The Madeline R. Samples Exhibit Hall


Upcoming Exhibit:


David Conn: Paintings and Prints, 2000 - 2016

September 8 - October 26, 2017

The Madeline R. Samples Exhibit Hall at BRIT is pleased to play host to local artist, master printmaker and founder of Shaw Street Studio, David Conn. This group of paintings and prints is a retrospective exhibition that starts with Blackstonian from the forest near the Mosel River in Germany and ends with winter scenes from his boyhood in Sussex, New Jersey. Following a realist tradition, Conn carves an image into a linoleum block using one tool. Then, by enlarging the image to a painting scale the lines between representation and abstraction are interwoven, creating a sense of being in and of the forest.  

BRIT will be open from 4pm – 9pm on Gallery Night, Saturday September 9, with a public reception from 6pm – 8pm and a gallery talk by the artist at 6:15pm. For more information about the artist, please visit


BRIT Members are invited to join us for Champagne and Conversation with the Artist on September 9 from 5–6 p.m. in the Oak Board Room. Seating is limited - RSVP is Required, please email  Not a Member? Not a Problem. Join Today.



Select Past Exhibits:


Desert, Water, Life... Death Valley in Bloom

Photographs by Becky Watson, Grace Bascopé, and Dan Gruen

July 7 - August 17, 2017

When it rains in the desert things come to life. This is nowhere truer than in Death Valley National Park. Throughout the Winter of 2015 and early Spring of 2016 the park experienced steady downfalls. When rain conditions are just right - about every ten years - the park experiences what is known as a "hyper bloom" - flowers come out in abundance. In February 2016, BRIT Resident Research Associate, Dr. Grace Bascopé, educator and photographer, Dr. Becky Watson, and BRIT volunteer, Dan Gruen, struck pure gold. They were able to witness and document what park rangers called a "mega hyper bloom" - an abundance of flowers seen only about every 100 years.



Hightailing It: Artists View the Natural World

March 3 - April 13, 2017

BRIT presents a wide-ranging exhibition featuring artworks drawn from the holdings of three long-established metroplex galleries--Afterimage Gallery, David Dike Fine Art, and William Campbell Contemporary Art. The artworks selected by art historian Barbara Koerble demonstrate how close observation of the natural world is transformed through each artist’s personal style using their chosen medium of painting, printmaking or photography. Landscape vistas created by several generations of well-travelled artists are on view, ranging from highly realistic images to semi-representational abstraction, along with intimate works that capture close up views of nature. Several artworks depict the urban forest and suggest how encroachment into nature can lead to ecological impacts. 

Image: Jenny Ellerbe, Hightailing It, Bayou Desiard, Monroe, Louisiana, April 2005, ink pigment print, #4/25, 10 x 12 in. (Courtesy Afterimage Gallery) 


Native to this Place: Earth and Sky
Featuring the Clouds and Grasses of Texas by Rebecca Zook

January 6 - February 17, 2017

Peace. Beauty. Light.

Three aspects that Texas artist Rebecca Zook consciously incorporates into her acrylic paintings. Though she portrays a variety of subjects, natural landscapes are a personal favorite. As a native Texan, she grew up with an appreciation of the unique beauty that Texas offers. Viewers often comment that they feel as if they could step into her paintings; as if the frame were a window to another world.

The Texas sky also holds great fascination for Rebecca. She has photographed clouds for close to 10 years, amassing a huge collection of source material, with the intent of creating a series of paintings based on them. She finally began that project in late 2015.

“If you stop and watch the sky for any length of time, you realize how quickly it transforms itself. Clouds spring to life, change shape and dissipate right before your eyes. Sunrises and sunsets are the most dramatic. Almost second by second the colors grow and fade. My paintings capture one brief moment of that perpetually changing beauty.”

Images of Nature by Denis Benjamin

October 25 - December 19, 2016

Join BRIT for the final show of the 2016 season, Images of Nature by Dr. Denis Benjamin, Resident Research Associate at BRIT.  Dr. Benjamin, who joined BRIT two years ago to curate the fungal collection, is presenting over thirty watercolor paintings of flowers, fungi and other subjects from the natural world.

Benjamin, born in South Africa, emigrated to the USA in 1970. He practiced pediatric pathology at the children’s hospital in Seattle and later at Cook Children’s in Fort Worth. He became a hiker and mushroom enthusiast, spending much of his leisure time on the eastern slopes of the Cascades. Now retired from medical practice he devotes his energy to natural history and documenting the wildflowers and mushrooms with photography and watercolors. The latter was inspired by a workshop with the noted Russian botanical artist (Alexander - Sasha - Viazmensky). He is author of Mushrooms: Poisons and Panaceas (1995, WH Freeman and Co. NY, NY) and Musings of a Mushroom Hunter: A Natural History of Foraging(2010 Tembe Press, Cle Elum, WA). He now lives in Fort Worth and he is a member of the High Country Artists in Cle Elum, WA and the Society of Watercolor Artists in Fort Worth.


