From the Mountains to the Sea: Plants, Trees, and Shrubs of New England

Joyce Westner

Grant project: The Julius I. Brown Award of $3000. was awarded to Joyce Westner and the New England Society of Botanical Artists. This project will support a large juried exhibit of native plants to travel throughout New England. The exhibit will include art demonstrations, native plant and botanical art history lectures, as well as history of botanical illustration during the Colonial Period.


Joyce’s update: NESBA has successfully booked our juried exhibit into six venues throughout New England. “From the Mountains to the Sea: Plants, Trees, and Shrubs of New England” opened to great acclaim on May 19 at its first location, The Art Complex, in Duxbury, MA. The Boston Globe published an article http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/regionals/south/2013/05/22/duxbury-exhibit-showcases-botanical-artists-portraits-region-native-plants/zD7mk6dKwQc13Gi0kmR3aL/story.html and featured it in their “ToDo” list. It will be on the road through September 2014.


After Labor Day it moves to the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich VT, where it will generate many science programs and workshops for adults and children, related to the museum’s themes of native plants, sustainability, plant pollinators, the science of color, and more.


After Thanksgiving it will move to the other four venues in New England, including Bartlett Arboretum, Stamford CT; Bedford Public Library, Bedford MA; Audubon Environmental Center, Bristol RI; finishing up in August/September of 2014 at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay ME.
The Julius I. Brown grant was awarded to us for engaging speakers and art demonstrations at each of the venues. So far we have held a gallery talk at the Art Complex (by Sarah Roche), and will have a “History of Botanical Art” in July (Carol Govan). We have booked a day long demonstration and talk in Vermont, including all six of our Vermont members (Bobbi Angell, Patricia Mahoney Giebutowski, Lois Jackson, Susan Bull Riley, Susan Sawyer and Stephanie Whitney-Payne and one New Hampshire member Carolyn Payzant. In addition, Bobbi Angell is helping create a mini-display of copper plate printing tools, herbarium specimens, finished prints, etc.


We plan to book similar talks and demonstrations at the 2014 venues, especially on the subject of native trees at the Arboretum, and topics to be determined at the others.


The grant supports the professional talks and demonstrations and NESBA has funded a beautiful exhibit catalog designed by Kay Kopper, a website designed by Gina Milan and developed and maintained by John Perry (please take a look at www.fromthemountainstothesea.org ). The 60-piece exhibit is framed in identical ASBA-standard pale wood frames (partly funded by NESBA), each venue also hangs an “In Addition” 20 piece exhibit on any plant subject (non-juried), plus wall panels describing ASBA/NESBA, botanical art, ‘what is a native?’, and ‘creating botanical art’.
We’d like to thank the grants committee for their encouragement and support, our president Nancy Savage, our exhibit committee (Kay Kopper, Kelly Radding, Frances Topping, Carolyn Payzant, Bobbi Angell and Linda Funk), our members for generously donating time, funding and enthusiasm, NESBA member Dr. Elizabeth Farnsworth for advice on plant nativity, and Carol Woodin for helping to jury the show and providing advice throughout.

  • Postcard for the NESBA exhibit “From the Mountains to the Sea” courtesy of Joyce Westner
  • Postcard for the NESBA exhibit “From the Mountains to the Sea” courtesy of Joyce Westner