Artist Henry Isaacs has gained international acclaim for his visual interpretations of the great outdoors. Setting up his easel on tropical island Edens, climbing or skiing to discover hidden mountain views, exploring American deserts or European coasts, or simply absorbing the beauty of a friend’s garden, Isaacs continues to mine the indefatigable possibilities of plain-air painting with landscapes that praise the art of the natural.

He’ll discuss his work and the history of the enchantment that the garden has worked on the artist, at Gallery C on Friday, June 6. The opening reception for Garden Paintings New Work by Henry Issacs, a collection of Isaac’s paintings, is also a fundraiser to support J.C. Raulston Arboretum, N.C. State University’s extensive grounds featuring a Japanese garden, a stunning rose collection, and over 5000 different species of plants from some 50 countries. The reception runs from 6-9 p.m., with Isaac speaking at 7:30 p.m.; the exhibition runs thru July 8. All attendees will receive a signed, limited edition giclee print in appreciation for their $25 donation to the Arboretum. Call 828-3165 for details, or visit Gallery C’s Web site at


For a more literal approach to art and the garden, visit Art Grows In Durham, a daylong festival thrown by SEEDS, aka South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable Spaces, Inc., an organization whose mission is to help neighborhoods and communities create sustainable green spaces for gardening, gathering and education. The annual event welcomes visual and performing artists, musicians, youth and community groups, gardeners, and anyone else who feels like showing up to gawk at art, bounce to music, eat, jaw and be alive and outdoors while raising awareness of the group and their activities.

Think you smell a drum circle? It’s highly likely that at least once during the afternoon patchouli will have to surrender to percussion in taking sensory dominance of the air. Friendly earthy types who shy away from neither gourds a thumpin’ nor scented oils can visit SEEDS Demonstration Garden, slightly northeast of downtown Durham at Elizabeth and Gilbert streets, on Saturday, June 7, or call 683-1197 for more information. Keep your fingers crossed for sun. Visit


While any other Sunday could be guiltlessly spent beached on your couch in overstretched agony, waiting for the Anna Nicole show to start so a bit of schadenfreude will ease your pain, this Sunday, June 8, you’ll need to save room. The Durham Arts Council’s 11th annual Edible Arts: Festival of Food and Art devours the Durham Civic Center at the Marriott and affords you the chance to play greedy piggy and generous altruist at the same time. Original work donated by area artists is up for auction, as well as specialty items from local businesses. Then, of course, there’s the food, glorious food. Last year’s participating restaurants included Nana’s, George’s Garage, Parizade, Vin Rouge, Tosca, Pop’s, MadHatter’s Bake Shop, Whole Foods Market Catering, Saladelia Cafe, Sitar India Palace, Counter Culture Coffee, Coca-Cola of Durham and heaping platefuls more, and this year promises just as lavish of a spread. You can stuff your face from 5:30-8 p.m. for the super-low price of $35 in advance or $40 at the door. Do whatever you must to attend this delicious merger of treats to feed the body, mind and soul. Call 560-ARTS for ticketing information. EndBlock