BLOG

[Compiled] 2014 GNSI Annual Conference


2014 conference logo


Read More

The Beehive Collective

The Beehive Collective (http://beehivecollective.org/) is a revolving group of people who have volunteered for decades in combining art, education, and activism.

Nicole DeBarber from the BeeHive CollectiveThe Collective approaches their art as the creation of a teaching tool. At the GNSI annual conference, Nicole DeBarber presented  on the creation of a poster drawn on an 8 by 4-foot piece of watercolor paper, inked on over a 9 year period by multiple artists, with multiple research trips to Central America to gather the stories of the people and learn about the glories and dangers of living there. The poster tells of the cultural myths/history and the environment, as well as the corporate planning of the future of the region.

Read More

Kickstarter project: Plants of Life

Plants of Life by Ann DuBoisAnn's DuBois has launched a Kickstarter project as a method for bringing her next book project to fruition. Ann's goal is to fund top-quality publication of her Plants of Life book, which will feature 38 original paintings of plant life, her personal story about each one, and their historical background.

Ann's project has been selected by Kickstarter as one of their "We Love it" choices!

Read More

GNSI on Facebook

Some of you may know that GNSI has a Closed Group on Facebook (only members can see content). The GNSI Portugal chapter has one as well, as do several of the USA chapters such as GNSI Northern California. And GNSI Carolinas and GNSI Great Plains have Facebook public pages.

Finally, GNSI, Inc. has started a Facebook page too. Founded on May 21st, within seven days we have almost 350 likes!  We will be featuring current news, events, and our member's artwork. If you would like to sign up to be featured on the GNSI Facebook page, fill out this short Jot form and we will put you on the list of possible postings.

Read More

Call for Exhibits: Tesla Project

Tesla ProjectThe Tesla Project is an all-day extravaganza dedicated to celebrating the genius of Nikola Tesla, a visionary scientist and engineer whose electrical inventions transformed the world.

Inaugurated in 2010, The Tesla Project includes an art exhibition, a line-up of bands, Tesla-Roadsters, computer enrichment activities for children, a film, Tesla coil demos, and how-to-presentations.

Read More

Portable High Resolution Imaging System

The information below is a follow up of the article about the Visionary Digital BK Plus Laboratory System for photographing insect specimens, included in the Journal of Natural Science Illustration 2013 No. 1.

A Connecticut start-up, Macroscopic Solutions, has created a portable insect photography system, using high-quality off-the-shelf components. They also donate one system to schools and non-profit groups for each 10 they sell.

Read More

Call for Exhibits: Art of Conservation

Chugach Arts Council in Seward Alaska is gearing up for its 2nd year of Art of Conservation projects.

Artists of all ages, abilities and mediums are invited to submit art to be included in beautiful books of art to be published this year in connection with National Pollinator WeekEndangered Species Day and World Oceans Day. In addition a book featuring Public Lands & National Wildlife Refuge Projects will be created. Deadline for submissions has been extended to May 26, 2014.

Read More

2014 PLAYA Residency

PLAYA, a facility and nonprofit organization near Summer Lake, in Southeast Oregon, offers Residencies to artists, writers, natural scientists, naturalists, and others engaged in creative or interdisciplinary work.

PLAYA has two application deadlines on the following dates: March 1, 2014 (for Fall 2014 sessions running mid-August - December) and September 1, 2014 (for Spring 2015 sessions running January - June). For questions regarding these upcoming residencies or general information please email [email protected].

Read More

Call for Exhibits: Beautiful Maryland

The GNSI-DC Chapter invites submissions for the upcoming exhibit, Beautiful Maryland: Natural Science Illustrations of the Chesapeake Bay Region, from all members that have attended at least one GNSI-DC meeting in the last year.

TIMELINE:

Read More

Call for Volunteers: Develop a Science Illustration K-12 Curriculum

An open invitation to all GNSI members to help develop a science illustration K-12 curriculum

Initial premises:

1] Science illustration as a career is still a career unfamiliar to the general public (and often to the scientists we serve); integrating a science illustration curriculum into general education (especially STEM) programs will help to educate people as to who we are and what we do.

Read More

RIP: Camera Lucida

In grad school, I was assigned the task of drawing a series of teeth using a camera lucida attached to a microscope. This was the best tool EVER! I knew the measurements were correct, knew proportions were accurate… because I’d traced it. Fast and simple. Alas, the camera lucida faded into obscurity as more microscopes were equipped with cameras.

camera lucidaSo when a Kickstarter campaign launched to create a new kind of camera lucida, I eagerly awaited the result. When they released to the public, I bought two (I teach a course in Biological Illustration and thought the tool would be useful to show (or check) contours, proportions, or values. After all, the camera lucida turns 3-D images into 2-D traceable elements).

