"Growing Habitats: L.A.'s Wildlife and Descanso" is photography-based but also features tactile, interactive and immersive experiences (not counting the larger immersive experience of being in the gardens themselves). Going beyond natural beauty, the show touches on wildlife encounters with civilization, mechanisms of protection and incursion, and provides proof you don't have to head all the way to NatGeo territory to marvel at the sweeping diversity of God's creatures. In celebration of the opening reception, admission is free today from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Reception (free): Sun., May 20, 4-6 p.m.
The Sturt Haaga Gallery inside the Descanso Gardens has been a fascinating outpost of contemporary art within a magical woodland, always thematic and enviro-topical, but often quite avant-garde (Would that be avant-garden?). With the new summer show opening today, the gallery will highlight not the flora but rather the diverse fauna of the gardens and the surrounding San Rafael Hills.