The Public Honors College

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St. Mary’s Arboretum Association Presents “Artist Naturalists: On Display”

September 3, 2012
Press Release #12-091


The St. Mary’s Arboretum Association, in collaboration with St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s Art & Art History Department, Environmental Studies Program and the Museum Studies Program, is proud to present “The Artist Naturalists,” a showcase of students’ botanical illustrations, on Saturday, September 15 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The event will feature art created by St. Mary’s students, chronicling a collection of plants surrounding the campus admissions building. The opening reception includes a presentation by acclaimed artist and Professor of Art Sue Johnson at 2 p.m. in Schaefer Hall, room 106, and will be followed by tea and cookies at the admissions building at 3 p.m.  There is no charge for this event; all are welcome.  The work will remain on display through December 5, 2012.

On display will be illustrations of a Hinoki Cypress, Knockout Rose, Tulip Poplar tree, Butterfly Bush, and more. Students from the Artist Naturalist class will be on hand to discuss the history of botanical drawing, and comment on their personal experiences with illustrating plants. In her presentation, Professor Johnson will show examples of natural history illustration, describe the work the students did in the course, and attendees will learn how to start keeping a nature journal by observing plants and wildlife in their own backyards.

“The Artist Naturalist class catered to such a complementary array of interests— for instance art, biology, and museum studies,” says current St. Mary’s student and class member Ainsley Thomson. “This genre of art has been practiced for generations, the subject is fascinating, and everyone’s work in the class was tremendous.  We’re excited to share it with the public.”

The St. Mary’s Arboretum Association was founded in 2010 at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. As the state’s public honors college, St. Mary’s is committed to exemplifying an honors commitment in all that it does, be it in the classroom or in its grounds practices and management. The St. Mary’s Arboretum Association holds public education sessions relevant to its waterside home in St. Mary’s County, and this year’s overall theme is “Seeing the Forest…and the Trees…Landscaping with a Sustainable Future in Mind.” All education sessions are free and open to the public. Upcoming events are listed on the arboretum’s website: