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

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)

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