The Nature of Things - Daphne Prairie by Deborah Paris

September 10 - October 21, 2016

BRIT is pleased to welcome back well-known Texas artist Deborah Paris to the Madeline R. Samples Exhibit Hall. Paris’ exciting new exhibit of paintings and drawings, The Nature of Things: Daphne Prairie, will give the Fort Worth public a rare opportunity to see depictions of the untouched and historic Daphne Prairie located in east Texas. The exhibition will hang September 10–October 21 at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas. An opening reception with light hors d’oeuvres and libations will be held on Fall Gallery Night, Saturday, September 10, from 4-8 p.m. A gallery talk by the artist will take place September 10 at 6 p.m. RSVPs are not necessary. 

For more information about this project please click here.

For more information about Daphne Prairie please click here.



The Hidden Gardens: BRIT Collections on Display

June 3 - July 20, 2016

BRIT's annual exhibit, The Hidden Gardens, curated by the research department, traces the roots of botanical collections in this region, displaying collections made by 19th century botanists such as Lindheimer, (Father of Texas Botany), Julius Reverchon, and Albert Ruth. The founder of the BRIT herbarium, Dr. Lloyd Shinners, is featured with his collections, along with Dr. Eula Whitehouse, known for her moss collections and for contributing to the BRIT botanical library while at SMU. The story of how Dr. Robert Kral, founder of the Vanderbilt herbarium collections, brought the collection of southeast plants to BRIT along with some of his collections, one of which has been identified as now extinct, is also featured. Visitors will see dried and pressed specimens from various subsections of the BRIT herbarium, examples of the various digital collections currently housed at BRIT, and specimens from our Mycology and Bryology collections. Research Associates Dr. Denis Benjamin and Dr. Harold Keller display exquisite watercolor art and a video along with their unique collections of fungi and slime molds. Adding even more interest are rare books and manuscripts from our collections along with many of the new publications from our current research staff. Join us this summer and enjoy a visit to our Hidden Gardens!

Call and Response

March 18 - May 5, 2016 


Call and Response by Carol Ivey and Deborah Mersky at BRIT

BRIT is pleased to present paintings and works on paper by Carol Ivey and Deborah Mersky in the Madeline R. Samples Exhibit Hall. For more than 20 years, these two friends have hiked and rambled together, in the Pacific Northwest and now in North and Central Texas. Despite their diverse approaches to creating art, they each have a vital interest in nature as artifact standing in for human feeling. The exhibition’s title, Call and Response, refers to emotional impulse driven by direct contact with the natural world.

In addition to the artists’ individual work, Mersky and Ivey present an experiment in collaborative work, drawing from a wide array of images, including specimens from BRIT’s Herbarium. These circular works embody the idea of Call and Response. Each of these pieces was sent back and forth between the artists with additions and deletions made in each studio using collage, printing, drawing, and painting.

Native to this Place 2016: The Plants and Prairies of North Central Texas; BRIT Collections on display.

January 18 - March 10, 2016

Join BRIT as we highlight some of the over 2,200 species of plants that call North Central Texas home. In this exhibition, the Botanical Research Institute of Texas presents just a fraction of that biodiversity with a selection of our herbarium specimens and library materials. Exhibit specimens were selected in part from the Master Plant List for Texas Range and Pasture Plants, which will be used for the 4H and FFA plant identification competition held during the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo in January.

Most of the species you will see here are truly native to this place and to the prairies that once grew all around us. 

Communicating with Plants

November 7, 2015 - January 7, 2016

Local artist Delia deVer joins BRIT for the final show of the 2015 season.  Originally from Northern California, deVer moved to Texas after studying visual art at the San Francisco Bay Area’s California College of the Arts. Her unique use of color and modern approach to painting and drawing blossomed and matured in Texas where her abstract studio work and expressive plein-air paintings reflect her present and lively experiences. In this exhibit, Communicating with Plants, deVer’s progressive art school training merges beautifully with the dharma art practices that equally inform her art and life.
Of this collection, deVer says, "Above all else, this collection of art is my way of speaking on behalf of wilderness plant life and all the life they support to people that see the beauty and understand how interconnected we all are, as well as to those that can be reached by the power of their silent song for the first time at any moment."
For more information about the artist please visit:

Best of Texas Clay 

September 12 - October 22, 2015

BRIT is pleased to welcome Best of Texas Clay to the Madeline R. Samples Exhibit Hall for FWADA’s 2015 Fall Gallery Night. Best of Texas Clay, produced by The Texas Pottery and Sculpture Guild, is the 3rd bi-annual exhibition featuring extraordinary clay works from across Texas! This year, in honor of BRIT, the exhibit will feature a botanic theme represented by sculptural and functional ceramic creations. Best of Texas Clay is juried by Daphne Roehr Hatcher. Texas Pottery & Sculpture Guild is an organization of three dimensional clay artists, from novice to professional, who offer the communities in which we live and work their talents, skills, and art.

