Nature Speaks: Inspiring Young Artists through Nature and Conservation

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Age Group:

Adults, 20s and 30s, Seniors
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Program Description

Event Details

Young people are wanting more active roles in conservation leadership, but often we need to be creative in outreach to identify and nurture them. The Chicago region, an epicenter of floristic diversity, offers many programs to engage youth in this growing field. Museums, conservation organizations, small and large not-for-profits, are seeing engagement in stewardship work via art programming to be a valuable tool in helping young people connect more deeply on a site-by-site basis to our local flora and fauna.

Kathleen Garness will highlight many of the outreach efforts with which she’s been involved for the past fifteen years and talk about new opportunities for young people to develop their capacity to see and understand the natural world around them through art and close observation.

Kathleen will be presenting in the library, please join us in the library or on Zoom.


Kathleen worked as a commercial artist for over a decade before taking up the banner of natural history art. Classes in Morton Arboretum’s certificate program of botanical and scientific illustration allowed her to study with some of the best teachers in the Midwest. She has worked with the Field Museum and The Nature Conservancy to produce educational materials for the growing community of natural areas restoration volunteers. A grant from the American Society of Botanical Artists allowed her to introduce botanical illustration to a new and more diverse audience. Participation in the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Plants of Concern program offers Kathy a unique window into the artistic connections between ecology and the lure of the beautiful as well as the tensions between wildlife under pressure and the demands of human need.