You are going to love the new art exhibit going up this month in the Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture. I've seen it, and I must say I had a rather emotional response to it. A positive emotional response! This exhibit is the work of many student artists taught by Mary Harden who has been teaching botanical illustration here for a number of years. I just saw today an informal exhibit of the work of, I'd say, 25 to 30 of her students, and it is magical!
These fledgling artists have captured not only the beauty of plants but also something deeper about their very nature, almost as if they've provided a window into their little plant souls. The hard work, the inspiration and, yes, the love these budding illustrators have packed into their work is awesome.
The art is also beautifully matted and framed, and prints as well as originals are for sale in the library. There will be an official opening on the evening of October 18. You really should try to come.
As I told the artists today, there are so many ways to become drawn into the natural world. This is one of the most concentrated and beautiful I have seen recently. Falling in love with the natural world is what makes us all want to assure that beautiful plants will be around for all future generations to enjoy.
Hats off to Mary Hardin because she's a great artist and a great teacher. Her students love her and they give their all. Come see the results in the Library!
And speaking of wonderful art, check out the new 2007 calendars on sale at the Bookstore. They're produced by Cavallini & Co. in Italy, but they use superb images of antique floral prints from the Botanical Garden's Horticultural Library rare book collection. They make great gifts for special occasions and for the holidays coming up.
Executive Director, San Francisco Botanical Garden Society