Arts news highlights: CHIHULY at New York Botanical Garden; “Judith Leiber: Crafting a New York Story” at MAD; “Force of Nature” at the Museum at FIT; “Exploratory Works: Drawings from the Department of Tropical Research Field Expeditions” at The Drawing Center; and MOMIX at the Joyce.

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WELCOME TO THE NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN IN THE BRONX.

I'M CHRISTINA HA WITH NYC-ARTS NEWS.

FOUNDED IN 1891 THIS MUSEUM OF PLANTS SPANS SOME 250 ACRES AND INCLUDES A REMARKABLE RANGE OF TROPICAL, TEMPERATE AND DESERT FLORA.

THERE ARE NATURAL WONDERS TO DISCOVER THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, BUT THE SUMMER IS A GREAT TIME TO SEE THE GARDEN, AND ITS BEAUTIFUL ROSES IN FULL BLOOM.

RIGHT NOW YOU CAN ENJOY SOME RATHER UNUSUAL PLANT LIFE FORMS AMONG THE REAL PLANTS, THE GLASS SCULPTURES OF ARTIST DALE CHIHOOLY.

HIS FIRST EXHIBIT FOR THE BOTANICAL GARDEN WAS IN 2006.

THE CURRENT INSTALLATION INCLUDES WORKS OF GLASS ART THROUGHOUT THE GARDEN GROUNDS AND WITHIN THE CONSERVATORY AND IN THE WESTERN TEAM WORKS LIBRARY.

THEIR ORGANIC SHAPES AND BRILLIANT COLORS OFTEN RIVAL NATURE'S BOUNTY OR TAKE A PLAYFUL APPROACH TO THEIR SURROUNDINGS.

NEW WORKS CREATED SPECIFICALLY FOR THE GARDEN INCLUDE THESE KODA STUDIES IN THE NATIVE PLANT GARDEN AND IN THE CONSERVATORY COURTYARD.

THEY ARE MADE OF POLY CARBONATE SHEETS AND STAINED GLASS, REFLECTING OFF THE WATER FOR STUNNING EFFECTS AS THE LIGHT CHANGES THROUGHOUT THE DAY.

AFTER SUNSET THE ILLUMINATED WORKS TRULY COME TO LIFE.

ON SELECT EVENINGS THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER VISITORS CAN ENJOY THESE LUMINOUS WONDERS AS WELL AS JAZZ MUSIC.

> CHIHOOLY IS ON VIEW AT THE NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDENS IN THE BRONX THROUGH OCTOBER 29th.

THE COMPLEXITY AND BEAUTY OF NATURE HAS INSPIRED ARTISTS FOR CENTURIES.

A NEW EXHIBITION AT THE FASHION INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY EXPLORES HOW THE NATURAL WORLD HAS INFLUENCED FASHION DESIGNERS.

FORCE OF NATURE INCLUDES SOME 95 OBJECTS SPANNING THE 18th CENTURY TO THE PRESENT FROM THE MUSEUM AT F.I.T.'S PERMANENT COLLECTION.

THE EXHIBITION GOES INTO THE GARDEN TO ADDRESS NOT JUST HOW FLOWER IMAGES APPEAR IN CLOTHING BUT HOW CLOTHING ASSUMES THE SHAPES OF FLOWERS.

EXAMPLES INCLUDE CHARLES JAMES' TREE EVENING DRESS WITH PETAL STOLE AND A PAIR OF PIERRE HARDY HIGH HEELS.

A JUNGLE TREK SHOWS US A MYRIAD OF ANIMAL PRINTS BUT ALSO ACCESSORIES IN CLOTHES THAT TRANSFORM THE WEARER INTO A WILD ANIMAL.

ADDITIONAL SECTIONS LOOK AT HOW PHYSICS AND SPACE EXPLORATION AND SCIENTIFIC NOTIONS LIKE METAMORPHOSIS, THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION AND CONCERNS ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE ARE EXPRESSED THROUGH DRESS.

FORCE OF NATURE IS ON VIEW AT THE MUSEUM AT F.I.T. THROUGH NOVEMBER 18th.

ART AND SCIENCE COME TOGETHER AT THE DRAWING CENTER.

IN THE FIRST HALF OF THE 20th CENTURY BIOLOGIST WILLIAM BEBE OF THE NEW YORK ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY, TODAY KNOWN AS THE WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY, LED A TEAM OF SCIENTISTS ON PIONEERING ECOLOGICAL EXHIBITIONS THROUGH THE CARIBBEAN AND SOUTH AMERICAN.

THEY BROUGHT ALONG ARTISTS TO HELP THEM WITH THEIR SCIENTIFIC PROJECT.

EXPLORATORY WORKS, DRAWINGS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF TROPICAL RESEARCH FIELD EXHIBITIONS INCLUDES A COLLECTION OF 60 HISTORICAL DRAWINGS PRODUCED BY FIELD ARTISTS AND SCIENTISTS STUDYING MARINE ECOLOGY AND THE TROPICAL RAINFORESTS.

AT A TIME WHEN PHOTOGRAPHY WAS LIMITED, THESE ARTISTS PRODUCED NOT JUST EXQUISITELY DETAILED RENDERINGS OF PLANTS AND ANIMALS BUT ALSO IMAGINATIVE VISUALIZATIONS OF ECOSYSTEMS JUST BEYOND OUR POWERS OF DIRECT OBSERVATION.

CABINETS WITH PULL-OUT DRAWERS AND SHELVING DISPLAY ARCHIVAL MATERIALS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF TROPICAL RESEARCH ARCHIVES.

ARTIST AND COCURATOR MARK DEON RECREATES THE FIELD LABS FOR THEIR JUNGLE AND AQUATIC MISSIONS WHERE ARTISTS WORKED ALONGSIDE SCIENTISTS IN THE FIELD.

FORM DOESN'T NECESSARILY FOLLOW FUNCTION WITH A JUDITH LEABER HANDBAG, BUT THAT HASN'T PREVENTED THESE EXQUISITE CONFECTIONS FROM BEING IN HIGH DEMAND.

HER EXQUISITE CRAFTSMANSHIP HAVE MADE HER ONE OF THE MOST RECOGNIZED HANDBAG DESIGNERS IN THE WORLD.

JUDITH LEIBER TRACKS HER STORY FROM APPRENTICE IN BUD PISTE AND HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR TO CELEBRITY HANDBAG ICON.

OVER 35 YEARS LEIBER HAS DESIGNED OVER 3500 BAGS FOR HER COMPANY.

THEY RANGE IN MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES FROM FINELY CRAFTED LEATHER PIECES TO TEXTILE-BASED BAGS.

SOME HAVE BEEN INSPIRED BY THE PAINTINGS OF GEORGE BACH AND SONIA DELONAY AS WELL AS THE ARTIST FAITH RINGGOLD'S QUILTS.

BUT LEIBER IS BEST KNOWN FOR HER BEDAZZLED EVENING BAGS, FASHION STAPLES FOR FIRST LADIES AND MAJOR MOVIE STARS.

HER WHIMSICAL DESIGNS, ESPECIALLY HER ANIMAL AND FOOD CLUFRPES, ARE ESPECIALLY POPULAR.

A LEIBER BAG IS THE HEIGHT OF LUXURY AND CUPS WITH A SERIOUS PRICE TAG, BUT NOT WITHOUT A SENSE OF HUMOR.

AND FINALLY, CELEBRATE THE LANDSCAPE AND THE FLORA AND FAUNA OF THE AMERICAN SOUTHWEST WITH MOMIX AT THE JOYCE THEATER.

MOMIX IS A COMPANY OF DANCERS WHICH USES JUST LIGHT AND SHADOW, PROPS AND THE HUMAN BODY TO CREATE IMAGINATIVE WORLD.

OPUS CACTUS COMBINES ATHLETIC DANCE AND ACROBATICS ALONG WITH A MIX OF NATIVE AMERICAN AND MUSIC.

ALTHOUGH THEY'RE NOT ALWAYS DIRECT, DANCERS EVOKE THE GIANT BLOOMING SAGUAROS AND TUMBLING WEEDS OF THE DESERT.

MORPH INTO THE CREEPY CRAWLING CREATURES OF THE DECEMBERER AND EMBODY THE MYSTICAL SPIRIT OF THE AMERICAN SOUTHWEST.

THAT'S THE NYC-ARTS NEWS.

BE SURE TO CONNECT WITH NYC-ARTS ONLINE BY LIKING US ON FACEBOOK AND FOLLOWING US ON TWITTER, INSTAGRAM AND TUM BLER.

FROM THE NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN IN THE BRONX, I'M KRISTINA HA.