Albert Einstein once said, “The greatest scientists are always artists as well.” His observation was a good one. However, there is also a certain kind of visual artist—the scientific illustrator—who serves science by making the insights of scientists more accessible to others—by giving the creative artistry of scientists both form and beauty. Many of science’s top visual interpreters will be meeting in Boulder this July. If you love capturing nature on paper or with pixels, you may want to join them.
Established in 1968 at the Smithsonian, The Guild of Natural Science Illustrators (GNSI) is a nonprofit organization that encourages high standards of competence and professionalism among its members and offers aspiring artists the opportunities and skills needed to succeed in their careers. GNSI helps connect artists with those scientists and organizations that need to teach students and to inform and inspire the general public.
GNSI’s annual conference provides a banquet of information and experience. Keynote speakers this year include Dr. Alexander E. MacDonald (from Boulder’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and scientist and science communicator Dr. Scott D. Sampson (Chief Curator at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science). Dr. MacDonald, creator of Science On a Sphere, a bold technique for showing Earth’s dynamic biological, climatological, and geological systems “in the round”, will show how complex systems become much clearer when viewed from the right perspective. Dr. Sampson will outline his case for reconnecting humanity and nature in the 21st century.
The Conference is filled with presentations and workshops designed to inspire the visually inclined. Some concentrate on technique, with experts in drawing, painting, scratchboard, block printing, Photoshop, Illustrator, and digital devices sharing their expertise. Others focus on the gritty details of making a living in this challenging, but exciting career. Workshops and Mini-workshops allow participants to customize their learning experience under the inspirational setting of Boulder’s Flatirons and modern CU campus.
For artists and illustrators with a passion for nature, this conference provides an excellent forum for meeting creative people with similar interests, improving your skill set, and learning new techniques. Check out all the details at https://www.conf.gnsi.org/.
For art lovers, the Guild’s juried show at CU’s Natural History Museum provides a rich venue for seeing beautiful illustrations and some of the objects in the natural world that inspires these amazing artists. The public can view the show from May 1 through September 25. Plan a museum visit at http://cumuseum.colorado.edu/ and make your summer memorable.
Join the Guild in Boulder this July. Be educated. Be inspired. Be amazed.