Bloomington Visitor Center Gallery

E.Donovan Gallery Installation

January/February 2020 gallery exhibition with Emily Donovan, by USFWS


Gallery Location

Bloomington Education and Visitor Center
3815 American Blvd East, Bloomington MN 55425

The Bloomington Education and Visitor Center is open daily from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

January/February 2020 Gallery Exhibit: Migration and Motion

Exhibit on site: January 3-February 28

Artist Emily Donovan’s exhibition, “Migration and Motion” is a series of paintings that captures ideas about the environment, seasonal change and bird migration in Minnesota. Each work is created with natural dyes and pigments from plant materials, a process that provides a rich connection to nature. Bird migration and plant growth work together to create healthy ecosystems as they support one another and signal the arrival and departure of seasons. Birds can predict when flowers bloom, bugs arrive, and the weather, and their resiliency or decline can mirror the health of our environment. 


The paintings share ideas about how we move and travel to seek out certain species and the challenges that both birds and plants face from human interaction, loss of habitat, pollution and climate change. Inspiration comes from observations outdoors and learning from local naturalists and birders. A 2019 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant generously funds this project.

Emily Donovan is a multi-media artist who creates color in her work from natural pigments found in plant and animal materials. A Minnesota native, she graduated from the University of Minnesota with BA’s in both Visual Art and Art History. Emily is a recipient of the Minnesota State Arts Board, Artist Initiative Grant in 2014 and 2019 and most recently completed her first artist residency in Cusco, Peru. Emily regularly volunteers in schools, teaching her natural dye process and her award winning work is shown nationally, in galleries and art centers.

Artist Demonstration: Natural Dyes with Emily Donovan
Saturday, January 18
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Bloomington Education and Visitor Center
3815 American Blvd East, Bloomington MN 55425

Join artist Emily Donovan for a demonstration about natural dyes and materials to make color, and a short discussion about what she’s learned as a bird watching novice alongside her exhibition, “Migration and Motion.”

The natural dye demonstration will include examples of locally-foraged materials, including oak gall and black walnuts. Emily will also discuss ways to manipulate color with additives or mordants, like iron and alum. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about ways to make color naturally, how plants and birds create a healthy ecosystem, and discuss ways to create environmentally conscious art as a way to give back to and celebrate the environment.

About the Bloomington Visitor Center Art Gallery 

The purpose of our gallery is to illustrate the many connections between nature and art.  Through these exhibitions, we strive to educate and inspire visitors at Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge.  Artists selected to display their art demonstrate a connection to nature, and encourage exploration into the natural world that surrounds us.  Although not required, artists are encouraged to provide an educational opportunity to the public.  To find upcoming events and workshops from our artists, visit our Events page. 
If you are interested in an exhibition of your art in our gallery, please contact us via email at MinnesotaValley@fws.gov with the subject line "Art Gallery Proposal."