Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

High Style Hits The New York Botanical Garden’s 13th Annual Orchid Show with “Living” Chandeliers, February 28 – April 19

Photo: Dana Meilijson

Photo: Dana Meilijson

Beginning February 28, The Orchid Show: Chandeliers dramatically transforms The New York Botanical Garden’s landmark Enid A. Haupt Conservatory into the country’s largest curated show featuring orchids. Eye-catching baskets and cylinders filled with the stunning tropical flowers decorate the Seasonal Exhibition Galleries in the Garden’s Victorian-style glasshouse—the largest of its kind in the country—with a giant star-shaped chandelier overflowing with hundreds of orchids as the centerpiece of this year’s visual extravaganza. The exhibition runs through April 19, 2015. Cylinders with a kaleidoscopic array of orchids and baskets with spikes of different orchids, such as Cattleya and Phalaenopsis, are interspersed throughout the show, framed by the magnificent architecture of the crystal palace Conservatory. The largest of the “living” chandeliers will stretch across the four beams of the Conservatory’s corner house. Pools of water reflect the spectacle of orchids in the containers that hang above, while beds of Cymbidium and other orchid species delight the senses below. For the first time ever, the design theme will run throughout the Conservatory, beyond the Seasonal Exhibition Galleries and into the Tropical Rain Forest Galleries and other galleries. Each year this eagerly anticipated exhibition displays thousands of orchids, captivating New Yorkers and visitors from across the country and around the world. This year the exhibition is designed by the Botanical Garden’s own Francisca Coelho, Vivian and Edward Merrin Vice President for Glasshouses and Exhibitions, who has been called “the best female head gardener at present working under glass.” The Orchid Show Revealed Through exhibition interpretation, The Orchid Show will explain the extraordinary history and conservation stories of rare and endangered orchids in the rain forests of the world, while also offering visitors ideas on how to display their own orchids in creative ways, teaching them how these awe- inspiring chandelier creations are made. In venues throughout the Garden’s 250 acres, The Orchid Show: Chandeliers offers visitors opportunities to learn about orchids through tours and orchid care demonstrations. Visitors can also enjoy romantic evenings on select nights in the Conservatory. A Few Facts About Orchids Orchids represent the height of evolutionary success in the plant kingdom. With more than 30,000 naturally occurring species, they are the largest family of flowering plants. The Orchid Show: Chandeliers spotlights the shapes and textures of these spectacular and exotic flowers from around the world. Orchids are adaptable, diverse, and grow in almost every habitat—from semi-desert to Arctic tundra—on every continent except Antarctica. They come in a dazzling range of sizes, from miniatures with tiny flowers less than 1/16 of an inch in diameter to giants more than 25 feet tall with flower spikes up to 10 feet long. Orchids also come in an amazing array of colors and shapes. Some mimic bees, wasps, butterflies, and moths; others have unusual buckets, traps, and trigger mechanisms. These adaptations help ensure that insect pollinators visit the flowers. Because orchid flowers have specialized reproductive parts and their pollen is a single mass, individual grains of pollen cannot disperse as with other flowers. As a result, each orchid flower has only one chance to transfer pollen to another flower. Orchids at the Garden There are 6,085 orchids representing 2,261 taxa (different types) in The New York Botanical Garden’s permanent collection, representing all of the floristic regions of the world, including Australia, Africa, South America, and Madagascar. Because the Garden is committed to orchid research and conservation, its scientists study the botany and ecology of orchids; what they discover is useful to conservation work that will ensure the future of these extraordinary plants in nature. The Garden’s resident orchid expert is Marc Hachadourian, Director of the Nolen Greenhouses for Living Collections. With more than 15 years of commercial and specialized horticultural experience, he supervises the care of the botanical collections, including the extensive orchid collection and exhibition plants in the Nolen Greenhouses.

