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by Deb Shaw

The wonderful botanical art exhibitions at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens Brody Botanical Center are in their final month of display.

Out of the Woods: Celebrating Trees in Public Gardens, The Third New York Botanical Garden Triennial and American Society of Botanical Artists will be on display until August 27, 2018, along with BAGSC’s adjunct exhibition “Amazing Trees.”  BAGSC members will continue to have drop-in family botanical art activities and botanical art demonstrations every Saturday and Sunday through that time as well.

These exhibitions have been a whirlwind of wonderful opportunities. A few highlights have included:

, a volunteer author in the office of communications and marketing at The Huntington introduced the exhibition with an article in “Verso,” The Blog for The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Read the article here.

Deborah Friedman was interviewed and videotaped by Aric Allen, Video Producer, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens about her development of her painting of the California Sycamore, Platanus racemosa in “Out of the Woods.” See the insightful video interview on YouTube here.

Steve Hindle, Interim President of The Huntington, "President's Message: The Gentle Giants Among Us," July/August "Calendar."

Steve Hindle, Interim President of The Huntington, “President’s Message: The Gentle Giants Among Us,” July/August “Calendar.” Read a PDF of the Message: huntington-pres-ltr-OOTW

“Out of the Woods” has been featured in all kinds of publicity and outreach from The Huntington, including the “President’s Message: The Gentle Giants Among Us,” by Interim President Steve Hindle in the July/August issue of The Huntington’s “Calendar.”

BAGSC participated in a Huntington open house and reception for The Huntington Fellows on Tuesday evening, May 22, 2018. BAGSC members Catherine Dellor, Estelle DeRidder, Suz Landay, Patricia Mark, Veronica Raymond, Olga Ryabstova, Gilly Shaeffer, Deborah Shaw, and Jude Wiesenfeld demonstrated at the well-attended reception. BAGSC members Susan Bartow, Teri Kuwahara, Tania Norris, Mitsuko Schultz, Beth Stone, and Leslie Walker attended too. Concurrent with the botanical art demonstrations that evening in the Ahmanson at the Brody Botanical Center, the ASBA Worldwide exhibitions were on display on the large screen, including the US exhibition (currently on display at the US Botanic Gardens) and exhibitions from 24 other countries. (See information about the ASBA Worldwide exhibition here. Information about the participating countries in the botanical art Worldwide Exhibition can be found here. Be sure to see the gallery slideshows and instructions on ordering exhibition catalogs from the US and other countries.)

Click on any of the images below to see in slide show with captions.

The calm before the crowds: (L) BAGSC member Tania Norris and Robert Hori ready the tables for the drop-in family botanical art activities.

The calm before the crowds: (L) BAGSC member Tania Norris and Robert Hori ready the tables for the drop-in family botanical art activities.

BAGSC members have provided drop-in family botanical art activities every weekend throughout the summer, including leaf-rubbings; botanical art demonstrations;  a segment in cooperation with The Huntington’s education department for their “avocado day,” and lots more! Additionally, BAGSC members have been on hand to answer questions from the public about botanical art and artworks in the exhibitions. It has been wonderful (and inspiring) to find many visitors to the exhibitions who have not only returned to see them multiple times, but have brought others to see them as well.

BAGSC members also used the weekend demonstration opportunities to paint orchids generously supplied from The Huntington’s collection by Brandon Tam, orchid collection specialist at The Huntington. Look for these paintings and drawings in our next exhibition at The Huntington in the fall, entitled “Diversity of Orchids.”

In early June, BAGSC members had the good fortune to be able to have Carol Woodin, ASBA Exhibition Chair at our quarterly meeting. Carol was in Southern California presenting at the American Public Gardens Association Conference with Devin Dotson from the US Botanic Gardens. Carol spoke to BAGSC members about painting orchids, followed by an audience-requested tour through the “Out of the Woods” exhibition. Click on any of the images below to see an enlarged slide show of the images with captions.

On Sunday, July 29, 2018, The Huntington hosted a stellar reception for the exhibitions for around 70 BAGSC members, family, friends and guests. Click on any of the images below to see a slideshow and read the captions.

Esmee van Winkel’s painting of Leiden’s 300-Year-Old Tulip Tree in Autumn, Liriodendron tulipifera, Hortus Botanicus Leiden, Leiden, The Netherlands has graced all the signage, large and small, and the printed marketing materials produced by The Huntington. The signage is everywhere throughout the campus. Click on any of the images below for a small sampling, and to read the captions.

