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Shasta Daisy. © Nancy Wheeler Klippert. All rights reserved

Shasta Daisy. © Nancy Wheeler Klippert. All rights reserved

The Legacy of Luther Burbank,
A Gallery Show

Sebastopol Center for the Arts
Sebastopol, CA
September 11 – October 25, 2014

Fourteen Sonoma County botanical artists will show paintings of plants from the Luther Burbank Experiment Garden in Sebastopol and the Luther Burbank Home & Garden in Santa Rosa. The paintings were created in colored pencil on a variety of papers and films. The colored pencil paintings feature botanically accurate portraits of selected plants, fruits, vegetables, flowers and trees created through Burbank’s experiments. The artists worked directly with specimens at both locations and have created a “florilegium” of Burbank’s work in Sonoma County. Learn more about Luther Burbank’s legacy.



You’re Invited!
Wild Black Cherry. © Suzanne Cogen. All rights reserved

Wild Black Cherry. © Suzanne Cogen. All rights reserved


An opening reception will be held on Thursday,
September 11, 2014 from 6-7:30 PM at Sebastopol Center for the Arts in Sebastopol, CA (see map).

Gallery Hours:
Tuesday – Friday 10 AM – 4 PM
Saturday 1-4 PM

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ccmg_fair On Saturday, September 6, Contra Costa Master Gardeners (CCMG) is hosting their second annual community event promoting healthy gardening with a sustainable garden fair that features hands-on demonstrations, topical talks, a plant sale, and self-guided tours of “Our Garden,” the Master Gardener’s demonstration site in Walnut Creek.

“This day is designed to give each of us ideas on simple things we can do to help our environment. All of us making small changes can make a positive impact on the environment,” according to Laura McCauley, CCMG Association President of the all-volunteer organization.

The Second Annual Sustainability Fair will feature more than one dozen organizations demonstrating how people can create a sustainable lifestyle. Strategies to be discussed include recycling, seed saving, sheet mulching, smart-water usage and how to replace a lawn using drought-tolerant UC Davis Arboretum All-Stars. There will also be a Children’s Activity Center, vendors offering healthy local food and ongoing talks and demonstrations about removing your lawn, growing vegetables, raising chickens, beekeeping, beneficial insects, making good compost, and much more.

Judy Ryan, CCMG Sustainability Fair coordinator said she is excited to see so many other organizations joining together to promote sustainability in neighborhoods and communities.

The Second Annual Sustainability Fair will be held at the CCMG demonstration site at N. Wiget Lane and Shadelands Drive in Walnut Creek, CA (map).
Event hours are 10 AM – 3 PM.


Visit the 2014 Sustainability Fair

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By The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation

The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation invites you to view
Dangerous Beauty: Thorns, Spines and Prickles from September 18 to December 18, 2014. This exhibition includes artworks and books that depict the formidable and yet beautiful defensive structures of thorns, spines and prickles that have evolved to protect plants from predation. Featured are drawings, watercolors, prints and books displaying thistles, teasels, cacti, roses, berry brambles, stinging nettles and citrus trees.

The first step in appreciating these defensive structures is an understanding of what they are and how they differ from each other. In the most basic sense, thorns, spines and prickles can all refer to the sharp, stiff, woody defensive appendages found on some plants. Thorns are modified stems, as in Citrus Linnaeus. Spines are modified leaves, as in Echinocactus Link & Otto. Prickles differ in that they emerge from the epidermis, mesophyll or cortex of the plant, as in Rosa Linnaeus. Examples of these structures will be depicted in a variety of ways, from detailed scientific illustrations to loose interpretations, but all showing how beautiful these structures can be.

Left, Citron: Citrus medica [Citrus medica Linnaeus, Rutaceae], watercolor on paper by Marilena Pistoia (Italy), [pre-1984], 35 × 25.5 cm, for Laura Peroni, Il Linguaggio del Fiori (Milan, Arnoldo Mondadori, 1984, p. 53), HI Art accession no. 6773.20, © 1984 Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, Milan, All rights reserved. Center, Teasel [Dipsacus Linnaeus, Dipsacaceae], watercolor on paper by Celia Crampton (Africa/England), 2003, 37 × 28 cm, HI Art accession no. 7586, © 2003 Celia Crampton, All rights reserved. Right, Rosa canina L. [Rosa Linnaeus, Rosaceae], watercolor on paper by Petr Liska (Czech Republic), 1981, 24 × 16.5 cm, HI Art accession no. 6463, © 1981 Petr Liska, All rights reserved.

