It takes a gifted artist to become a great teacher and those who dare to teach never cease to learn.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mushroom Magic November 6th in Morrison Center

Mushroom Magic – The Annual Gold Rush in Russia
By Alexander Viazmensky, St. Petersburg, Russia

In Russia, mushroom hunting is a favorite pastime (even more so than fishing) for many people—men and women, old and young, are crowding the forests for this activity. Throngs of people with mushroom baskets fill the morning trains out from the city, and the most devoted ones go to the woods in the evening and spend the night at a campfire. The Russians are enthusiasts about mushrooms; many depend on their collections as important sources of food as well as income. But the intense picking is causing a serious decrease in the mushroom population, and remote forests are being disturbed by intense motor vehicle usage. Mushroom Magic will be an entertaining tour with Alexander Viazmensky from St. Petersburg, Russia.

Alexander (Sasha) Viazmensky was born in Leningrad and originally trained as an electrical engineer. He soon changed careers and after working as a freelance artist he joined the Art Academy in St. Petersburg where he graduated in 1991. He currently devotes all of his time to creating his art. His fungi watercolors are energetic surrounded by all the debris from the forest: pine needles, dead leaves, scraps of moss, twigs and young toadstools scattered over the paper. His works are included in numerous international collections such as Millesgarden Museum in Stockholm, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Lindley Library in London, and Dr. Shirley Sherwood Collection, Kew Gardens, UK.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Denver Botanic Gardens – Morrison Center
6:30 – 8 p.m.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Micro threatening Macro

(S Watts after M. Hart, 1823)
Panama disease caused by the microfungi Fusarium oxysporum is spreading among Banana cultivars. It was first documented in Australia in 1876. This extremely virulent disease is spreading now faster than ever… more

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Botanical Illustration in the Amazons

Next year again, you can spend an unforgettable time with fellow botanical illustrators in the Amazon.
Further information please see:
Margaret Mee's Centennial Amazon Trip. May 18 - 24, 2009
Dulce Nascimento's 11th Botanical Illustration Trip in the Amazon, May 25-31, 2009
Eco-tour with Snorkeling in the Amazon, July 20 - August 2, 2009
You can also contact Lorraine Kaminsky Martins directly by email or see her website .

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Brooklyn Botanic Garden Florilegium Society …

(Anemone by Constance Sayas)

(Crataecus by Libby Kyer) exhibiting the Portraits of a Garden IV (Sept. 13 through Nov. 30). The Florilegium project documenting Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s living collections was established in 2000 and aims to preserve the garden’s species through botanical illustration and herbarium collection (The illustrated plants are also preserved in the garden’s 250,000-specimen herbarium.)
Constance Sayas and Libby Kyer are among the artists who have created works for the Florilegium in 2008.
(Material published with Brooklyn Botanic Garden Florilegium Collection’s permission, October 11, 2008)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Café Botanique - Thursday, October 16 - Morrison Center

Why People Eat (the Wrong) Mushrooms
By Marilyn Shaw, Mycology Consultant

Few, if any, fields of interest are more dichotomized than that of mycophagy, the eating of fungi. You either love the mushrooms or hate them. There seems to be no middle ground. When the subject of a mushroom poisoning comes up, almost invariably someone will ask, "Why would anyone eat that?" This talk, "Why People Eat (the Wrong) Mushrooms", addresses that question using actual cases that Marilyn Shaw have encountered over the last 30 years as a consultant to the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center. In general we estimate that somewhere around 100 of the thousands of mushroom species are edible, and an equal number are poisonous to some degree. Really dangerous, life threatening species comprise a rather small percentage of those. All of those other thousands of species are simply inedible for one reason or another. It is curious that this concept is understood with reference to green plants without question, while it seems so puzzling to the general public when the subject is mycology.Marilyn Shaw’s talk will help even the complete neophyte understand, a little better, the mysterious world of mushrooms.

Marilyn Shaw is Mycology Consultant to the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center. She is also the chair of the Toxicology Committee and of the Education Committee of the Colorado Mycological Society.

Thursday, October 16, 2008
Denver Botanic Gardens – Morrison Center
6:30 – 8 p.m.

Friday, October 10, 2008

International Year of the Potato

(Art by Peggy Turchette, 2007)

United Nations has declared the year 2008 the Intenational Year of the Potato (IYP) The year is intended to raise awareness of the global importance of the potato.
Columbus introduced the potato to Europe. The English first began to grow potatoes on a large scale. English settlers brought the potato with them to North America after 1600, thus reintroducing it to the New World. In Europe, the potato became a staple crop in many areas.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

May They Always Flourish...

The 2008 BI-graduates' Year Book May They Always Flourish is available for purchase through Lulu. All proceeds go to the Botanical Illustration program.
Today the BI program celebrated all the 2008 graduates at the graduation ceremony in DBG. We are incredibly proud of you.
If you have not yet seen the Annual Student Show at Denver Botanic Gardens, please visit and enjoy!

2008 Graduates: Charlotte Bucher, Leaan Williams, Marlene Haviland, Julie Fletcher, Peggy Turchette, Cynthia Rothbard, Annie Reiser, Gai Swanson, Joan Sommerfeld (in front). Absent from the picture Barbara Flowers, Beth Lovold, John Maske, Stephanie Mokris, Julie Ann Terry and Eleanor von Bargen.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

You are invited

You are cordially invited to attend an exclusive reception for the students of the Botanical Art and Illustration Program.
Sunday, October 5, 2008, 2-5 pm
Denver Botanic Gardens' Gates Garden Court
(2-3 pm Silent Auction for the benefit of the BI program)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Café Botanique - Thursday, October 2 - Morrison Center

Feast of Yeast – An Appreciation
By Prof. Dhinakar S. Kompala, University of Colorado, Boulder
Baker’s or brewer’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has a long history and increasing number of uses in biotechnology. It has an interesting metabolism, which makes it useful either in baking (producing CO2) or in brewing (producing ethanol). It is increasingly used in the large-scale production of biofuels, mainly ethanol from food grains (raising the cost of food) and will be used in the next generation of biofuels (ethanol from agricultural residues such as corn stover, sugar cane bagasse, etc.). Beyond these ancient uses, it has found several modern applications, such as in the synthesis of human therapeutics, e.g. insulin and hepatitis vaccine.

Dhinakar Kompala is in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His undergraduate education was at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and his graduate education was at Purdue University. He is a recipient of the Presidential Young Investigator award from National Science Foundation.