Also joining us on September 12 will be The Fort Worth Art Collective who will bring their pop-up art gallery concept to BRIT for this Fall Gallery Night. FWAC combines raw space and raw talent, showcasing a list of invited local artists in a unique, temporary opportunity to enjoy a variety of innovative work.


Dreaming Forward Riverside: A Legacy of Change

May 29 - July 9, 2015

The quiet, oak-shaded neighborhood of Riverside, located northeast of downtown, has long been a low-profile corner of Fort Worth. That’s changing with the efforts of Dreaming Forward Riverside, a project that harnesses the energy of Carter-Riverside High School students to revitalize their community.

Dreaming Forward Riverside, directed by local nonprofit Fellowship of the Arts, is partnering with universities, corporations, the City of Fort Worth, and BRIT (the Botanical Research Institute of Texas) to design walking corridors, pocket parks, and community gardens around Riverside as part of a unified effort to improve the neighborhood.

The Fort Worth community is invited to see Dreaming Forward Riverside’s vision at an exhibit in the Madeline R. Samples Exhibit Hall at BRIT. The exhibit will feature Carter Riverside graduate Jocelyne Armendariz's work “Blowing on a Dandelion Seeds of Hope,” which was selected as the logo for the organization. This unique exhibit will also include pieces from poster and sculpture competitions that gave students the opportunity to tell their Dreaming Forward Riverside story, historic photographs of the neighborhood, and design boards detailing plans for future projects in the Riverside neighborhood.

Luther Smith - Where I Live:  North Texas Landscape

March 28 - May 7, 2015

BRIT is excited to welcome well known Fort Worth photographer Luther Smith to the Madeline R. Samples exhibit hall this spring. In this new exhibit, Where I Live:  North Texas Landscape, Smith, who has been photographing the north Texas landscape since he moved here with his wife and dog in 1983, explores the creeks and wild spaces adjoining neighborhoods and highways—landscape that has been formed by natural flooding, the human need to control the environment and neglect. This exhibit also documents the paths and play areas created by children in these natural areas and examines the colors and textures inherent both in the landscape and in the process of making photographs.

To see more of Smith's work, please visit:

Deborah Paris - Lennox Woods - The Ancient Forest

March 29 - May 8, 2014

Lennox Woods - The Ancient Forest is a multi-year project by artist Deborah Paris to explore and record the pristine beauty and magnificence of Lennox Woods Preserve in northeast Texas, one of the most pristine old growth forests in the state. Underwritten and sponsored by Galerie Kornye West of Ft. Worth, TX, the project will encompass forty works of art to be exhibited in multiple venues in 2014 and beyond. A film documenting the project has been commissioned and will be shown at the exhibitions, and a blog will chronicle the course of the project, recording what happens in the Woods, in the studio, and elsewhere in connection with this unique, multi-disciplinary project.

The Botanical Research Institute of Texas is thrilled to be a part of Lennox Woods and welcomes the public to join them in exploring this stunning exhibit. Lennox Woods and BRIT will be participating in the Spring Fort Worth Art Dealers Association Gallery Night on March 29, 2014.

Fort Worth Independent School District Invitational Art Teacher and Student Art Show 2014

May 20 - July 21 2014

From May through July, BRIT plays host to the talented student and teacher artists of the Fort Worth Independent School District. Take a break from the heat and get to know the next generation of visual artists in our city!  

Billy Hassell - Ephemera:  Winged Creatures of Texas

August 29 - November 13, 2014

Ephemera: Winged Creatures of Texas, a new show by well-known artist and environmentalist Billy Hassell, will grace the walls of the Madeline R. Samples Exhibit Hall August 29 - November 13. The expressive paintings, watercolors, and other works on paper featured in this exhibit employ a colorful graphic style and explore the interrelationships of native plants and the birds and insects they support. Make a point to come out and spend some time with Billy's colorful, stylized work that is "informed and inspired by observations of nature".  

To see more of Billy's work, please visit the Campbell Gallery in Fort Worth or



For more information about these or our upcoming exhibits, please contact Laura Venhaus at LVenhaus@BRIT.og or 817-332-4441 x259.