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K-State Today

October 23, 2015



Selfridge receives 2015 award from American Society of Botanical Artists

By Gail Selfridge

Gail Selfridge, former art director for the Kansas State University Gardens, has been awarded the 2015 Anne Ophelia Dowden Grant by the American Society of Botanical Artists.

With offices at the New York Botanical Garden, the American Society of Botanical Artists is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting public awareness of contemporary botanical art, to honoring its traditions, and to furthering its development.

Botanical art, a scientifically accurate art form that can be learned and enjoyed by both children and adults, is a pleasurable activity that can be pursued for a lifetime. The grant is to fund Selfridge's publication "Colorful Leaves," a collection of leaf/branch preliminary line drawings that can be used to teach the creation of botanically accurate illustrations and art works.

Establishing a preliminary image is often the most challenging and difficult step in this learning process.
By starting with these line images, fussing over measurements and details is avoided thus allowing one to get on with learning, not only about the specimen, but also about using various art materials and techniques. These preliminary images can be repeatedly transferred and used to explore many different techniques, both traditional and digital.

Colorful Leaves can be used strictly for personal enjoyment or it can be used by community arts programs, botanical gardens, arboretums, public schools, 4-H groups, garden clubs, etc. as an educational outreach activity that provides an enjoyable experience, encourages observation of plants and provides tools for the accurate portrayal of plants.