Annual Meeting & Conference  

Boston Preview

October 27-29, 2011 

Originally appeared in The Botanical Artist – Volume 17, Issue 1 


Come enjoy autumn in scenic New England! NESBA members are planning to make this the best conference yet! Our home base will be on the banks of the Charles River at the Boston Marriott Newton – with many nooks for gathering, relaxing, and watching the river flow between conference activities. The hotel is just a stone’s throw from Henry David Thoreau’s beloved Walden Pond, from where Louisa May Alcott lived when she wrote Little Women, and from the route taken by Paul Revere “through every Middlesex village and farm.” 

Boston’s intimacy and walk-ability belies its historical and horticultural riches, including North America’s oldest arboretum, the first American public park and public botanical garden (have you read Make Way for Ducklings?), and the oldest native plant society in the nation. In pre-conference and conference tours, classes, and field trips you’ll find excursions to unique destinations: the Harvard University Herbaria, one of the largest in the world; Mt. Auburn Cemetery, the first ‘garden cemetery;’ Harvard Library rare book collections; Walden Pond and Woods, Plimouth Plantation, Beacon Hill, Garden in the Woods, and Arnold Arboretum. 

Art and history abound in large and small venues – the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum; the Peabody Essex Museum in nearby Salem; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and its brand new Art of the Americas wing; the Concord Museum which holds the lantern that Paul Revere saw hanging in the tower of the Old North Church. You can travel easily from hotel to downtown Boston on the MTA. 

Come early to tour on your own or sign up for the pre-conference tour Taste of Boston highlighting the city on foot and by duck boat. If you prefer to hone your art skills, take Jean Emmons’ pre-conference class, Using Color Effectively in Botanical Art. 

On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the conference will include, among others to be named in the June TBA, hands-on workshops and talks by Wendy Hollender, Karen Kluglein, Hillary Parker, John Pastoriza-Piñol, Carolyn Payzant, Kelly Radding, Lynn Railsback, Dick Rauh, and Catherine Watters. Traditional Conference activities will include Portfolio Sharing and Techniques Showcase, as well as forums on art education, art as business, wildflowers and conservation, how to run exhibits and publicize them, the jury process, and grant recipient presentations. 

One of the high points of the Conference will be a private showing of the famous Glass Flowers during our Conference reception. Buses will whirl us away on Thursday evening to the Harvard Museum of Natural History where we will have full access to the entire natural history collection during our evening reception; wine, cheese, dinosaurs, and 850 extraordinary botanical specimens in glass, plus a chance to make new ASBA friends and catch up with old ones. Friday will be capped with a reception for the Small Works Exhibition—your work!—on exhibit at the hotel from Thursday to Saturday. Get busy answering the call for entry with your own small work and be sure to submit your digital image early enough to be included in the show’s catalogue. Two awards will be presented during the Friday evening reception –Artist’s Choice Award, which your vote will decide, and the first presentation of ASBA’s Anne Marie Carney Award, for an artist in a non-juried exhibition who has not been accepted in an ASBA Juried Exhibition. 

On Saturday evening, kick back and party New England style with your ASBA friends, families, and guests during the Silent Auction and Banquet. The ASBA award announcements are always an anticipated event and this year is no exception. Stay at the Boston Marriott Newton after the conference to tour and shop more, or join us as we zip north to New Hampshire’s historic grand dame resort, Wentworth-by-the-Sea Hotel and Spa, for your choice of three-day post-conference workshops – Botanical Perspectives with Elaine Searle and Painting Heritage Fruits on Vellum with Carol Woodin. Final details about the conference will be in the June issue of TBA. Until then, preview the many events and activities of this not-to-be-missed ASBA Conference by visiting and subscribing to NESBA’s special blog at 

  • The scientifically accurate, exquisitely realistic, handcrafted glass model of the Cacao plant in the Glass Flowers Gallery at the Harvard Museum of Natural History has been on permanent display since the late 19th century. ©Photo by Adam Blanchette,
  • Colonial streets, alleys, nooks and crannies invite exploration in this walkable city.