Seed Museums: Viewing and Using Nature

“My main goal as an artist is bringing people and nature back together [and] to help people realize that the nature is all around us even in the city.”

- Shilin Hora, Artist, from Grow Studio Part I (Seed Hunt), 2010

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Through installation, prints and sculpture, Shilin Hora explores ideas about our relationship to place and the natural environment. In Seed Museums, she presents some of her most recent sculptural work, inspired by natural history museum displays and 19th century Wardian cases used by botanists to import foreign plant species to Europe. Seeds are dried, arranged, and placed behind plexiglass, emphasizing their unique inherent qualities.

Hora has strict commitments to sustainability, utilizing repurposed and sustainable materials to house these collections. And each seed museum tells a story of the relationship she has with a specific place. The seeds dance across a threaded grid-like network with organized precision, inspiring viewers curiosity for the things found freely in nature.

Shadow box with white frame with seeds arranged on interior string grid

Southwest Michigan Collection: Dedicated to the Black Locust Tree Seed, Shilin Hora, May 2018

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About the Artist

Shilin Hora is a visual nature artist who presents seeds in a delicate, elegant and methodical way.  She pokes, prods, bends, dissects, harvests and sorts in order to build unique artwork that exhibits her keen eye and knack for observing and making evident the magnificence of seeds.

Shilin believes it is crucial to instill in the next generation a deep sense of respect and appreciation for nature. This has become one of her defining values. Hence, not only has she taught nature curriculum in schools in the Chicagoland area, but she founded to provide educational programs she has delivered in the US and Canada.  

Born in St. Joseph Michigan, Shilin studied and worked at Kendall College of Art and Design, and Grand Valley State University (B.F.A. 2002). She is an American-Canadian artist who has lived and worked in Canada and in the United States over her 15 year art career.  She has exhibited her intaglio prints and nature art installations throughout Canada, United States and England. Her work is housed in private collections, along with university and museum collections.

Detail of seeds arranged on grid pattern

Detail of Northern Illinois and Central Florida Collection: Dedicated to the Pumpkin & Orange Tree Seed

collection of different seeds sorted into containers

collection of different seeds sorted into containers

detail of seeds arranged on string grid

Detail of Southwest Michigan Collection: Dedicated to the Black Locust Tree Seed

Grow Studio

GROW STUDIO began in 2007 as a public art project in the urban Montreal, Quebec forests. Grow studio has become an innovator in nature education fusing arts and science practices for 13 years. Its mandate is to foster partnerships within disciplines in educational organizations, promote nature awareness in the city and facilitate workshops that explore dendrology, fine arts and the practice of observation and exploration.

The underpinning philosophy of Grow Studio: we CAN and WILL preserve the power of observation, exploration, contemplation and communion with the botanical presence in the city.

Grow Studio Project Documentary

Hunting seeds for Seed Quilt

Grow Studio Documentary on Seed Quilt Contstruction

Construction of the Seed Quilt

Grow Studio documentary on exhibition of seed quilt

Exhibition of Seed Quilt


To find out more about Shilin Hora and her work visit:


To inquire about purchasing a piece, contact the artist at 312-772-0800 or [email protected]

Opening Reception

In coordination with artist and GVSU alumna Shilin Hora, the Department of Visual & Media Arts and Alumni Relations, the GVSU Art Gallery will be hosting a reception for Seed Musuems: Viewing and Using Nature. The event will take place at the West Wall Gallery on the 2nd floor of the L. V. Eberhard Center on the Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus. Complimentary Parking is located in the Fulton Street Parking Lot, which has a street address of 312 Fulton Street, Grand Rapids, MI 49504.


For more information visit the Art Gallery events page.

Hours and Location

GVSU West Wall Gallery
L.V. Eberhard Center
Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus
Grand Rapids MI, 49504

Admission is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are reflective of the L.V. Eberhard Center, including changes made due to semester, holiday, or campus-wide events.

Closed on holiday weekends:  
New Years, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day,Thanksgiving, and Christmas.


For special accommodation, please call:
(616) 331-2563

For exhibition inquires, please email:
[email protected]

For learning and engagement opportunities, please email:
[email protected]

Page last modified February 4, 2019