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by The Natural History Institute, posted by Deb Shaw

Artwork by Melanie Campbell-Carter, Cylindropuntia leptocaulis, Christmas Cholla, © 2019.

Artwork by Melanie Campbell-Carter, Cylindropuntia leptocaulis, Christmas Cholla, © 2019.

Melanie Campbell-Carter will give a botanical talk at the Natural History Institute on Thursday, February 6th at 7 pm (Mountain Standard Time, MST). Entitled Passion, Devotion, Intimacy: Art and Natural History, Melanie will explore the strong connection between art and natural history. She will also share some of the stories behind Arizona Originals: Native Plants of Arizona, an exhibition by the Southwest Society of Botanical Artists on display from from January 24 – April 10, 2020 in the gallery at The Natural History Institute.

Melanie Campbell-Carter

Melanie Campbell-Carter

Everyone is invited to join Melanie and other artists from the Southwest Society chapter for an evening of fresh ideas about a cherished tradition belonging to both art and natural history. This event is free to the public and will also be available via livestream for those who can’t attend. To watch the livestream lecture, click here. It will be livestreamed at 7 pm MST Thursday, February 6, then archived at the same link for future viewing.

For more information about these events, or to register for the field workshop, contact the Natural History Institute: info@naturalhistoryinstitute.org ~ (928) 863-3232. The Natural History Institute is located at 126 N. Marina Street, Prescott, Arizona, 86301.

Two other events will take place around the Arizona Originals exhbition. The first is an opening reception, which will take place on Friday, January 24th, from 5 – 7:30 pm MST. This free kickoff event is open to the public and is part of Prescott’s 4th Friday Art Walk.

The second and final event takes place on Saturday, March 7th, 1-5 pm MST. From Eye to Paper: Artists’ Insights, is a field workshop led by the Southwest Society of Botanical Artists and naturalist Bob Ellis.

The workshop will begin at the Natural History Institute, then move to a nearby field location where a team of artists and naturalists will guide participants in a direct experience of observation and drawing. The registration fee is $25. Space is limited to 12 participants.

The Southwest Society of Botanical Artists (SWSBA) is the Arizona chapter of the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the tradition of botanical art which combines science and art.

by Deb Shaw

The presentations from ASBA Grant Recipients is always one of my favorite sessions at the ASBA conference. It’s inspiring to hear the many different ways members reach out into the community using botanical art as a vehicle.

Jan Boyd Haring presents Estelle De Ridders project during the Grants presentation at the ASBA conference. Photo by Deb Shaw.

Jan Boyd Haring presents Estelle De Ridders project during the Grants presentation at the ASBA conference. Photo by Deb Shaw.

This year was no different. Moderator Jan Boyd Haring presented for our own BAGSC member Estelle De Ridder. As we know here in Southern California, Estelle’s project is to assist with the creation of reusable plant identification cards featuring illustrations of plant life cycle phases for the top 35 native plant species of the Madrona Marsh Preserve in Torrance, California. [See our previous blog posting about Estelle’s exhibition and opening in December of this year.]

Jody Williams presented her project: extending the reach of ASBA’s “Following in the Bartrams’ Footsteps” exhibition to the St. Francois Mountains of Southeastern Missouri. Jody documented and illustrated the plants listed by the Bartrams in the diverse habitats of the St. Francois Mountains by finding, drawing, painting and lecturing about the plants.

Lisa Coddington went from her home base in New Mexico to teach botanical art workshops to elementary students, K – 6 on the island of Grenada with a support partnership involving the Peak Institute. She overcame teacher wariness and students’ shyness to have a final art exhibition created by enthusiastic students, many of whom hadn’t known about their local plants and fruits, or how they grew.

Marsha Bennett with members of the Southwest Society of Botanical Artists funded a five minute video highlighting their Citizen Scientist project, scientific identification and documentation of the flora of the Phoenix Mountains Preserve, a permanent rotating exhibition of artwork of the flora, and public education outreach.

Thank you all!

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