Center of Southwest Studies to host lecture on botanical art and illustration

The Lion Lies Down with the Lamium: Watercolor, colored pencil, gold leaf, Lamium galeobdolon [deadnettle] herbarium sample on paper, 2017.
Stonecrop, a Crested Chicken Interfering: Watercolor, colored pencil, Sedum rhodanthum [Stonecrop] herbarium sample on paper (collected 1964), 2016.
Courtesy of Center of Southwest Studies
Courtesy of Center of Southwest Studies

The Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College will host a lecture by Amy Wendland, A Garden on Paper: Drawing on a Scientific Legacy, on Wednesday, March 20 at 5:30 p.m. in the Center’s Lyceum Room, #120. This event is free and open to the public.

Local artist and Fort Lewis College Professor of Art Amy Wendland will discuss botanical art and illustration, focusing on her recent collaboration with the Biology department.

Hairstreak: Ink, acrylic paint, Quercus gambelii [Gambel oak] herbarium sample on paper (collected 1972), 2017.

During a reorganization and move of the herbarium at Fort Lewis College, botanists culled piles of old, poorly-mounted and damaged plant specimens. One person’s scientifically invalid trash is another person’s treasure, and thus began a new botanical art series. Repurposed herbarium samples form the substrate for Wendland’s artworks that investigate tensions between seemingly contradictory realms: scientifically accurate representation and creative interpretation. Using a mixture of techniques and materials, this art series illustrates a botanical marriage of the objective and subjective, the fanciful and the factual, and shows how herbaria can be a source of inspiration to not only the scientist, but also to the artist.

The Center of Southwest Studies, now in its fifty-fifth year, provides an active program of free public lectures and events year-round at its museum, research library, and archives facility on the campus of Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo. For more information, please contact the Center’s business office at 970-247-7456 or visit


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