Monday, August 17

Plants Go To War; A Botanical History of World War II (ZOOM)

by Judith Sumner

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Plants Go to War: A Botanical History of World War II by Judith Sumner (August 2019)

As the first botanical history of World War II, Plants Go to War examines military history from the perspective of plant science. From victory gardens to drugs, timber, rubber, and fibers, plants supplied materials with key roles in victory. Vegetables provided the wartime diet both in North America and Europe, where vitamin-rich carrots, cabbages, and potatoes nourished millions. Chicle and cacao provided the chewing gum and chocolate bars in military rations. In England and Germany, herbs replaced pharmaceutical drugs; feverbark was in demand to treat malaria, and penicillin culture used a growth medium made from corn. Rubber was needed for gas masks and barrage balloons, while cotton and hemp provided clothing, canvas, and rope. Timber was used to manufacture Mosquito bombers, and wood gasification and coal replaced petroleum in European vehicles. Lebensraum, the Nazi desire for agricultural land, drove Germans eastward; troops weaponized conifers with shell bursts that caused splintering. Ironically, the Nazis condemned non-native plants, but adopted useful Asian soybeans and Mediterranean herbs. Jungle warfare and camouflage required botanical knowledge, and survival manuals detailed edible plants on Pacific islands. Botanical gardens relocated valuable specimens to safe areas, and while remote locations provided opportunities for field botany, Trees surviving in Hiroshima and Nagasaki live as a symbol of rebirth after vast destruction.

"In this impressively researched exploration, esteemed ethnobotanist Sumner takes a scholarly yet totally accessible approach to the myriad ways plant materials were critical to both Allied and Axis war efforts. With balanced attention to domestic sacrifices and ingenuity, Sumner's astonishing discoveries make this a fascinating read for botany buffs and those steeped in military history." --Booklist

"A unique blend of botanical and military history... Plants Go to War is an original and meticulous study that is as informed and informative as it is accessibly organized and reader friendly in presentation...recommended" --Midwest Book Review

"[Sumner's] research is exhaustive...authoritative and informative...destined to be a classic source on this topic"==The Herb Society of America

"The comprehensive volume takes the story far beyond the victory gardens that perhaps immediately come to mind when discussing WWII and plants. Although this topic is addressed, the book spans across the European and Pacific theaters, touching Allies and Axis civilians and combatants."--The Times of Israel

"The first botanical history of World War II"--Southern Naturalist

"In all our years of experience with books about Wold War II, never have we seen one quite like this...a big, serious study of the subject" --Stone & Stone

Tuesday, August 18

Self-Guided Exploration

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Self-Guided Explorations provide the freedom to explore the Fort Worth Botanic Garden at your own pace. GROW Educators will not be present during this experience. 

Available: Year-Round,  Monday - Friday 9 am - 3 pm 

$6 /participant (students & registered adults)

Minimum of 20 participants to qualify. 

Any unregistered adult joining on the day of a Self-Guided Exploration will pay the regular garden admission of $12.

Self-Guided Exploration pricing is available for schools, homeschool groups, and after-school programs for children Pre-K-12th grade only. If you want to register a college class or an adult group to visit the garden, please contact Stephanie Sellers for group rates: stephanie.sellers@fortworthtexas.gov

Fill out our quick inquiry form to request a date for your exploration!

Please contact Michelle Schmidlkofer at mschmidlkofer@brit.org with any questions or concerns about Self-Guided Explorations. 

map of garden with picnic areas labeled

Tuesday, September 1

Regional Evaluation and Improvement of a Drought-tolerant Bradyrhizobium Inoculant

ONLINE LECTURE (ZOOM)

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Regional Evaluation and Improvement of a Drought-tolerant Bradyrhizobium Inoculant

A Brown Bag Lecture by Christian Peterson, University of Texas-Arlington

The soybean symbiont Bradyrhizobium japonicum fixes atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia in specialized organs called root nodules, which supplies its host with a useable nitrogen source. B. japonicum cultures have been applied as inoculants (i.e., biological fertilizers) to soybean fields and its application has been shown to be beneficial to soil health, plant growth, and final yield. However, drought presents a huge impediment to this application due to inhibition of symbiotic nitrogen fixation by killing off the symbiont. Our lab has developed a novel molecular marker system to identify intrinsic drought resistance, which has led to the isolation of a Texas-native drought-resistant strain. Here, I will discuss how we isolated and developed the Texas-native strain as well as the findings from our lab work to the field trials across varying regions to look at efficacy of the drought-tolerant strain verses a commercial inoculant and a non-inoculated control. Parameters examined include soil physio-chemical property, plant vitality, nodulation capability, and final soybean yield.

