What makes your art unique?
I was really lucky to work for a museum herbarium in college so my techniques for drying, mounting, and preserving plants come from that world. To me it is very important that my work is carrying on the tradition of botanists going back to the 1400s, which is why each piece has documentation as to where and when it was collected.
Why is sustainability important to your art?
It is VASTLY important; without sustaining the environment, I have no art. I recognize that I am harvesting these plants for monetary gain and it would be so easy to overindulge to get one more sale. But as someone who is also trying to be a good steward of the Earth, I know that these plants are not just for me. They’re not just for humans! So I only collect when the population is overabundant and I know that it will not affect the ecosystem. The best part of this journey has been slowly buying and introducing these native plants into my own yard. Now I rely on wild populations less and I am helping to create additional habitat where it used to just be lawn. AND I’m able to support local nurseries who are doing the good work of propagating native species. ”
What do you do to give back?
In my “other life” (read: day job) I work as an environmental educator. So often in the American education system we think of time spent outdoors as a reward rather than a classroom in its own right. Teaching people of all ages to observe and connect with nature is a way to pass on that reverence and to help build a community committed to protecting and preserving the Earth.
What do you hope your art inspires in others?
If you take someone outdoors and ask them to point to a living thing it will usually be an animal of some kind that they choose. People don’t “see” plants. There is even a term for it now: Plant Blindness. But I love plants. And finally seeing a new species is like meeting a new friend. I hope that by presenting plants in an aesthetically pleasing way people will begin to see them daily in their homes and will one day recognize them out in the wild!