Groveland Gallery is pleased to present a special summer exhibition of contemporary botanical art. Unique compositions of seed pods, withered flower stems and colorful root vegetables are revealed in intimate detail through the masterful rendering of three Minnesota botanical artists. Yara Anderson, Jane Fisher and Norma Nelson met in the fall of 2006 while taking classes at the Minnesota School of Botanical Art. Realizing they shared a unique artistic point of view, the three artists became friends as well as collaborative colleagues.

Historically, botanical artists have sought to document plants that best represent their species. Expanding on the botanical art tradition of accurately illustrating plant specimens at the peak of perfection, Anderson, Fisher and Nelson are part of a growing trend in botanical art in which the artist is more concerned with aesthetic qualities such as composition, line and texture. As a result, Anderson, Fisher and Nelson have developed a fine-tuned appreciation for plant life at any stage. They frequently portray plants that are past their prime with leaves, petals, berries and stems that are weathered and wilted. Using extraordinary observational skills, these three artists detail the physical nuances of a variety of botanical subjects from succulent berries and blossoms to shriveled and dried seed pods. They reveal the elegance and beauty inherent in the often overlooked flora and foliage of the everyday world. Liberated from the static compositions of early botanical art, these exquisitely detailed drawings share many of the formal qualities of contemporary abstract drawing or sculpture.

Sometimes described as the meeting place between art and science, botanical art dates to the Middle Ages, when plant motifs were used to embellish illuminated texts. During the middle Renaissance, botanical art became a crucial aspect of the scientific revolution as illustrations were needed to describe and document newly discovered plants. By the 16th and 17th centuries, French and Dutch artists were making still-life paintings of floral arrangements, and botanical art became popular among wealthy art patrons and European royalty. In the last 25 years, there has been a resurgence of interest in botanical art. The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation at Carnegie Mellon University has been instrumental in promoting botanical art by artists from all over the world. The American Society of Botanical Artists was founded in 1995 and has a membership of over 1,200. In the Twin Cities a large community of botanical artists and students has been cultivated at the Minnesota School of Botanical Art, which opened in Minneapolis in 2001.

The artists will be present at the opening reception on Friday, July 24th from 5-8 p.m. The public is invited to two artist demonstrations to be held in the gallery on Saturday, August 1st and Saturday, August 15th from 1-3 p.m.