For more on Christian's work and other happenings from his colleagues at UTA, follow the Chang Lab on Twitter (@The_ChangLab).

  • Header/thumbnail photo by Louisa Howard, Dartmouth Electron Microscope Facility. Cross-section through a soybean root nodule containing Bradyrhyzobium japonicum.

This lecture will take place online. Register in advance for this meeting:
[link forthcoming]

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


 

Wednesday, September 2

Bella's Virtual Book & Nature Club

First Wednesday of the Month

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FREE Virtual Story Time on Zoom!

Tune in each month to Bella's Virtual Book and Nature Club to discuss nature, read a story, sing and move, plus a family nature challenge! GROW member families will receive a follow-up email with additional activities and ideas. 

FREE! – Please register to receive your Zoom link and password. 
Date
: Wednesday, September 2nd
Time: 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Registration Deadline: Tuesday, September 1st 
Location: Online program through Zoom Meetings. Please register to receive your Zoom link and password.

Saturday, September 5

Super Soil Biology (Parts I & II)

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The key to growing nutrient dense food and happy plants is having healthy, functioning soil in your garden. The organisms living in soil are crucial to soil health and in this two-class, online workshop, class participants will learn how microscopes can identify the different types of organisms that live in the soil and learn how to manage them for optimal soil health. You will take away an understanding of how to use soil biology in your organic gardening to grow tasty, healthy, nutritious food.

Instructors: Kim Martin and Laurie Bostic, owners of Barking Cat Farm, focus on growing high quality crops in an organic and sustainable manner. Brix testing is done regularly to monitor the nutritional quality of the produce and compost, and compost teas are applied to the soil to ensure that the soil biology is constantly improving. Both Laurie & Kim have their Permaculture Design Certificate from Geoff Lawton’s Permaculture Design Course. Both have studied under Dr. Elaine Ingham and are working towards becoming Certified Soil Life Consultants. They offer permaculture design and soil biology consulting services to other growers and gardeners.

Saturday, September 5 & 12, 2020 (10 am – 12:30 pm)

Registration Deadline: September 3       

$85/$75 member

Location: This is an online class; you will receive an email the day prior to class with the Zoom class code and password. 

Friday, September 11

Members Sneak Peek - DETAILS COMING SOON

Gallery Night at BRIT

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Stay tuned for more details. Click here to check out details from the 2019 Members Sneak Peek.

Not a member? Click here to become a member today.

Saturday, September 12

Drawing from Nature

New Work from Carol Benson

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Fall Gallery Night is scheduled for Saturday, September 12, contingent upon the abatement of the pandemic. 

Stay tuned for an online interview with the artist, as well as an online gallery tour. 

The Botanical Research Institute of Texas is proud to host an exhibition of paintings by Fort Worth-based artist Carol Benson. Titled Drawing from Nature, this exhibition is a meditation on the many ways one can draw from nature. From the fuzzy, brilliantly-colored, and highly sculptural folds of the Celosia plant (Cock's comb) to the varied leaves of the trees surrounding her home, Benson uses the geometry and beauty of plants to give viewers new ways of connecting with the natural world. While the subject matter of Benson's paintings is pulled from direct and keen observation of various plants and their flowers, her work also invites us to see the ways in which nature can sustain us. As we collectively and individually navigate this challenging moment in history, the paintings in this exhibition invite us to find new ways to incorporate the natural world into our lives, providing us with beauty, strength, and renewal. 

Carol Benson, Organic Shapes (Celosia), 2020, oil on wood, 56 x 44"
Tuesday, September 15

Little Sprouts Virtual Book & Garden Club

Third Tuesday of the Month

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FREE Virtual Story Time on Zoom!

Tune in each month to Little Sprouts Virtual Book & Garden Club to discuss nature, read a story, sing and move, plus a family nature challenge! GROW member families will receive a follow-up email with additional activities and ideas.