"Out of Woods" catalogs on display in The Huntington Store, along with a selection of notecards by BAGSC members in the "Out of the Woods" exhibition. Five of the six cards are shown here; The Huntington Store sometimes has them all together, other times they are grouped with like subject areas in the store.

“Out of Woods” catalogs on display in The Huntington Store, along with a selection of notecards by BAGSC members in the “Out of the Woods” exhibition. Five of the six cards are shown here; The Huntington Store sometimes has them all together, other times they are grouped with like subject areas in the store.

“Out of the Woods” exhibition catalogs are on sale in The Huntington Store for $12.00 US. The Store also is carrying a limited edition of notecards with artwork by BAGSC members in the “Out of the Woods” exhibition, including Margaret Best (Screw-Pine, Pandanus utilis, Bermuda Arboretum, Bermuda), Akiko Enokido (Swamp Cypress, Taxodium distichum, Kobe Municipal Arboretum, Kobe, Japan), Deborah Friedman (California Sycamore, Platanus racemosa, detail from original, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California), Asuka Hishiki (Black Pine Half-cascade Style Bonsai, Pinus nigra, The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, Saitama, Japan), Olga Ryabstova (Roxburgh Fig, Ficus auriculata, The San Diego Botanic Garden, Encinitas, California), and Mitsuko Schultz (Sweet Gum, Liquidambar styraciflua, ‘Burgundy’, Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden, Arcadia, California).

Asuka Hishiki's notecard in The Huntington Store on display in the Bonsai area of the Store.

Asuka Hishiki’s notecard in The Huntington Store on display in the Bonsai area of the Store.

A heartfelt thank you is due to too many to list here, but a special thank you to The Huntington’s Jim Folsom, Robert Hori, Danielle Rudeen, Melanie Thorpe and Andrew Mitchell, along with The Huntington’s Exhibition, Communications, Video, Education, Store and Graphics departments. Another special thank you to the BAGSC artists in “Out of the Woods,” who generously supported our test into The Huntington Store, and to all the other members who worked to make these exhibitions a success. And, last but not least, a heartfelt thank you to Tania Norris for all her work on the exhibition and coordinating the weekend botanical art activities.

by Veronica Raymond and Deb Shaw

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens has created an internal online resource for staff and volunteers for What’s In Bloom! [Click on the title to be connected to the link.]

Although this in-house resource is not generally available to the public, Jim Folsom, the Marge & Sherm Telleen/Earle & Marion Jorgensen Director of the Botanical Gardens, has shared the link to this fabulous site for use by botanical artists.

Thank you to Jim and his team for producing this valuable resource!

by Deb Shaw

Not too long after Jim Folsom, published his free ebook, “A Botanical Reader for the Curious Gardener,” in February 2016, it mysteriously disappeared from iBooks, much to the disappointment of those who hadn’t yet had a chance to download it. The problem turned out to be some technical glitches.

Cover, "A Botanical Reader for the Curious Gardener", James P. Folsom, © 2016, all rights reserved.

Cover, “A Botanical Reader for the Curious Gardener”, James P. Folsom, © 2016, all rights reserved.

Jim used the opportunity to issue version 1.2 of “A Botanical Reader” as they got the ebook back online. The new version includes edits, expansion of the Botanical Calendar, and an enlarged Plant Trivia TimeLine.

BAGSC News covered the initial launch of “A Botanical Reader” [read the full article at: https://bagscblog.com/2016/03/04/a-botanical-reader-by-jim-folsom-now-available-in-ibooks/]

The ebook is downloadable for free through iTunes/iBooks, at https://itun.es/us/XDT5ab.l  It’s listed in the category of Life Sciences, and is available on the iPad, iPhone and Mac. Search in iBooks under “A Botanical Reader” or “James P. Folsom” and it will come right up. The print length is 332 pages. 

About the Author
James P. (Jim) Folsom, PhD., rides the demographic peak of baby boomers, having been born in southeastern Alabama in 1950. His lifelong love of plants is reflected in a BS in Botany from Auburn University, an MA in Biology from Vanderbilt University, and a PhD in research botany from The University of Texas at Austin. Though his research has centered on the orchid family, with much of the research time spent in Tropical America (including a year in Colombia on a Fulbright Pre-Doctoral Fellowship), Jim’s botanical interests are wide-ranging. As Curator of the Botanical Gardens at The Huntington in San Marino, CA, he dedicates much of his effort to educational programs that increase public interest and understanding of the science, culture, and history of plants and gardens. He lives at The Huntington with his wife, Debra (also a botanist) and children Molly and Jimmy. Jim was recognized as a Friend of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America in 1996, a Member-at-Large of the Garden Club of America in 1998, and presented a Professional Citation by the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta in 1999. The Garden Club of America awarded him their Medal of Honor in 2007.

by Deb Shaw

Cover, "A Botanical Reader for the Curious Gardener", James P. Folsom, © 2016, all rights reserved.

