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by Deb Shaw

The Third New York Botanical Garden Triennial, Out of the Woods: Celebrating Trees in Public Gardens is on display at the The New York Botanical Garden, in Bronx, New York from November 18, 2017 – April 22, 2018. Information about the exhibition, including images of all the artworks is on the ASBA website.

Forty-four artworks were selected from more than two hundred submissions, depicting one of the planet’s most important and beautiful resources: trees. Each of these subjects have been found in botanical gardens and arboreta throughout the United States and around the world.

Artists have been working on this project for the past three years, not only capturing images of trees, but also drawing attention to the institutions that shelter them: botanical gardens and arboreta. A central goal of the exhibition is to highlight the role of botanical gardens and arboreta in the research/scholarship they provide, as well as their education and outreach to the public.

The artists respond aesthetically to these inspiring subjects, and have depicted everything from seedpods to branches and bark to an entire forest floor. Each artist has written a statement about their artwork; artists’ statements can be read on the ASBA website.

Jurors for the exhibition were:

  • Joanna Groarke, Director of Public Engagement and Library Exhibitions Curator, The New York Botanical Garden
  • Todd Forrest, Arthur Ross VP for Horticulture and Living Collections, The New York Botanical Garden
  • Robin A. Jess, Past Executive Director, ASBA
  • Barbara Macklowe, Photographer, former Principal, Macklowe Gallery

Congratulations go to all artists participating, including BAGSC artists Akiko EnokidoDeborah FriedmanAsuka HishikiOlga Ryabtsova, and Mitsuko Schultz. (Clicking on the names of the artists goes to their artist’s statement page on the ASBA website; click on any of the images below to see them enlarged in a slide show format, with artist and painting information.)

Congratulations to the award-winners:

Gold Medal:
Asuka Hishiki, Black Pine Half-Cascade Style Bonsai, Pinus nigra
Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, Saitama, Japan
Oil on Paper

Silver Medal:
Lucy Martin
Bigleaf Maple with Inky-Cap Mushrooms, Acer macrophyllum, Coprinellus sp., University of California Botanical Garden, Berkeley, CA, Gouache on Paper

Bronze Medal:
Ingrid Finnan
Snake Branch Spruce, Picea abies ‘Virgata’, The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY, Oil on Paper

Honorable mentions:
Beverly Allen
New Guinea Dinner Plate Fig, Ficus dammaropsis, The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Sydney, Australia, Watercolor on paper

Alexandra Negoita Vulcu
Bigleaf Magnolia, Magnolia macrophylla, Hortus Conclusus, Stone Ridge, NY, Watercolor and acrylic ink on paper

Barbara Oozeerally
Stone Oak, Lithocarpus pachyphyllus, Caerhays Estate, Gorran, St. Austell, England, Watercolor on paper

Beverly Fink
Tree Aloe, Aloe thraskii, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Sarasota, FL, Watercolor on paper

As with previous New York Triennial exhibitions, Out of the Woods will be traveling after the closing date at The New York Botanical Gardens, including coming to The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in May, 2018. Watch for future postings of lectures and other activities at The Huntington that will occur around the exhibition. BAGSC Members also will host a concurrent exhibition of local artists around the same theme at the Brody Botanical Education Center at The Huntington.

The current traveling schedule includes: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, CA, May 19 – August 27, 2018; Foundry Art Centre (in time for the next ASBA conference), St. Charles, MO, October 5 – December 28, 2018; Tucson Botanical Gardens, Tucson, AZ, January 25 – April 13, 2019; Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska, MN, May 9 – August 13, 2019.

Front cover of exhibition catalog, featuring Leiden’s 300-year Old Liriodendron tulipifera, by © Esmée Winkel, watercolor on paper.

Front cover of exhibition catalog, featuring Leiden’s 300-year Old Liriodendron tulipifera, by © Esmée Winkel, watercolor on paper.