Designer Francisca Coelho

Designer Francisca Coelho

About Designer Francisca Coelho Francisca Coelho graduated from the Garden’s School of Professional Horticulture and began her career at the Garden three decades ago, rising through the ranks to her current position of Vivian and Edward Merrin Vice President for Glasshouses and Exhibitions. Tropical plants and aquatics are her areas of horticultural expertise. Coelho was deeply involved in the major restoration of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory from 1993 to 1997 and continues to take the lead in the preservation of this landmark structure and the development and display of its Living Collections. She leads Conservatory exhibition-related planning and implementation for the Garden and is well known for her plantsmanship and design skills in developing, planting, and maintaining the permanent plant galleries and the high-profile seasonal shows. These diverse, blockbuster horticultural exhibitions transform the Seasonal Exhibition Galleries of the Conservatory with themes as wide ranging as the orchid gardens and habitats of Singapore, Brazil, and Cuba, and the recent critically acclaimed exhibition, Monet’s Garden, a seasonally changing interpretation of the garden that inspired the Impressionist master’s art, to name just a few. Orchids at Shop in the Garden Located in the Garden’s Leon Levy Visitor Center, Shop in the Garden is a not-to-be-missed destination during The Orchid Show. Thousands of top-quality orchids, from exotic, hard-to-find specimens for connoisseurs to elegant yet easy-to-grow varieties for beginners, are available for purchase, along with orchid products for properly caring for new acquisitions as well as hundreds of orchid books. During The Orchid Show’s run, cell phone tour stops at Shop in the Garden provide answers to frequently asked orchid questions and allow visitors to dial up care tips on watering and feeding, reblooming, and repotting for several specific types of orchids for sale at the Shop. About The New York Botanical Garden An unforgettable departure from the everyday, The New York Botanical Garden is America’s premier urban garden. Its special exhibitions, seasonal programs, and engaging activities inspire visitors of every age and interest. The Botanical Garden is an ever-changing living museum, and a showplace of natural beauty and wonder. For more information, visit or call 718.817.8700. Founding Sponsor: The Tiffany & Co. Foundation Major Sponsors: Mr. and Mrs. Charles M. Royce Sponsors: Karen Katen Foundation and Guerlain Exhibitions in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory are made possible by the Estate of Enid A. Haupt. The New York Botanical Garden is a museum of plants located at Bronx River Parkway (Exit 7W) and Fordham Road. It is easy to reach by Metro-North Railroad or subway. The Garden is open year-round, Tuesday through Sunday and Monday federal holidays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The best way to enjoy the Garden is with the All-Garden Pass, which includes admission to the grounds as well as to seasonal gardens, exhibitions, and attractions such as the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, and Tram Tour. For ticket pricing, please check our Web site. For more information, please call 718.817.8700 or visit Related articles: The Orchid Show: Key West Contemporary at The New York Botanical Garden Apr. 26-27, 2014: Sakura Matsuri: A Celebration of Japanese Culture at Brooklyn Botanic Garden Hanami, Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Cherry Blossom Season, Begins Brooklyn Botanic Garden Celebrates Hanami, the Cherry Blossom Season, Sunday, April 1–Sunday, April 29, 2012 Photos: Fall Foliage at Devil’s Lake State Park Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s 30th Annual Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival: April 30 and May 1, 2011 Photos: Chinese New Year Festival at The Huntington in San Marino Lunch at The Modern, A Stroll Through The Conservatory Garden in Central Park Cherry Blossoms, Magnolias, Tulips and Narcissus at Brooklyn Botanic