Cover, “A Botanical Reader for the Curious Gardener”, James P. Folsom, © 2016, all rights reserved.

It’s here! Jim Folsom, has just published his ebook as of February 29, 2016: “A Botanical Reader for the Curious Gardener.”  The Reader is a wealth of resources; Jim’s Botany for Artists is just one chapter in a line-up of content that Jim lists in his introduction:

  • Introductions (Chapters 1, 2, and 3) explain the organization of the Reader, suggest places and activities of interest, and lay out overarching themes that pervade the study and cultivation of plants.
  • The Literature Review presents some commonly available texts and resources, suggesting which might be most useful for different readers.
  • In Botanical Terms is a series of short essays dedicated to highlights that showcase topics fundamental to plant science and eliminate barriers presented by useful but arcane botanical terminology.
  • Conversational Botany is a Primer that tells the story of plants in textbook-style.
  • Issues – Plants, Politics, & Practice includes background and discussion of topics that are part of today’s public discourse as well as transcriptions of presentations I give on current topics.
  • An annotated Plant Trivia Timeline gives snippets of plant-related stories and discoveries in chronological sequence, so as to provide historical context to plant use and cultivation.”
  • Hands-on Discovery suggests particular plants and instructive techniques that will help students make their own observations and learn-through-doing, which is the most effective and delightful method.

    Excerpt From: James P, Folsom. “A Botanical Reader.” James P. Folsom, 2016. iBooks. https://itun.es/us/XDT5ab.l

Chapter from "A Botanical Reader", listing "Botany for Artists" as one of the sections. James P. Folsom, © 2016.

Chapter from “A Botanical Reader”, listing “Botany for Artists” as one of the sections. James P. Folsom, © 2016.

Easy to read, this is a book of RESOURCES. In addition botany, horticulture, gardening, food, and the secret world of plants, Jim introduces his readers to his favorite Plant Destinations (where we can see the “wonders of the plant world”) and compiles a list with descriptions of the books we should have on our shelves and the websites we need to have bookmarked in our browsers.

ASBA and BAGSC members will be treated to a three-part series, starting in the March issue of The Botanical Artist, excerpted from Jim’s chapter, Botany for Artists.

The ebook is downloadable for free from iBooks, at https://itun.es/us/XDT5ab.l  It’s listed in the category of Life Sciences, and is available on the iPad, iPhone and Mac. Search in iBooks under “A Botanical Reader” or “James P. Folsom” and it will come right up. The print length is 332 pages. 

Jim Folsom lecturing during the "Weird, Wild & Wonderful Symposium." Photo by Clara Josephs, © 2015, all rights reserved.

Jim Folsom lecturing during the “Weird, Wild & Wonderful Symposium.” Photo by Clara Josephs, © 2015, all rights reserved.

About Jim Folsom, Telleen/Jorgensen Director of the Botanical Gardens, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

Jim Folsom, PhD., rides the demographic peak of baby boomers, having been born in southeastern Alabama in 1950. His lifelong love of plants is reflected in a BS in Botany from Auburn University, an MA in Biology from Vanderbilt University, and a PhD in research botany from The University of Texas at Austin. Though his research has centered on the orchid family, with much of the research time spent in Tropical America (including a year in Colombia on a Fulbright Pre-Doctoral Fellowship), Jim’s botanical interests are wide-ranging. As Curator of the Botanical Gardens at The Huntington in San Marino, CA, he dedicates much of his effort to educational programs that increase public interest and understanding of the science, culture, and history of plants and gardens. He lives at The Huntington with his wife, Debra (also a botanist) and children Molly and Jimmy. Jim was recognized as a Friend of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America in 1996, a Member-at-Large of the Garden Club of America in 1998, and presented a Professional Citation by the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta in 1999. The Garden Club of America awarded him their Medal of Honor in 2007.

by Alyse Ochniak, posted by Deb Shaw

Leaves of the Quercus ruber (English Oak) outside the Botanical Ed Center. Photo credit: © 2015 Alyse Ochniak, all rights reserved.