Read More

Book Review: Beetles and Other Insects

Introduction

On the introduction to Beetles and Other Insects, Gerhard Scherer writes “There is (…) something mysterious about these objects, these small organisms with many hidden secrets. This aura of mystery and the fascination exerted by insects’ physical appearance are no doubt what has repeatedly induced artists to depict them.” Indeed it was only at thirty-two years of age that artist Bernard Durin (1940-1988) stumbled upon insects for the first time, during a walk in his native region of Provence. But the experience was so transformative that it set him on a journey to illustrate these animals with a passion and precision that are unparalleled in the representation of insects.

FROM THE BOOK COVER: BEETLES AND OTHER INSECTS BY BERNARD DURINBeetles and Other Insects includes all known and currently available images produced by Bernard Durin. It is the fourth expanded edition of the book published in 1980 with the same title. About half of the sixty watercolor plates in it portray a variety of beetles, from the widespread seven-spotted ladybug and the expected Hercules and rhinoceros beetles to the rare alpine borer and exotic flower scarabs. The remaining plates put the spotlight on a few species from the wasp, bees and ants group, cicadas, tree and jewel bugs, grasshoppers, a crane fly, butterfly and praying mantis. There are also one spider and two scorpion illustrations, which, by being outside of the insect group, should have called for a different book title. Each plate is complemented by a historical and anatomical text, the majority of them crafted by the head of the beetle section of the Zoologische Staatssammlung in Munich at the time of the first edition.

Read More

2014 COM.EN.ART Residency

The Huyck Preserve is accepting applications for our COM.EN.ART program for 2014.

COM.EN.ART (COMmunity.ENviroment.ART) is an Artist-in-Residence program for natural history illustrators offered by the Huyck Preserve, a biological field station and 2000-acre nature preserve in the picturesque Hudson Valley hamlet of Rensselaerville, NY. This two-week residency is designed to provide concentrated field experience and study for illustrators, as well as encourage interaction and discussion about nature among artists, with scientists and with the community. The artists contribute a finished piece of artwork and submit a sketch to the Preserve's ongoing artists' sketchbook in exchange for studio and rustic living quarters. The residencies can take place between May and September.

Read More

Memories of John Gurche at the National Museum of Natural History

The paleo halls at the National Museum of Natural History are undergoing a major renovation. The exhibit Life in the Ancient Seas, which opened in 1990 (see Deck 1992), closed on October 28, 2013; the remaining paleo complex, which opened in stages in the 1980s (for example, see Park 1981), closes April 28, 2014. The new paleo halls will reopen in 2019.

John Gurche’s original acrylic paintings currently enhance the paleo halls in three areas – but only for a few more months. His innovative Tower of Time stands majestically in the main entrance of the exhibit; his painting of a Devonian landscape provides the background for a diorama in the Conquest of Land hall; and his delicate and well-designed Evolution of the Horse spans half of the interior circumference of an intimate enclave in the Mammals in the Limelight hall.

Read More

2014 Voices in the Wilderness Residency

Voices in the Wilderness Art ResidencyResidencies open to artists and arts professionals in all media – visual (two and three dimensional: photographers, sculptors, painters), audio (musicians, singers, composers), film (video/filmmakers), and writers (poets, fiction, essays, storytellers).

Residency period: June through September; dates vary Contact: Barbara Lydon at (907) 754-2318, e-mail: [email protected] Or check out www.voicesofthewilderness.blogspot.com

Read More

2014 Wrangell Mountains Center Residency

Wrangell Mountain ResidencyThe Wrangell Mountains Center (WMC) is a nonprofit organization that fosters understanding, appreciation, and stewardship of wildlands and mountain culture in Alaska through scientific and artistic inquiry in the Wrangell Mountains. The Wrangell Mountains Residency Program aims to support artists of all genres, writers, and inquiring minds in the creation of their work. Our organization and community will provide unrestricted work time and space to focused individuals. We invite applicants with creative and inquisitive minds who will both add to and benefit from the interdisciplinary efforts at our campus in McCarthy, Alaska and the surrounding Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve.

Located in a small mountain community and within the boundaries of the nation’s largest unit of the national park system (over 13 million acres), our vast and spectacular setting provides a unique natural and cultural environment for the WMC. Positioned near ice-capped mountains, the roaring Kennicott River and McCarthy Creek, and the raw terminus of the Kennicott Glacier, the local landscape is a dynamic laboratory for study in ecology, glaciology, and geology. The town of McCarthy was established during the copper mining period in the early 20th century. Many historic sites and buildings in McCarthy and Kennecott combine to make the area a rich cultural environment, hosting vibrant communities full of character and dynamic narratives. It is an ideal place for contemplation and creative endeavor.

