided major support for Curious Allies: Mutualism in Fungi, Parasites, and Carnivores

Chris J. Haas

Catherine M. Watters

For info on travel:

To support this exhibition’s travel: Sponsorships


The New York Botanical Garden
Ross Gallery (left side of the LuEsther Mertz Library Building)
Bronx, NY
May 18, 2024 - October 27, 2024

Tucson Botanical Gardens
Tucson, AZ
January 18 - June 30, 2025

Bell Museum
St. Paul, MN
September 2025 – January, 2026

Oak Spring Garden Foundation
Upperville, VA
March, 2026 - August, 2026

Denver Botanic Gardens
Denver, CO
September 27, 2026 - February 7, 2027

As further venues are announced, they will be posted here


Joanna Groarke
Vice President for Exhibitions and Programming, New York Botanical Garden

Robin Jess
Botanical Illustration Program Coordinator, Retired, NYBG and ASBA Executive Director, Retired

Susan Mintun
Botanical Artist and Educator

Patricia Jonas
ASBA Exhibitions Committee Member and Exhibitions Curator


Call for Entries: Curious Allies: Mutualism in Fungi, Parasites, and Carnivores

The Fifth New York Botanical Garden Triennial

ASBA gratefully acknowledges these Exhibition Sponsors, who generously provided major support for Curious Allies: Mutualism in Fungi, Parasites, and Carnivores

Chris J. Haas

Catherine M. Watters

CURIOUS ALLIES Opening Night at NYBG-May 17, 2024

Congratulations to the following artists!

Click on the artists' names below to read the artists' stories behind each piece.

NYBG Gold Medal
Jean Emmons
Cobra Lily and Sundews

NYBG Silver Medal
Christiane Fashek
Spiraling 16x

NYBG Bronze Medal
Asuka Hishiki
Mold-covered Buddha’s Hand (Turezure no kusa)

Honorable Mention
Karen Kluglein

Lara Call Gastinger
Moonglow Lichen

Mieko Ishikawa
Nepenthes lowii

Susan Benjamin
Greenshield Lichen

Dr. Dick Rauh Award for unusual or surprising morphology
Eunike Nugroho
Peculiar Parasite

2024 ASBA - All rights reserved

All artwork copyrighted by the artist. Copying, saving, reposting, or republishing of artwork prohibited without express permission of the artist.

Powered by ClubExpress