Exhibition catalogs may be purchased on the ASBA website for $12.00 ($10.80 for NYBG members). The full-color, 60-page catalog features all of the artwork in the exhibition as well as essays illuminating the pivotal importance of living collections in the conservation of the planet’s trees, and the continued significance of botanical art in the 21st century.


by Alyse Ochniak and Deb Shaw

Please join us for a brief BAGSC Quarterly meeting and a much deserved Celebration(!!), on Saturday, September 12, 2015 as “Weird, Wild & Wonderful: The New York Botanical Garden Second Triennial Exhibition” goes off across the country to the Frost Museum in Florida to coincide with the 2015 ASBA Annual Meeting and Conference.

The meeting will be at Diane’s home and will include workshop announcements and programs for next year! An email blast will be sent out to all BAGSC members with directions. Coffee and tea is at 9:30 am, and the meeting starts at 10:00 am sharp. Please email Diane to RSVP and let her know what you will bring for potluck.

Please bring any artwork you created (or started) at the Weird, Wild & Wonderful Symposium, along with other drawings and paintings you are working on to share as we celebrate a milestone event.

Calling all “Weird, Wild & Wonderful” Stories and Photos

We want to post stories, reviews of lectures and workshops, and photos (of course) from the Weird, Wild & Wonderful Symposium and the BAGSC adjunct exhibition on the BAGSC Blog. Send your stories and images to Deb Shaw, and a BAGSC Blog committee will edit and post them. Be sure to include caption information for your photos, who took the photo (for copyright) and names of the people or plants in the photo if you know them.

Want to learn how to be a BAGSC Blogger? Contact Deb and have your own byline.

You can see images from the WWW Symposium on ASBA’s site under “RECAP“.

Hope to see you at the BAGSC meeting!

by Beth Stone and Deb Shaw

Solanum lycopersicum, Heirloom Tomato, Watercolor on paper, © Asuka Hishiki

Solanum lycopersicum, Heirloom Tomato, Watercolor on paper, © Asuka Hishiki

BAGSC will be holding an adjunct exhibition to “Weird, Wild & Wonderful: The New York Botanical Garden Second Triennial Exhibition, Botanical Illustrations of Remarkable Plants” in Banta Hall at The Huntington’s Brody Botanical Center.

The theme of this exhibition will focus on botanical specimens of plants compatible with the theme of the New York exhibition, “Weird, Wild & Wonderful.” Curated by the ASBA and originally opening in New York in 2014, “Weird, Wild & Wonderful” will open June 13 and continue through August 23 in The Huntington’s Brody Botanical Center, Flori-Legium Room, San Marino, California. The exhibition will be open to the public Saturdays and Sundays during the summer, plus additional times during workshops and the Symposium. The exhibition also will be open to the public August 1 – 9 along with the BAGSC “Weird, Wild & Wonderful” adjunct exhibition.

BAGSC artists are invited to seek visually unusual plants and create works of art that celebrate the bizarre, yet beautiful flora of the world. Botanical oddities and curiosities could be those found locally, in natural surroundings or a botanical garden. Dick Rauh, PhD offered ideas to artists on potentially pertinent plants:

The “Call for Entries” packet will be sent out via email blast to members soon. Members will be able to enter up to three works. It is our hope to include at least one art work from each and every BAGSC member. So whether you are an experienced exhibitor or you have not yet entered a show, please read the call for entries when you receive it and get to work on your entry now! Framing will be “artists’ choice.”

Some deadlines to mark on your calendar:

  • ASAP: We will be coordinating with BAGSC artists and The Huntington to include as many different species as possible. Please let us know what you have, are painting, or are considering painting. Please email the complete botanical name of your choices ASAP to Beth Stone. Don’t worry, this does not obligate you to submit those works.
  • Wednesday, May 27, 2015: This date is the absolute deadline for getting your list emailed to Beth Stone of what you have, are painting, or are considering painting. We will submit our “list of plant subjects” as best we know it to The Huntington so they can start planning on signage, related plants from the Garden, microscopes and more to go with our exhibition.
  • Wednesday, July 1, 2015: July 1 is the deadline for digital submissions, entry fee and complete entry forms.

Questions about the exhibition? Contact Bonnie Born Ash or Beth Stone.


Need some Weird, Wild & Wonderful inspiration?