Left, Citron: Citrus medica [Citrus medica Linnaeus, Rutaceae], watercolor on paper by Marilena Pistoia (Italy), [pre-1984], 35 × 25.5 cm, for Laura Peroni, Il Linguaggio del Fiori (Milan, Arnoldo Mondadori, 1984, p. 53), HI Art accession no. 6773.20, © 1984 Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, Milan, All rights reserved.
Center, Teasel [Dipsacus Linnaeus, Dipsacaceae], watercolor on paper by Celia Crampton (Africa/England), 2003, 37 × 28 cm, HI Art accession no. 7586,
© 2003 Celia Crampton, All rights reserved.
Right, Rosa canina L. [Rosa Linnaeus, Rosaceae], watercolor on paper by Petr Liska (Czech Republic), 1981, 24 × 16.5 cm, HI Art accession no. 6463, © 1981 Petr Liska, All rights reserved.

Artists represented are Marie Angel (England, 1923–2010); Diana Carmichael (United Kingdom/South Africa, 1926–2010); Louis Claude de Chastillon (France, 1639–1734); Celia Crampton (Africa/England); Anne Ophelia Todd Dowden (United States, 1907–2007); Raymond Dowden (United States, 1905–1982); Georg Dionys Ehret (Germany/England, 1708–1770); Henry Evans (United States, 1918–1990); Alejandro Gavriloff (Estonia/Argentina, 1914–1993); Lucretia Hamilton (United States, 1908–1986); Charlotte Hannan (Germany/United States); Jeanne Russell Janish (also Mrs. Carl F. Janish; United States, 1902–1998); Christabel King (England); Carl Ignaz Leopold Kny (Germany, 1841–1916); Paul Landacre (United States, 1893–1963); Dorika Leyniers de Buyst (Belgium); Chrissie Lightfoot (England); Petr Liska (Czechoslovakia); Stanley Maltzman (United States); Yoshikaru Matsumura (Japan, 1906–1967); Roderick McEwen (Scotland, 1932–1982); Joan McGann (United States); Jeni Neale (also Jeni Barlow; England); Gunnar Normann (Sweden, 1912–2005); Marilena Pistoia (Italy); Frantisek Procházka (Czechoslovakia, 1911–1976); Pierre-Joseph Redouté (Belgium, 1759–1840); Elizabeth Rice (England); Nicolas Robert (France, 1614–1685); Christian Schkuhr (Germany, 1741–1811); Geraldine King Tam (United States); Gesina B. Threlkeld (Netherlands/United States); Unknown artist (Mexico, fl.1787–1803), Torner Collection of Sessé & Mociño Biological Illustrations; Unknown artist (United States, fl.1900s), USDA Forest Service Collection; Frederick Andrews Walpole (United States, 1861–1904). A selection of rare books from the Hunt Institute Library collection also is included in this exhibition.

Join us Thursday, September 18, 2014 from 5–7 PM for an opening reception. At 5:30 PM Assistant Curator of Art Carrie Roy will give a short introduction to the exhibition in the gallery. We will also open on Saturday, October 11, 1–4 pm, during Carnegie Mellon University’s Cèilidh Weekend festivities. Docent–led tours will be available throughout the afternoon.



Related

Cabinet of Curiosities
During Fall 2014, The Hunt’s Cabinet of Curiosities will highlight books from the Library’s collection featuring plants with thorns, spines and prickles. Humans are often undeterred by these sometimes pain-inducing plant features, finding that their sharpness can serve a purpose or that the plant is useful despite the pricks and jabs one might incur. Visit the Cabinet in the library’s lobby to explore how these plants have been utilized.

The exhibition will be on display on the 5th floor of the Hunt Library building at Carnegie Mellon University and will be open to the public free of charge.
Hours: Monday–Friday, 9 AM to Noon and 1–5 PM; Sunday, 1–4 PM (except November 23 and November 27-30). Because hours are subject to change, please call or email before your visit to confirm. For further information, contact the Hunt Institute at 412-268-2434.


About the Institute

The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, a research division of Carnegie Mellon University, specializes in the history of botany and all aspects of plant science and serves the international scientific community through research and documentation. The Institute meets the reference needs of botanists, biologists, historians, conservationists, librarians, bibliographers and the public at large, especially those concerned with any aspect of the North American flora.

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Looking for a fun summer excursion?

