Astrantia snow in City Bloom. (Raleigh tenant)

Photos of Raleigh Tenent are on display at City Bloom: Birmingham until October. A three-mile outdoor installation along the Rouge River Trail, the plant-themed exhibit is just one of many of her creative projects.

Botanist Laurie Tenent has a lifelong passion for the art of capturing images. Originally from Birmingham, who attended Creative Studies College in Detroit and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography, her work is featured in public and private art galleries around the world.

Her photos are on display at City Bloom: Birmingham until October. This is a 3-mile outdoor installation along the Rouge River Trail through Booth Park, Quarton Lake and Linden Park, and the plant-themed exhibit is just one of many of the tenant’s creative projects. I’m about to turn 60, but I’m working on it.

“I love historic botanicals and Dutch paintings,” she says of two key factors that influenced her style. “They are really rich and the background is very dark.”

Raleigh Tenant
Mackenzie O’Brien

Especially in Tenet’s botanical photography, flowers are colored on the same dark background, and the twist of these two styles is called “modern botanical illustration”.

“When using photography as a medium, images are classic in their composition,” she explains. “But they are represented in a very modern and smooth contrast, with metal frames on the edges, which makes them look like a canvas painting.”

Photo art gallery

It is this unique and dramatic expression of her work that has attracted people to Tenet’s photography for decades. After graduating, he worked at a local art gallery and now began to build a well-known career. “I learned a lot about the business of working with artists, and what it takes for artists to put their work in the gallery,” she says. “I learned how galleries work with artists to advance their careers.”

Milk wool
Milk wool Raleigh Tenant

Inspired by launching his own gallery, Tenent took these important lessons when he opened the Eaton Street Gallery in Birmingham. “I featured better works by commercial photographers across the country,” she explains.

This gave commercial photographers the opportunity to showcase their work, which many of these artists did not have the opportunity to do, says Tenent. “There were a lot of great car photographers in Detroit and they had all the great personal works that no one had ever seen,” she recalls with an architectural photographer as an example.

Raleigh Tenant
Raleigh Tenant

Still, Tenent realized that exhibiting these works alone could not support an art gallery that left the space open. Already experienced in the commercial photography business, Tenet joined the industry and began cataloging.

She is J. In addition to specialty retailers such as Crew and Crate & Barrel, I took pictures of Somerset Mall and various print magazines. The commercial photography division of her multifaceted business has become one of its greatest assets and is an area where she has been working for over 30 years now.

Raleigh Tenant
Raleigh Tenant

However, working in the commercial photography department meant that tenants were traveling on a regular basis. She also took pictures of weddings and Bar Mitzwah and became famous in the Jewish community of Metro Detroit. But at some point, Tenent realized that he was working seven days a week to take pictures of the event, balancing raising his family with her flowering career.

Choose a plant

Then, nine years ago, Tenent was diagnosed with breast cancer. And it slowed her down, forcing her to take some time to heal. It was during her recovery that she rediscovered her love for botanical illustrations and made it one of the central components of her career.

“I realized I was at home. How healed it was to return to the garden,” recalls Tenent. “I wanted to go back to the photos and series I made about plants over the years.”

Raleigh Tenant
Raleigh Tenant

She took a walk, developed her own garden at home, and traveled to various botanical gardens across the country. At a botanical garden in Arizona, the garden had a glass design, so Tenent understood what he wanted to do in his work.

“It was absolutely great,” she recalls. “I wanted to move this kind of work from the gallery wall to the garden, where people can really appreciate it in a natural environment.”

Tennent has created a marketing plan for exhibiting plant artwork in gardens across the country. She has partnered with botanists and various garden clubs to collect interesting plant species that can be photographed in the studio. Still, there was one challenge she had to solve.

Raleigh Tenant
Raleigh Tenant

“In order to print these pieces in a garden setting, I had to experiment with a lot of materials,” says Tenent. “We now print on aluminum for weather resistance,” she explains, allowing botanical illustration shows (such as City Bloom: Birmingham) to be held in all seasons.

City Bloom: Birmingham is a continuation of a moving plant art installation created by tenants in partnership with various collectors and exhibits. She said her appearance in Metro Detroit was perfect because it not only gave people the opportunity to leave the house and walk the trails, but also provided COVID safe activities that were both inspirational and fun. say.

Pictures of succulents decorate this back pouch.
Pictures of succulents decorate this back pouch. Raleigh Tenant

Created in partnership with the city of Birmingham and Robert Kid Gallery, the 3-mile trail features tenant botanical photographs printed on weather-resistant material hidden beside trees, flowers and bushes. “It brings it back to nature,” she explains.

Detroit beautification

Still, that’s not the only tenant’s passion for botanical illustrations. She is also affiliated with Daffodils 4 Detroit, an organization that aims to plant millions of daffodils in the city. As a perennial flower, daffodils have grown year by year, spraying Detroit with yellow spray.

Fern Raleigh Tenant

To support this effort, Tennent has launched the Narcissus 4 Detroit collection, which features daffodil-themed inspirational works such as serving trays, notebooks, pencil pouches, and even scarves and masks. ..

“Narcissus 4 Detroit is a very interesting project that wants to plant daffodils for everyone in the city,” says Tennent.

“I’m returning money from a product line I created for that charity. Seeing daffodils in the city is an uplifting sight.”

Dahlia Raleigh Tenant

In addition, Tennent is an advocate for the Alzheimer’s Disease Support Group. Earlier this spring, she partnered with Neiman Marcus and the Alzheimer’s Association to host the Spring 2021 Soiree. This is a shopping event that raises funds for the association.So Raleigh signed a copy of her book Plants: intimate portrait..

It was an important mission for the artist. Her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother all died of early-onset dementia by the age of 72.

Currently, she continues to give back to the community in various ways, so while planning a trip to Tuscany, Italy for a photography workshop in September, Tenent is now at the Birmingham Gallery (Laurie Tenent Botanicals). ) Is also operated. She also teaches photography classes at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center in Cranbrook and her studio.

Raleigh Tenant
Raleigh Tenant

“I’m really passionate about helping others in my work,” says Tenent.

“It’s very important to me if I can do the beautiful things that others love and not only bring beauty to their homes, but also help their legitimate purpose.”