Kathy Musial, The Huntington’s curator of living collections, and Huntington horticultural staff will give BAGSC members a private tour of the greenhouses and gardens to talk about their own favorite weird, wild and wonderful plants. This is a great opportunity to get ideas and ask a botanist questions about plants you are painting.

May 8, 2015
10 am; The tour begins at 10 am sharp, so please plan to arrive earlier so you are ready. The tour will leave whether or not you are there.
The Huntington

You must RSVP with Beth Stone to attend. The Huntington will have stickers for us, so there will be no entry fee. The new café is open at The Huntington if you would like to purchase lunch after the plant tour. Details about where, when to meet up and more will be sent out later. You are welcome to spend the day at The Huntington.


Happy painting!

by Deb Shaw

The American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA), The Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California (BAGSC) and The Huntington Botanical Gardens present:
A Weird, Wild & Wonderful Symposium
July 23 (Thursday) – 26 (Sunday), 2015

in conjunction with

Weird, Wild & Wonderful
The Second New York Botanical Garden Triennial Exhibition of 46 captivating paintings and illustrations of exotic specimens by invited members of the American Society of Botanical Artists at

The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Garden
San Marino, California

Solanum lycopersicum, Heirloom Tomato, Watercolor on paper, © Asuka Hishiki

Solanum lycopersicum, Heirloom Tomato, Watercolor on paper, © Asuka Hishiki

Information about the Symposium is available on the ASBA website, and registration opens in May, 2015. Save the dates and watch this blog for exciting learning and volunteering opportunities.

About Weird, Wild & Wonderful:
Botanical art has traditionally depicted conventionally beautiful plants, such as sunflowers, irises, and roses. Weird, Wild, & Wonderful features plants not always thought of as beautiful but rather strange, eccentric, intriguing, and mysterious. Join us in Southern California as we explore the plants and their depictions during a special Weird, Wild & Wonderful Symposium on July 23 – 26, 2015, with additional classes, workshops, displays and lectures throughout the summer.

Only 46 works were selected from nearly 240 entries, hailing from the United States, Australia, Canada, India, Japan, and the United Kingdom. The selection jury consisted of Lugene Bruno, Curator of Art at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation; Jean Emmons, award-winning botanical artist; and Marc Hachadourian, Manager of the Nolen Greenhouses for Living Collections at The NewYork Botanical Garden.

About The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Garden:
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution established in 1919 by Henry E. and Arabella Huntington. Henry Huntington was a man of vision—with a special interest in books, art, and gardens. During his lifetime, he amassed the core of one of the finest research libraries in the world, established a splendid art collection, and created an array of botanical gardens with plants from a geographic range spanning the globe.These three distinct facets ofThe Huntington are linked by a devotion to research, education, and beauty. For more information, visit:

About American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA):
ASBA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting public awareness of contemporary botanical art, to honoring its traditions and to furthering its development. In its 20th year, ASBA has 1,300 members from more than 20 countries around the world. For more information, visit:

About The Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California (BAGSC):
A chapter of the American Society of Botanical Artists, BAGSC members actively promote development and awareness of this artistic tradition. Guild members are committed to improving their artistry and technical abilities.The Guild supports and sponsors workshops with local experts and visiting lecturers in areas such as drawing and painting botanical subjects, botany, resources, and botanical art history. For more information, visit:



by Deb Shaw

Asuka Hishiki, WasabiThe New York Botanical Garden/ASBA Second Triennial Exhibition entitled “Weird, Wild & Wonderful” announced the medal winners for the show. The Gold medal went to Asuka Hishiki for her watercolor of Eutrema japonica (Wasabi Root); silver was awarded to Beverly Allen for Taca integrifolia (White Bat Flower); and Julia Trickey took the bronze for her Polystichum sp. (Fern Crozier).

Beverly Allen, White BatflowerJulia Trickey, Shield FernThe awards jury included: Shirley Sherwood, D. Phil, Caroline A. Wamsler, Ph.D., and Jean Emmons, who met on April 16 to select the medal recipients.

See the ASBA website and The New York Botanical Garden website for more about the exhibition. Catalogs can be ordered through ArtPlantae. Be sure to include your ASBA member discount code at checkout.

Congratulations to all!

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