BAEE is Winding Down

Image of the Book Cover dust jacket - Inglett Publishing
Dust Jacket for American Botanical Paintings: Native Plants of the Mid Atlantic.

The end of 2018 will coincide with the end of the nonprofit organization Botanical Artists for Education & the Environment (BAEE).

Established in 2011 by a small group of artists in the Washington, DC, area, BAEE has proved to be a great success. The group solicited donations to publish the book American Botanical Paintings: Native Plants of the Mid Atlantic, sold almost 3,000 copies of the book, and by the end of this year will have donated or awarded over $100,000 in grants, charitable donations, and books to organizations with a native plant focus – not bad for a small group of botanical artists who wanted to use their art for the betterment of our communities.

From the proceeds of book sales BAEE donated $61,000 in the form of grants to nonprofit organizations dedicated to native plant use, conservation, or education. Here is what the grant recipients accomplished:

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, Virginia, received a $20,000 grant in May 2016 to purchase and implement a new record-keeping system that has improved their curatorial, horticultural, and botanical management of native plants, which then has enabled their application to become certified by the American Public Garden Association.

Earth Sangha in Fairfax, Virginia, received a $10,000 grant in October 2016 to expand their Wild Plant nursery inventory to support and formalize the Schoolyard Greening Kit program, which uses native plants as a conservation and education tool for local schools. They produced a Schoolyard Garden Kit Manual, making it possible for this successful program to be implemented elsewhere.

The National Fund of the U.S. Botanic Garden received a $16,000 grant in November 2016 to extend the work of their botanical illustrator intern, Mara Menahan. Mara created an outdoor field guide for the newly renovated Bartholdi Park Garden, showcasing native plants, and also designed informative signs for use in and around the USBG. Her work was featured by Adrian Higgins, garden columnist for The Washington Post in March 2017.

The American Society of Botanical Artists received a $15,000 grant in October 2017 to fund a catalog for the USA exhibition of “Botanical Art Worldwide: America’s Flora.” The United States is one of twenty-five countries celebrating their indigenous plants with exhibitions held around the world in 2018.

Remaining funds will be given this month as charitable donations to three nonprofit organizations to further their native plant programs: the American Society of Botanical Artists, Earth Sangha, and the Foundation of the State Arboretum of Virginia. The American Horticultural Society, Friends of the US Botanic Garden, and Meadowlark Botanical Gardens have received the remainder of the books. This last round of charitable donations represents close to $40,000.

The BAEE Board of Directors greatly appreciates all of the support we have received, friendships we have enjoyed, expertise we gained as artists, but most of all, the enthusiasm and excitement generated by our focus on native plants.

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Putting Botanical Art to Work

We invite those who are going to the ASBA Annual Conference in St. Louis next week and have time in their schedules to attend the BAEE Workshop on “Putting Botanical Art to Work,” held on Thursday at 9:45 am to 10:45 am. BAEE President Eileen Malone-Brown will relate how we created the book, marketed it, and awarded grants from the profits, and she will also cover lessons-learned. Several other BAEE members will attend.

Unfortunately, I am unable to attend this year but hope to see everyone next year in Pittsburgh. I am always happy to answer any questions about the project, especially for any group that is interested in undertaking a similar project.

Best wishes for a great conference.
Bonnie

Painting of Mountain Laurel by Karen Ringstrand.
Kalmia latifolia by Karen Ringstrand.
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Price Reduced on BAEE Book — $15.00, plus shipping

American Botanical Paintings: Native Plants of the Mid Atlantic.
Do you still need a gift for Mothers’ Day? Take advantage of our newly reduced price for American Botanical Paintings: Native Plants of the Mid Atlantic. The price is only $15.00 plus shipping (and tax if mailed to Virginia). To order use the “Contact Us” form on our web site: www.botanical-art.baeecorp.org/order-book/

All profits from sales go to support native plants. For example, BAEE awarded a $15,000 grant to support publication of the ASBA catalog for the “Botanical Art Worldwide: America’s Flora” exhibition.

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May Class Cancelled

We regret that we must cancel the class with Anne-Marie Evans that was scheduled for next month (May 21-25). She has had difficulty getting her travel visa renewed, although she expects everything will eventually work out. We will try to reschedule her for next spring and will contact everyone who signed up for this class.

Meanwhile, we will hold an informal workshop where students may come and bring their work for gentle critiques, encouragement, and motivation. Those who were in last November’s class should bring the apple paintings they began then. We hope to have available some of the companion plants that are grown in apple orchards. The workshop will be held May 21-23. Use the Contact Us form if you are interested. Cost is minimal — just enough to cover rental of the space — about $25.00.

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Exhibition on Cannabis

Katherine Tyrell maintains a blog for and about botanical artists. In her posting from October 3rd, she highlights the new exhibition at the Boulder Museum by the Rocky Mountain Society of Botanical Artists, ‘Cannabis–A Visual Perspective’. The link is https://www.botanicalartandartists.com/news/cannabis-a-visual-perspective-botanical-art-exhibition-by-rmsba-at-boulder-museum?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BotanicalArtandArtists-News+%28Botanical+Art+and+Artists+-+News%29

She also references a resource to online juried shows that would be useful to any artist interested in exhibiting: OnlineJuriedShows.com

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Presentation at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

On Sunday, March 11, Eileen Malone-Brown, BAEE President, gave a presentation titled "Putting Botanical Art to Work" at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Henrico, VA, just outside Richmond. She was introduced by Phyllis Laslett, the Garden Adult Education Coordinator.

Eileen walked the audience through creation of the BAEE book American Botanical Art: Native Plants of the Mid Atlantic and told how proceeds from book sales have been used as grants to further understanding of the importance of native plants to the environment and to encourage their conservation and use in home gardens. Her presentation also included comparisons of Mark Catesby's prints of native plants with contemporary versions by BAEE members.

While encouraging the audience to develop their own projects, Eileen shared lessons learned from the making of the BAEE Book. The audience of 26 included Lewis Ginter Botanical Art students and graduates, as well as members of other local plant conservation groups. The event concluded with a lively question-and-answer discussion covering many botanical art project possibilities other than publishing a book.

Photo of seven people after a presentation at Lewis Ginter. One is signing a book.
Left to right: Patrice Hobbs, Ru Contois, Eileen Malone-Brown (signing book), Judy Rodgers, and Judith Towers.

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