Garden Spring in New York is a Veritable Color Riot Photos: Cherry Blossoms at Brooklyn Botanic Garden Other Articles by Lia Chang Ken Jeong to Star in ABC Medical Comedy Pilot ‘Dr. Ken’ Video and Photos: BD Wong and Russell Wong Guest Star on ‘NCIS: NEW ORLEANS’, Episode 1.13 – The Walking Dead THE GET DOWN, Baz Luhrmann’s New Drama Series Set in 1970s NYC That Gave Birth to Hip-Hop, Punk and Disco, to Premiere on Netflix in 2016 Photos: Hudson Yang, Randall Park, Eddie Huang, Richard Lui, Lori Tan Chinn and More at #FreshOffTheBoat Viewing Party at The Circle NYC Photos: Lillias White, Scott Wakefield, Ebony Jo-Ann, Tina Fabrique, Marjorie Johnson, Akin Babatundé, Alan Govenar and More at TEXAS IN PARIS at The York Theatre Company New York City Blizzard Does Not Deter Broadway Icon Chita Rivera From Performing in Concert Taping for THIRTEEN’s Great Performances Series Production Photos: Stephen Adly Guirgis’ BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY at Second Stage Theatre Novelist Jessica Hagedorn, Neal Katyal of Hogan Lovells, and John W. Kuo of Varian Medical Systems, to receive AALDEF 2015 Justice in Action Awards on February 23 Mar. 4: Tony Award-Winner Lillias White, Carol Fredette & More to be Honored at 30th Annual Bistro Awards at Gotham Comedy Club Unsuk Chin’s Opera Alice in Wonderland, Featuring Libretto Co-Written with David Henry Hwang, Set for UK Premiere at the Barbican Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Novels on March 8, 2015 Lincoln Center Theater’s The King and I, Starring Ken Watanabe, Kelli O’Hara, Ruthie Ann Miles, Conrad Ricamora, Jon Viktor Corpuz, Paul Nakauchi and More Kick off Rehearsals; Previews Begin March 12 Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Advantageous, Oh Lucy!, Meru, Umrika, The Chinese Mayor, The Stanford Prison Experiment Among 2015 Sundance Film Festival Award Winners Sundance Film Festival Premiere Photo: Jennifer Phang’s ADVANTAGEOUS Featuring Jacqueline Kim, James Urbaniak, Freya Adams, Ken Jeong, Jennifer Ehle, Samantha Kim, Jeanne Sakata, Jennifer Ikeda and Matthew Kim, Screens at 2015 Sundance Film Festival through Jan. 31 Jennifer Phang’s ADVANTAGEOUS Featuring Jacqueline Kim, James Urbaniak, Freya Adams, Ken Jeong, Jennifer Ehle, Samantha Kim, Jeanne Sakata, Jennifer Ikeda and Matthew Kim, Screens at 2015 Sundance Film Festival, January 26-31  2015 Sundance Film Festival Lineup Jan. 25: 11th Annual Asian American Pacific Filmmakers Experience in Park City at Club 301 – The Funn Networks Space Asian American Film Lab Receives Manhattan Chamber of Commerce Community Benefit Grant Photos: Playwright Ayad Akhtar, Josh Radnor and Aasif Mandvi Talk DISGRACED at The Drama Book Shop Rajiv Joseph Wins Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award for New Play Guards at the Taj; Set for World Premiere at Atlantic Theater Company in May Photos: Tony Award Winning Playwright David Henry Hwang, NEFA, Graham Sheffield CBE and Susan Stockton Receive 2015 ISPA Awards Photos: Late Night at HERE LIES LOVE with Jaygee Macapugay, David Byrne, Jose Llana, Conrad Ricamora, Melody Butiu and More Photos: Andrew Rannells and Zuzanna Szadkowski Visit Richard Thomas, Anna Chlumsky, Julie Halston and Annaleigh Ashford at YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU Photos: Tommy Tune, Bob Avian, Lee Roy Reams, Christine Toy Johnson, Orville Mendoza, Lori Tan Chinn, Raul Aranas, Virginia Wing and More Celebrate 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award Recipient Baayork Lee Crafting a Career Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang Photo by GK

Lia Chang Photo by GK

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the 2013 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman, and made her jazz vocalist debut in Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz “LADY” at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York. She is profiled in Jade Magazine. All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2015 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at

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