Begin your search on the Exhibits to Visit page. Many events have been posted during the past week. Birders, botanical illustrators and naturalists are sure to find something of interest. Here are the most recent entries:

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Morning Light (Theodore Payne Headquarters Building), Oil, © 2014 Frank Lennartz. All rights reserved.

Morning Light (Theodore Payne Headquarters Building), Oil, © 2014 Frank Lennartz. All rights reserved.

Plein Air Painting of Theodore Payne Foundation by the San Fernando Valley Art Club
Theodore Payne Foundation
Sun Valley, CA
July 3 – August 16, 2014

This past Spring, members of the San Fernando Valley Art Club gathered at the Theodore Payne Foundation in Sun Valley, CA to sketch and paint en plein air. The paintings created during these springtime visits are now on view in the Theodore Payne Gallery. The Foundation invites you to visit the Gallery to view this special exhibition.

The Theodore Payne Arts Council explains:

En plein air is a French expression meaning “in the open air,” and is used to describe the act of painting outdoors. Artists have long painted outside. However, in the mid-19th century, working in natural light became increasingly important to multiple schools of art, including the Impressionists, whose work focused on ordinary subject matter and the changing qualities of light. 


The popularity of plein air painting increased in the 1870s with the introduction of paint in tubes, which replaced the task of grinding and mixing dry pigment powders with linseed oil. The box easel was invented during this period, increasing the ease and portability of art supplies. In the mid-20th century, the invention of fast-drying, water-based acrylic paint added yet another convenience.

Visit the Theodore Payne Gallery

This exhibition has been added to the Exhibits to Visit page.

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Orchard Fruits, © Elaine Searle. All rights reserved.

Orchard Fruits, © Elaine Searle. All rights reserved.

Orchard Fruits:
A Painting Holiday with Elaine Searle

September 6-13, 2014
10:00 AM – 3:30 PM
Near Holt, Norfolk, UK

Visit one of England’s most unspoilt regions. Just a few places remain on this very special NON-RESIDENTIAL botanical painting holiday. Botanical artists of all levels welcome. We shall draw and paint stone fruit such as plums and gages from local orchards. Two half-day excursions will be included, as will all lunches (using fresh local produce) and a welcome dinner. Accommodation to suit most budgets can be arranged.

Visit www.paintbotanical.com for full details and booking form.

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Graduate students Michael Pin and Elizabeth Luscher lead a conversation about genetically modified plants. Photo credit: Plant Discovery Day Staff

Graduate students Michael Pin and Elizabeth Luscher lead a conversation about genetically modified plants. Photo credit: Plant Discovery Day Staff

There are many places to see plants in an urban setting, but where can you go to learn about plants and current plant research?

Elementary school students in Riverside don’t have to look too far to learn about plants. They only need to turn to UC Riverside. Some local students have the opportunity to learn about plant research first-hand every school year and it is this exciting opportunity that is the focus of this issue of Plants, Life, Riverside.

Each Spring one hundred fifth-grade students from Highland Elementary School in Riverside get to immerse themselves in the plant sciences thanks to the dedication of graduate students in the Department of Botany & Plant Sciences at UC Riverside.

Launched in June 2012, Plant Discovery Day was created by graduate students Jessica Diaz and Erin Brinton, National Science Foundation (NSF) research fellows who wanted to do more than mentor undergraduates and make classroom visits to satisfy the outreach requirement for NSF grants funding their research. They wanted to do something more meaningful and fun that involved more of the department. After doing some brainstorming, they decided to invite students from a local school to campus and Plant Discovery Day was born.

Originally called “Where Does Food Come From”, the first Plant Discovery Day took eight months to plan. Jessica and Erin selected Highland Elementary School as a partner because it was close to campus and served minorities underrepresented in the sciences. 

At the first Plant Discovery Day, students visited several interactive stations, each about a separate plant science topic. This format has proven to be successful and Plant Discover Day is well on its way to becoming a model example of how to engage students in activities related to plants, science and higher education.

This year graduate students provided each student with a white lab coat and a folder for their work. With lab coats on and with folders in hand, students engaged in interactive activities about:

  • Scanning Electron Microscopy
  • Citrus research at UCR
  • Carbon Dioxide Exchange
  • Plant Physiology
  • Alternative Energy/Biofuels
  • Strawberry DNA Extraction
  • Plant Biotechnology
  • Going to College

Students also learned about botanical illustration. I had the opportunity to participate in Plant Discovery Day and led an activity called “Discover Seeing” that was about how to see plants while using drawing as a learning tool. I also introduced students to scientific illustration as a career and brought attention to the many ways scientific illustrators teach us about science. 