Leaves of the Quercus ruber (English Oak) outside the Botanical Ed Center. Photo credit: © 2015 Alyse Ochniak, all rights reserved.

On October 24, 2015, BAGSC members enjoyed an informative class taught by Dr. Jim Folsom, Telleen/Jorgensen Director of the Botanical Gardens at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.

The class focused on the growth and structure of trees. Students looked at branches from the Quercus ruber (English Oak), from outside the Botanical Ed Center, studying leaves and growth buds. Dissection and compound microscopes were used to bring tiny cell structures of oak leaves and bark into focus.

After studying the different cells and structures students enjoyed a walk with Jim looking at different growth habits, bark, leaves and acorns of different oak trees in the gardens.

Quercus suber, Cork oak tree, from looking at trees with Jim Folsom. Photo credit: © 2015, Alyse Ochniak, all rights reserved.

Quercus suber, Cork oak tree, from looking at trees with Jim Folsom. Photo credit: © 2015, Alyse Ochniak, all rights reserved.

The class ended with refreshments and discussion of the next workshop on January 17, 2016.

Hurry space is limited, if you want to sign up for the next workshop! The January 17, 2016 workshop is limited to 20 students, and will be held in the Engemann Applied Tech Lab, from 8:30 am – 12:00 pm. Cost is $10.00, payable at the workshop. Reservations are required, however; please RSVP to Alyse Ochniak. Reservations are first come, first served.

For more information about the New York Botanical Garden Triennial “Out of the Woods, Celebrating Trees in Public Places” visit the ASBA website.

Quercus suber, Cork oak tree, close up of bark. Photo credit: © 2015, Alyse Ochniak, all rights reserved.

Quercus suber, Cork oak tree, close up of bark. Photo credit: © 2015, Alyse Ochniak, all rights reserved.

The Huntington is located at: 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, California, 91108.

About the instructor:
Jim Folsom, PhD., rides the demographic peak of baby boomers, having been born in southeastern Alabama in 1950. His lifelong love of plants is reflected in a BS in Botany from Auburn University, an MA in Biology from Vanderbilt University, and a PhD in research botany from The University of Texas at Austin. Though his research has centered on the orchid family, with much of the research time spent in Tropical America (including a year in Colombia on a Fulbright Pre-Doctoral Fellowship), Jim’s botanical interests are wide-ranging. As Curator of the Botanical Gardens at The Huntington in San Marino, CA, he dedicates much of his effort to educational programs that increase public interest and understanding of the science, culture, and history of plants and gardens. He lives at The Huntington with his wife, Debra (also a botanist) and children Molly and Jimmy. Jim was recognized as a Friend of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America in 1996, a Member-at-Large of the Garden Club of America in 1998, and presented a Professional Citation by the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta in 1999. The Garden Club of America awarded him their Medal of Honor in 2007.

by Deb Shaw

Icon for the "Weird, Wild & Wonderful" Symposium keynotes, available for free from iTunes U > The Huntington.

Icon for the “Weird, Wild & Wonderful” Symposium keynotes, available for free from iTunes U > The Huntington.

The keynote lectures from the “Weird, Wild & Wonderful” Symposium have been made available in audio format by The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens for free, via iTunes U > The Huntington. To listen, go to: https://itunes.apple.com/us/institution/the-huntington/id416672109. This link will take you to the iTunes U where you can hear all of the keynote talks from the symposium unedited, including:

  • Jim Folsom’s opening remarks
  • Dr. Jodie Holt, “Do you ‘see’ plants? Using Art and Technology to Teach Science”
  • Mieko Ishikawa, “Painting the Wonder Plants of Borneo”
  • Dr. Phillip Cribb, “The Art of Orchids”
  • Dr. Alain Touwaide, “Plants, Artists, Languages: A Sense of Time and Places”

If you are having trouble connecting with the link above, go to The Huntington’s website, scroll down to the bottom of the page to the social media icons on the lower right side, and click on the iTunes U icon (the music notes). While there, take a look around at all of the free lectures offered by The Huntington.

The “Weird, Wild & Wonderful” Symposium was held this summer in conjunction with the southern California showing of Weird, Wild & Wonderful: The New York Botanical Garden Second Triennial Exhibition, Botanical Illustrations of Remarkable Plants, a traveling exhibition curated by the American Society of Botanical Artists.

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