The Flora of Virginia Project continues its upward trajectory with recent coverage by both press and radio of the opening of its truly grand exhibition in the Library of Virginia in March. Members of the Virginia Native Plant Society can take justifiable pride in the fact that we generously helped to fund first the book, and this year, the exhibition itself.

Flora projectThe exhibit was curated by Bland Crowder, the Flora’s editor and associate director. Bland literally combed through resources across the state to create an exhibition that would engage botanists, historians, artists, science-lovers, and kids, as well as be engaging to the casual onlooker just strolling by in the library.

“It’s sort of art meets science,” said the library’s exhibition coordinator, Barbara C. Balston, in an interview with Times-Dispatch of Richmond. Indeed a perusal of the display includes such things as ancient fungus marked with autographs, rare orchids, original art, sculpture, and a display on the sex life of plants.

In an interview with The Times-Dispatch, Bland said, “This is such a public exhibition, it has to have something for everybody. There are things for kids . . .There is a drawing station where they can try to draw a sketch from a pressed specimen. There will be stations where there is a riddle or surprising fact about (Virginia) plants.”

You can read the full article here:Times Dispatch of Richmond article on the Flora of Virginia Project exhibit

The radio program ‘Currents of Virginia’ also featured the exhibit recently, with a very entertaining studysegment that includes interviews and experiments. They make reference to some of displays:

“ a copy of the first edition Flora Virginica from 1743 and the more well-known second edition of 1762, both based on the research and specimens of Colonial botanist John Clayton. . . . brightly painted and scientifically accurate watercolors made by children from Northern Virginia’s Nourse family. . . photographs by Jackie Bailey Labovitz, who captures close-ups of native perennials . . . sculptures by Lou Griner, who creates delicate scenes of wildlife, each piece meticulously formed with clay. “

You can either listen to or read the transcript of the program at the following link:
‘Currents of Virginia’ radio program and transcript on the Flora Project

redThe exhibit will run through September 13th, and there will be special programs offered in connection with it during that time. On April 24 Flora illustrator Lara Call Gastinger will be giving a demonstration on the use of pen and ink, watercolor, and other media in the accurate rendering of plant life.

Definitely make time this summer to take in this wonderful exhibit, and let others know about it, too!

Photos courtesy Library of Virginia

Flora Illustration Demonstration
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Time: Noon–1:00 PM
Place: Conference Rooms,  Free, but attendees are encouraged to register by calling 804-692-3719.

Lara Call Gastinger, one of the Flora in Virginia illustrators, demonstrates the use of pen and ink, watercolor, and other media in the accurate rendering of plant life. Presented in conjunction with the Library’s exhibition Flora of Virginia.