“You can turn your life around very quickly, which is exactly what I wanted to do.” Amy Roberts laughed as she described how NYBG’s Floral Design Summer Intensive reshaped her career in 2017. “I used to work in the art world, and I wasn’t happy. I had an epiphany that I wanted to be a floral designer, and I wanted to do that as quickly as possible. In April, I had never taken a floral course. By the end of the year, I was working as a full-fledged designer and wedding consultant for Starbright Floral Designs! Where else can you do that?”
Roberts is one of many students who changed their life’s course by taking one of NYBG’s Summer Intensives—in Floral Design, Landscape Design, Gardening, Horticultural Therapy, or Botanical Art & Illustration. Each Program gives students the opportunity to accelerate their progress toward an NYBG Certificate, a well-known and respected credential that helps students stand out as they embark on new careers.
This year’s 4th Annual Tri-State Green Industry Intern Field Day, held on July 20, 2016, attracted over 135 people, of which 110 of them were interns. Many arrived early to explore and visit the Impressionism exhibition in both the Haupt Conservatory and Library Gallery, and were fortunate to see the corpse flower (Amorphophallus titanum) bud which had just been put on display in the Palm Dome’s pool.
The program began in the Ross Lecture Hall with Todd Forrest, the Arthur Ross VP for Horticulture & Living Collections, welcoming the guests and introducing Charles Yurgalevitch, Ph.D., Director of the School of Professional Horticulture, who opened the program and explained the afternoon’s events. He then introduced the four speakers in the program. The first to speak was Ken Druse, author and photographer. He called on a few interns to ask them what they were doing and what they hoped to do as they launch their horticulture careers, leading an interactive discussion with the room.
Ed. Note: Our delectable cooking adventures, botanical art primers, and flower arranging courses make the NYBG‘s Adult Education program one of the most robust horticultural experiences in the nation. True to form, we will soon offer courses for the amateur perfumer, introductions to what can only be called “plant alchemy.”
How did you start and how long have you been making your own scents?
I’ve been making my own scents for about ten years, but my love affair with plants started a very long time ago, in my mother’s garden when I was a child. When I look back I can see that my whole life has been about taking the next logical step to understanding and appreciating the plants around me. I’ve been a gardener, floral designer, herbalist and aromatherapist and I feel it’s all led me to this.
Garden Sprouts introduces three- to five-year-olds and their accompanying parent to garden exploration, from digging for earthworms to planting seeds. Sprouts enjoy seasonal gardening tasks, the opportunity to sample garden-fresh produce grown in their own plots, and activities especially crafted for the young green thumb. It’s a fun and productive way to get them out of the house.
“Chasing the light” is a phrase you’ll sometimes hear used by visual artists–often photographers and, in a slightly different sense, painters. The importance of illumination defines the form and attitude of what’s captured on canvas. And in the case of Lucy Reitzfeld’s art, it becomes a fundamental theme. Her paintings have centered on a search for “palpable” light, that which strikes the facades of skyscrapers and seems to fall on untouched snow–the instances when light appears to move and morph in such a way that you might reach out and touch it.
Along with Lucy’s husband, Robert Reitzfeld, the creative pair’s unique aesthetics work in complementary contrast, creating impressions from the rural and the urban. But for Lucy, whose work often straddles the line between in-the-field experiences and the insulated creativity of the studio, the methods of crafting are somewhat different. The traditions of the Impressionists and the plein air method are alive and well in her interpretations of the world around her.
Try and name a few important crops, just off the top of your head. Were grapes or hops found anywhere on that list? They probably weren’t the first plants to come to mind, but there’s almost no doubt whatsoever: they’re two of the most constant influences on culture throughout our history. Beer and wine have been the indulgence of choice for entire civilizations, from Pharaohs to Caesars and up through our modern society.
As part of our Botany of Indulgence classroom series (see: chocolate), Donald McClelland brings his homebrewing know-how to our Midtown classrooms for an in-depth chat on the art and science of fermentation, pegging perfect flavors, and the equipment needed to start your own cask or keg at home. His experience is soundly based on personal necessity (and the life of a student, of course).
The mid-winter break is coming up on the calendar for local school kids, leaving us just a bit excited here at The New York Botanical Garden. Not that we’re taking any vacations for ourselves, mind you. For the first time, we’re throwing open our gates as one of the world’s premier centers for botanical science, welcoming curious young minds as we turn the Garden into a 250-acre classroom, laboratory, and learning playground.
Winter Science Camp offers children a “behind the scenes” learning experience under the guidance of the NYBG’s world-renowned plant educators. Kids will investigate plants in the Herbarium unseen by the public, enjoy early-morning exploration in the Forest, and experience a curriculum you just won’t find in the local elementary school schedule. Where else can they try their hand at planting vegetables, or pressing their own botanical specimens?
During the recent American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA) Conference, our very own Kathie Miranda was honored as the first-ever recipient of the ASBA Anne Marie Carney Award. The honor was given in recognition of outstanding work in an exhibition for Kathie’s colored pencil on Mylar painting, entitled Prayer Plant.
The family of talented artist and ASBA member Anne Marie Carney has created an endowment fund to award one upcoming botanical artist annually, a proposed tradition which has garnered enough donation funding to support it for the next 36 years. For the inaugural ceremony in Boston on October 29, a team of three jurors selected the artwork for the award.