The change of season is bringing new attractions — and a return of popular ones from previous years — to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chanhassen.
A new autumn-themed art exhibit, “Colors of Fall,” will run from Sept. 9 to Nov. 26 in the Reedy Gallery at the arboretum’s Oswald Visitor Center.
“Sometimes visitors are surprised to learn we have galleries at the arboretum,” said Judy Hohmann, the arboretum’s marketing and communications manager.
The Reedy typically features fine-art collections, while the Restaurant Gallery usually has photo or mixed-media exhibits. Hohmann said the art also takes shape outdoors, with installations like this summer’s “Nature in Glass” sculpture exhibit, which will run until Sept. 10.
“Colors of Fall” will feature more than a dozen artists, with up to 40 oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings.
“There will be a lot of browns and oranges. We hope to get across a message of beauty and warmth that mirrors what visitors will see around them outside,” said the exhibit’s curator, Keith Wilcock of Wilcock Gallery in Excelsior.
The arboretum has worked with Wilcock on art shows for about four years. He said shows sometimes features artists from around the globe, but he expects this exhibit will focus on Minnesota painters.
The exhibit will include works by well-established artists such as Kairong Lu, a noted watercolorist; Bruce Miller, a landscape and wildlife painter, and the late Olexa Bulavitsky, a Ukrainian émigré who escaped from a Nazi concentration camp. Ashley Dull, a relative newcomer, also will have paintings in the exhibit, as will Brenda Ward, whose paintings will be shown at the arboretum for the first time.
The paintings are available for sale, with a portion of the proceeds going to the arboretum.
The Oswald Visitor Center once again will host weekend apple tastings Sept. 20, 21, 27 and 28 and Oct. 4, 5, 11 and 12. Visitors will get a chance to sample and rate apples, including varieties being developed by the University of Minnesota.
David Bedford, a scientist in the university’s apple breeding program, said the ratings are reviewed by researchers. “They are definitely useful to us,” he said. Bedford also considers opinions from a formal panel of tasters used by the fruit breeding program.
The tastings are part of a long process of developing a new apple variety. The university’s immensely popular Honeycrisp apple was about 30 years in the making, while Sweetango took about 20 years, Bedford said.
Arboretum visitors this year will get a chance to taste a new apple that is about to be released to growers. Bedford said it probably will be another four years for young trees to get established and produce the new variety for grocery shelves.
Right now the new variety is only known by a number. Bedford, who helped name the Honeycrisp and Sweetango, said he soon will recommend a name that will need to be approved by the university.
“It’s easier to name a kid,” said Bedford, who keeps a list of about 200 possible names.
Bedford said trademark regulations prohibit a name that is descriptive but allow ones that are suggestive of an apple’s qualities. “You try to walk that line and hope that it will get approved by the trademark office,” he said.
“You want something that’s pronounceable and memorable with consumers, he said. “At some point, you’re happy enough with something and you go with it. Then you have to hope that is doesn’t mean something obscene in a foreign language.”