Read More

Call for Exhibits: Fourth Coast Illuminated

This is an invitation to GNSI members living in states and provinces bordering the Great Lakes to submit entries to Fourth Coast Illuminated, an exhibition of art featuring flora, fauna, and archaeological artifacts of the region.

  • Submission Deadline: March 21, 2014
  • Acceptance Notifications Sent: April 5 - 7
  • Delivery Of Accepted Work: June 23 - 27
  • Exhibit Dates: July 1 - August 30, 2014. [Kalamazoo Nature Center will be hosting the Association of Nature Center Administrators annual Summit August 20-23.]
  • Exhibit Location: Kalamazoo Nature Center's Glen Vista Gallery, Kalamazoo, MI.
  • Eligibility: Open to all current GNSI members living in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ontario.
  • Subjects: Plants, animals, habitats, landscapes, natural & archaeological artifacts of the Great Lakes region.

The exhibit will be on display at the Kalamazoo Nature Center in its Glen Vista Gallery July 1 - August 30, 2014. Kalamazoo Nature Center is one of the most highly regarded nature centers in the country and is considered a leader in the field. Their Glen Vista Gallery is large, well-lit, and free from visual distraction. As a bonus, the KNC will host the Association of Nature Center Administrators' annual Summit during the exhibit, providing an interested and appreciative audience.

Read More

Call for Volunteers: Hunt Institute

As part of a multi-year photography initiative, the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation is working to photograph their entire Art collection. These photos are primarily for in-house purposes, but they would like to add small, 100 dpi thumbnails of the artwork to their Catalogue of the Botanical Art Collection at the Hunt Institute database, which is accessible on their Web site. These thumbnails will be of low-resolution, unable to be reproduced and still protected by copyright where applicable. Adding thumbnails of the 29,470 works in the Art collection to the online database not only will provide helpful information for researchers but also will give potential visitors and scholars the opportunity to see amazing examples of botanical art by historical masters and leading contemporary artists. To date, the Hunt has photographed and added thumbnails for several collections that are out of copyright or are otherwise in the public domain.

Because this is a use not covered in the original donation or purchase agreement prior to 2010, the Hunt would like to contact all living artists (or their heirs) who have work in their collection to request permission to include thumbnail images in our database. Any artist who has participated in the International Exhibition of Botanical Art & Illustration series prior to the 13th International in 2010 and whose work is in the collection please contact stating either “Yes, I grant permission for a thumbnail of my artwork to be included on the Website” or “No, I do not wish for my artwork to have a thumbnail on the Web site.” Be sure to include updated contact information so that we can include it in our private records and contact you should there be any request involving your work.

Read More

Member Spotlight: Sandy McDermott

Sandy McDermottBushwhack. One definition says “to make one’s way through woods by cutting at undergrowth, branches, etc.” This is how I ended up rolling through life. 

Born into a family with an alcoholic father and a mother busy working to pay the bills and raise three children, “nurturing” was virtually non-existent in my rearing. We hear this sort of story all the time and most certainly there are people who had it much worse than I. But, this environment guided my early years and led me to seek attention and acceptance outwardly, have poor study habits in high school, low self-esteem, no long-term vision, etc. Fortunately, I soon realized the surrogate environment and bad attitude were just more dead ends and not the life I wanted. It took a while for this lost soul to find the confidence to start a journey completely alone. But I did. And that’s what matters in this story.

Read More

Kickstarter project: Why do polar bears have such big butts?

Why do polar bears have such big butts?Some of you who attended the 2013 GNSI conference in Bar Harbor, Maine may remember Chuck Carter who gave an interesting presentation on the future of eBooks. Chuck started a new company a year ago and is now working on his first independent project. Using polar bears as the focal point, Chuck and his team are creating an interactive almanac about polar bears and the arctic ecosystem in which they live. But this book is squarely aimed at a mass market. So it has interactivity, games, and a friendly art style.

To get this project off the ground independent of the big publishers, Chuck is doing a Kickstarter campaign to raise what I think is a very tight budget to get the job done. If you are interested in seeing what interactive books are about, or have kids or adults who might be interested in polar bears, you can support this campaign at very modest levels and get a copy of the book for your iPad or Mac. The stretch goal is to move it to Android and PCs if there is enough interest/pledges.

Read More