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

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Climate Change in Cafe Botanique, Wednesday April 6, 6:30-8 p.m.

Climate Change at the Poles: Not waiting for The Day After Tomorrow
Dr. Ted Scambos, NSIDC, Boulder CO

Both of Earth’s polar regions are changing rapidly and dramatically in response to global warming. Yet they remain spectacular landscapes, wrought of rock and ice and water in ways most of us have never seen. We will review the recent changes in Arctic sea ice, Greenland’s ice sheet, and coastal Antarctica, using satellite data, and go closer, using pictures from field expeditions to get a more personal sense of these far-off, yet hugely important, regions.

Dr. Ted Scambos is the Lead Scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), and a frequent traveller to the Antarctic for research. He uses satellite data, and field instrumentation, to study the polar region’s responses to climate change. 
Wednesday, April 6, 6:30-8 p.m.

Gates Hall
Reserve your seat by clicking here

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Potions, Poisons and Panaceas - CALL FOR ENTRIES

Under the curatorial direction of Simon Zalkind, and hosted at the Art Gallery in the Fulginiti Pavilion for Bioethics and Humanities on the Anschutz Medical Campus, Potions, Poisons and Panaceas will highlight plants that have medicinal properties.

 September 8, 2016 – October 28, 2016
Venue: Fulginiti Pavilion for Bioethics and Humanities, Anschutz Medical Campus, University of Colorado
Reception: Thursday, September 8, 2016, 5:00 - 7:00 pm

You are cordially invited to submit work to the jurying process for the annual botanical illustration exhibition. Your dedication to mastering the skills of this art form and illustration makes us extremely proud, and we would like to showcase your success in a public venue.

We welcome artists who have participated in courses at Denver Botanic Gardens’ School of Botanical Art and Illustration between June 2014 and July 2016. Artworks of all levels and in any media taught in the school are welcome.

As the title suggests, illustrations will feature plants that demonstrate—or allegedly demonstrate—healing, curative, or therapeutic qualities. This may include plants traditionally referenced in plant-based pharmacopeias—feverfew, valerian, poppy, goldenseal, St. John’s Wort, ginger or marijuana, for example—or they may be more recent additions to our knowledge of plant based medicine.  The history of botanical illustration, medicine and ethnobotany are historically intertwined—a genre that while it existed in ancient times began in earnest in the 15th century. 
Because of the Fulginiti’s particular interest is in bioethical issues we also encourage artists to pay particular attention to those plants that exhibit psychotropic or “mind-altering” capacities. While the “drug war” of the late 1960s and 1970s effectively halted any exploration of these plants  in clinical settings or trials,  the research and use of them in clinical studies and treatment protocols has recently been revived .  In addition, religious groups such as The Native American Church have been given legal authority to use peyote and psilocybin mushrooms as a “sacramental” substance in their religious and healing ceremonies. Among the shamanistic cultures of Mexico, Peru, Ecuador and the Amazonian basin the use of plant based psychedelics—ayahusca being the most prominent—are a central component of the shamanistic plant-healers arsenal. Their study in clinical settings has been given renewed impetus and “ayahusca tourism” to those centers of plant-based shamanism has become a thriving business.  Along with  laboratory created  psychedelics—now more popularly referred to as “entheogens”—such as LSD and MDMA, this class of plant based brews is purportedly proven extremely useful in chronic psychological (PTSD, major depressive disorder, addiction, etc. ) disorders as well physical “cures” and spiritual transformation—a function especially relevant to end of life issues. We welcome all submissions whether traditionally based, contemporary, or “experimental” and we are eager to see medicinal and curative plants that have been known for centuries as well as more recent discoveries. 
Please refer all questions to Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski.

(Illustration above by Randy Raak, Graphite)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Exotic Fruits and Illuminated Medieval Medicine

Horned melon (Cucumis metuliferus), colored pencil by Christine Ruch 

Please click here to see more images from our two recently completed color classes.

Calendula officinalis, mixed media by Susan Willis

Saturday, March 12, 2016

SBAI 2016 Chronicles has started its journey!

Cherry Creek in March, ink by Sarah Simblet (please click to enlarge)

We are doing it again!
The hugely successful 2013 Chronicles-project was loosely based on Sketchtravel. The travelling sketchbook for 2013 SBAI students and instructors was a 160-page spring back hand-bound book with 11”x7.5” pages (Arches 90lb HP watercolor paper). A leather box was protecting the book on its travel. The book circulated 365 days and then got printed with help of a kickstarter project in 2015 (also make sure to watch the recently added video). We printed 500 numbered copies and also financed our Artist-in-Residency program through it.
Now another book has started its journey and is expected to be finished and filled with inspirational pages completed by our community after 365 days of travel. The book is similar than the previous one and the rules are the same as before: each artist has seven days to compose a page. All 2016 students, potential graduates and instructors are encouraged to participate.
The first page was just completed by Dr. SarahSimblet, our current guest instructor from U.K.   
Please follow the weekly updates for the 2016 Chronicles on the BI-facebook

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Girls in Science 2016 - Drawing from Nature

Our team: Jennifer, Kaj, Rebecca and Melissa from our Research Department; Laura and Mervi from the School of Botanical Illustration

Last Saturday the School of Botanical Art and Illustration teamed with the Research Department to represent Denver Botanic Gardens at the Girls in Science event hosted by The Denver Museum of Nature and Science. More than 11000 people (mostly girls with their parents) during the day through the 21 clubhouses at the museum.  Our theme was trichomes and tomatoes.

 It was truly inspirational to see the young excitement around the microscopes and drawing pads.
Gracie, 5 yr, was doing very careful notes when she examined the different leaves with hairs in the microscope - already at the young age she knows that all observations should be documented.

You can see more images from our event by clicking here

Saturday, March 5, 2016

2016 Artist-in-Residency positions at the School of Botanical Illustration

 Magnolia x soulangeana 'Vulcan', watercolor by John Pastoriza-Piñol

We are pleased to announce the recipients of our 2016 Illustrator/Artist-in-Residencies at Denver Botanic Gardens’ School of Botanical Art and Illustration: John Pastoriza-Piñol from Toorak VIC, Australia and Lauren Bassing from Lebanon, New Hampshire.
We are very excited to host them and keen to see the beautiful work and inspiring projects that they create while staying with us.

Centaurea puntatum, ink by Lauren Bassing