By Philadelphia Society of Botanical Illustrators
The booth of the Philadelphia Society of Botanical Illustrators (PSBI) at the Philadelphia Flower Show (February 28 – March 8, 2015) will feature an exhibition of more than 35 precise paintings and on-going demonstrations about how botanical paintings are created. Demonstrations will be held daily from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm. Both the exhibition and the demonstrations are by the 75 local members of the PSBI.
“At the Show, we try to portray the glory of nature both accurately and attractively. We take seriously the quote from Keats of ‘Beauty in truth, truth in beauty.’”, says Judy Simon, Exhibition Chairperson.
The title of the PSBI exhibition is “Holly, Wood and Vines,” reflecting the flower show’s theme “Celebrate the Movies.” The Philadelphia Flower Show will open with “Lights, Camera, BLOOM!”. The PSBI exhibition will complement the opening event with glitzy gold and silver frames. The artwork in this year’s exhibition have names such as “Up Close and Personal” (for an enlarged specimen), “Bad Actor” (for an invasive plant), or “Blonde Bombshell” (for a yellow dahlia or tea rose).
The exhibition will feature only original artwork. Society artists spend many hours, weeks, and even months creating each piece. They take great care to make certain their depiction of the plant, flower, fruit or vegetable is faithful to nature, as well as being a thing of beauty, something to be passed down with pride to future generations.
Founded in 1997, the Philadelphia Society of Botanical Illustrators have participated in the flower show since 1998.
Public demonstrations are part of the PSBI mission to educate the public about the intricacies of botanical art. It is an art form that is a tradition, particularly in the Philadelphia area where John and William Bartram founded and illustrated North America’s first botanical garden in the 18th century.