The School of Botanical Art and Illustration (SBAI) at Denver Botanic Garden won an RHS Gold Medal for their exhibit of Rocky Mountains: Plants and Fungi at Altitude at the 2017 RHS London Botanical Art Show at the end of February
It's really difficult to win an RHS Gold Medal.
It's even more difficult if you are trying to win as a group - where every single artist has to achieve the GM standard. That's because Gold Medals are awarded on the basis of the weakest image in the portfolio and you can't afford to have any one artist not meet the mark.
That's by way of a preamble to explain why what the School of Botanical Illustration achieved was very significant.
Each of the images had a very detailed label and explanation about the plant including:
The images were then ordered (left to right) by elevation.
You can find/see:
The exhibit was made up of nine drawings and paintings by the core of teachers who regularly provide botanical art and illustration instruction at the Denver Botanic Gardens School of Botanical Art and Illustration and two alumni They are:
Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski, the Manager of SBAI brought the exhibition to London and talked to me about what's involved in creating a group exhibit.
The aim of the exhibition was to show the quality of the School and the calibre of its instructors. The best way to do that was to go to somewhere completely neutral and see what they thought - and where better than the RHS Botanical Art Show!
The feedback she got about the exhibit was firstly that it was very rare to have a Gold Medal winning exhibit by a group. (I know I've seen a number which have done well - but fallen short of a Gold Medal).
In terms of queries from the public, everybody was very interested in the variety of media used eg the frosted mylar used for coloured pencil which gives the impression of vellum.
What it takes to produce a good group exhibit
We talked about what Mervi found essential to getting the exhibit together at a standard which made it possible for them to win Gold.
Thirteen Gold Medals were awarded at the 2016 RHS London Botanical Art Show. I had to sit and think for a bit before deciding how to write up my interviews with the twelve botanical artists I spoke to. This is how it's going to work.
The interviews are going to be written up on my main blog Making A Mark as not everybody knows about this one yet!
There are going to be three posts with the artists split by geography.
#1 covers four artists from Asia - three from Japan and one from Thailand. They are:
READ the Interviews with RHS Botanical Art Gold Medallists 2016 - from Asia
The artists are now all featured on this website on my page for leading Botanical Artists from Asia.
#2 covers artists from the UK and Europe:
The last post covers artists from the southern hemisphere and the USA
You can find all of them in related pages for the leading botanical artists in:
I've included tip and techniques from the interviews in a separate post Tips from 2016 RHS Gold Medal Winners - Botanical Art.
This website has a page devoted to Tips and Techniques for those aspiring to improve their development of botanical art.
A central section to that page are the tips which I've derived from interviews with botanical artists from around the world who have won an RHS Gold Medal at the Botanical Art Shows in London.
Tips from 2016 RHS Gold Medal Winners - Botanical Art is my latest blog post with top tips from gold medal winners.
The Tips and Techniques page will be updated this week to incorporate the latest set of valuable insights and tips and techniques by leading contemporary botanical artists
P.S. The new Facebook Page for Botanical Art and Artists is working extremely well and gained over 500 likes in 2.5 days. If you're interested in botanical art and artists why not take a look
You can find out about the medallists and who got the Best in Show Awards in this post on Making A Mark - RHS London Botanical Art Show 2016 - Medal Winners. In total there are:
35 people were selected for exhibition and 2 pulled out leaving 33 exhibiting on Friday 26th and Saturday 27th February at the 2016 RHS London Botanical art Show in the RHS Lindley Hall in London.
The exhibition looked splendid with its brand new white stands. They're very robust and stable and the new arrangement within the hall makes it much easier to walk around. Plus you can see all the exhibit at once!
The exhibits which looked best are those which applied for enough space for one row of artwork. I'll be including more tips in future blog posts about the exhibition - which will include interviews with the 13 Gold Medallists.
The artists exhibiting at the 2016 RHS London Botanical Art Show at the end of this month have been made public.
There are 35 artists in total from a range of different countries with half of them coming from the UK. The number per country is as follows:
You can find out more the artists selected for the RHS London Botanical Art Show (26-27 February)
This is the link to Book tickets for this show - I've already got mine!
(Note: I'm going to continue to write my lengthy blog posts about botanical art on Making A Mark because this is where I've already built a following for this topic.
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Katherine Tyrrell writes about botanical art and artists and has followers all over the world.
© Katherine Tyrrell 2015-17
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