Skip to main content

A REIMAGINING: What is a label?

Monday, January 29, 2024 - Sunday, February 11, 2024


A REIMAGINING: what is a label?, is a new botanic garden-supported exhibit on display in eight of the Lyman greenhouses. It will be on display from Monday, January 29 - Sunday, February 11. 

The exhibit showcases the work of Gretchen Hammell ’24, and is the result of her second practical experience for the Book Studies Concentration. Through these works, Hammell asks the question, "what do labels do?" There is perhaps no better place to explore this question than in Lyman where labels are found in every pot. 

“I’d like to start a conversation and get people to think more deeply about what labels actually do for a space and why they are important,” said Hammell. “How information is presented can totally alter how it is received, and I think there could and should be more creative approaches like this, to how places (like college greenhouses) can share these plants with people.” 

Hammell created eight different labels, six of which use paper Hammell made during Greenhouse Horticulturist Lily Carone’s J-Term Papermaking course in early January. Each label was uniquely designed in response to the plant it is associated with. One label can be found floating among water plants, just below the surface of the water in the pond in the Warm Temperate house. Another is installed high up in the canopy of the Palm house, affixed to the skyward facing surface of banana leaves, so that the text is read from below, rendered as a shadow where the light shining through the leaf is obstructed. 

A map of all of where all of Hammell's labels are located, along with an artist statement about the work, can be found in Lyman. And more of Hammell's work can be seen on her Instagram account, @gret_illustration.