What’s Next for Plant Discovery Day

Event founders Jessica Diaz and Erin Brinton will soon complete their graduate studies and they have started working with the graduate students who will coordinate Plant Discovery Day after they leave.

I asked Jessica and Erin what they envision Plant Discovery Day becoming. Both said they would like it to become a public event benefiting the entire Riverside community. Erin added, “If we could invite more children, have more events, and involve entire families in the event, I feel we would have really succeeded in creating a special outreach event that fills a niche not yet explored by UCR.”

Both founders are very aware, however, that to grow Plant Discovery Day, they will need more funding. While the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences contributes some money towards the event, graduate students are left on their own to raise money to pay for expenses associated with materials, equipment and lunch for the children. 

Would you like to help this group of bright, passionate and dedicated graduate students with Plant Discovery Day 2015?

Go to UCR Online Giving and select the fund titled, “Excellence in Botany and Plant Sciences”. This is a general fund benefiting activities sponsored by the department. Please enter Plant Discovery Day in the box labeled “Special Instructions” and use Appeal Code 14CNAS05. This will make sure your contribution will be used to support this wonderful outreach event. 

When asked what message they wanted to get across about Plant Discovery Day, Jessica replied, “The overall goal is to get kids thinking about the amount of research that has been done on plants and the types of research that has been conducted about plants and plant ecology. Don’t take plants for granted. Science is not only working with mice.”

Questions about contributing to Plant Discovery Day should be directed to
Dr. Edie Allen, Department of Botany & Plant Sciences, UC Riverside.
(951) 827-4714



About Erin Brinton

Erin is a 5th-year Ph.D.candidate in the lab of Dr. Julia Bailey-Serres at
UC Riverside. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Biology at Occidental College in Los Angeles. Her interest in plants is rooted in years of gardening with her father while growing up in Colorado. It was at Occidental College that Erin cultivated her love of plants and her desire to feed the world. While at Occidental, she studied the root system of desert agaves and aloes in the lab of Dr. Gretchen North. She received a Beckman Fellowship for her undergraduate work. As a graduate student, Erin was awarded a NSF graduate research fellowship to fund three years of her schooling and research. She was recently awarded the UCR Dissertation of the Year Program Fellowship to fund her remaining time at UCR. Erin will return to Occidental College in January to begin a two-year post-doctoral research position in Dr. North’s lab. Dedicated to making science accessible to all people, Erin’s previous outreach experience includes presentations at colleges and high schools and working as a math and science tutor with elementary school and high school students.

Erin is currently investigating flood tolerance in corn at the molecular level. She explains that, “Crop loss to flooding in the US costs on average $1 billion dollars with over half of that coming from corn. Improving corn’s tolerance to flooding could not only save money, but also have the potential to alleviate crop loss in areas of the world where farmers cannot afford to replant their corn fields after a flood as we do here in the US.”


About Jessica Diaz

Jessica is a 5th-year Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Patricia Springer’s lab at UCR where her current research is focused on creating rice plants that have more upright leaves so they can be planted at a higher density. Her research also focuses on creating these plants without altering any other parts of the plant’s architecture. Jessica was awarded an NIH MARC U-STAR (National Institutes of Health Minority Access to Research Careers – Undergraduate Student Training for Academic Research) fellowship in 2007 as an undergraduate at California State University, Northridge. The NIH MARC U-STAR program focuses on encouraging and preparing underrepresented minorities to pursue careers in research. Jessica credits this program with providing her with a sense of direction in her life. Jessica is a past-participant in the Plant Genomics Research Program at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research at Cornell University. Since beginning her research at UCR in 2009, she has been awarded a two-year IGERT fellowship sponsored by NSF, followed by a three-year NSF graduate research fellowship to fund her research.

Originally from Arleta, CA, a predominantly Latino city, Jessica found it difficult to learn about education beyond high school because she did not know anyone with a higher education. While working as a Playground Supervisor at an inner city school, she created an academic and recreational program promoting a positive social atmosphere that went beyond standard school hours. Dedicated to increasing science literacy in underprivileged areas, Jessica wants students to know that science can be enjoyable and stimulating and not intimidating. Jessica explains, “I feel if I can convey to them what I have learned through my journey, I can bring diversity to the science community and integrate it to inspire other students.”


Inspire young botanists.
Contribute to Plant Discovery Day.

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