FREE! – Please register to receive your Zoom link and password. 
Date
: Tuesday, September 15th
Time: 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM 
Registration Deadline: Monday, September 14th 
Location: Online program through Zoom Meetings. Please register to receive your Zoom link and password.

Wednesday, September 16

Outdoor Autumn Flow Yoga

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Take in tranquil views of the morning sky as you practice guided, meditative flow yoga, connecting movement to the breath. This outdoor Vinyasa flow series, led by Fort Worth yoga instructor Julie Vitek, features a new meditative theme weekly. You will leave each session feeling relaxed and refreshed, with a stronger connection to yourself and to the world. You may purchase the six-session series or individual classes. All levels are welcome. 

Instructor: Julie Vitek

Wednesdays, September 16, 23, 30  October 7, 14 & 21 (9:30 – 10:30 am)

Registration Deadline: Two full business days before each class

$75/$60 member (series)    ---     $15/$12 member (per class)

Location: BRIT Terrace (Due to ongoing social distancing measures, this class will maintain 6' distance between participants and is held outdoors. Hand sanitizer and masks will be available for use while indoors, though masks are not required during the class.)

Materials: A yoga mat and any props you wish to use

Saturday, September 19

Prickly Wonders: Drawing and Painting the Cactus Collection

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If you’ve always wanted to spend time studying the fascinating shapes and colors of cacti, and create art in the garden, this experience is for you! Join artist-educator Avery Kelly to learn drawing and watercolor techniques in this unique outdoor class. We will explore various methods of approaching what we see and translating that to drawings and watercolor paintings. Class will take place outdoors in the Cactus Garden and Greenhouse. Beginners are welcome. 

Instructors: Avery Kelly is a native of Fort Worth, where she currently lives and makes art. She teaches at local colleges and enjoys outdoor pursuits. Avery earned her MA and MFA in Studio Art from the University of Texas at Tyler, a BFA in Painting from Texas Christian University, and a BA in Environmental Studies from the University of Redlands, California. In her work, Avery brings together her love of creating images with her love for the outdoors, focusing especially on animals, their perceptions, and relationships within the landscape. She has taught art for ages kindergarten through college level and enjoys outdoor pursuits.

Saturday, September 19, 2020 (10 am – 12 pm)

Registration Deadline: September 17      

$35/$30 member

Location: FWBG Cactus Garden and Greenhouse (in the case of inclement weather, class will take place with potted cacti indoors)

Materials: A full list of necessary materials will be emailed upon registration and should be brought to class by the student; the basic materials include a pencil, eraser, simple watercolor set, synthetic watercolor brushes, and watercolor paper. Class size will remain small to accommodate proper social distancing, and masks and hand sanitizer will be available. 

Gut Health and Fermentation Workshop, Part 1

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Join Culinary Dietitian Dixya Bhattarai, MS, RD, LD for this virtual & interactive workshop focused on gut health and how it impacts overall health and well-being. The class will focus on improving gut microflora using an ancient preservation technique, fermentation. Dixya will share how to incorporate various probiotic and prebiotic-rich food into your diet. This class is a mix of brief lecture and hands-on activity where each participant will learn how to make both kimchi and lacto-fermented hummus. 

Instructor: Dixya Bhattarai, MS, RD, LD

Saturday, September 19 (1 – 2:30 pm)

Registration Deadline: September 17

$28/$25 member 

Location: This is an online class; you will receive an email the day prior to class with the Zoom class code and password. 

Materials: Participants will receive a workshop packet, including recipes and a grocery shopping list for the class, upon registration. Groceries will average $15 - $20 and many ingredients will last for multiple batches. 

Monday, September 21

Flower Confidential: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful in the Business of Flowers (ZOOM)

by Amy Stewart

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“Engaging and scrupulously reported”  Constance Casey for The New York Times

Award-winning author Amy Stewart takes readers on an around-the-world, behind-the-scenes look at the flower industry and how it has sought—for better or worse—to achieve perfection.  Stewart traveled the world for a year to research the $40 billion dollar cut-flower industry. She tracks down the hybridizers, geneticists, farmers, and florists working to invent, manufacture, and sell flowers that are bigger, brighter, and sturdier than anything nature can provide.  At every turn she discovers the startling intersection of nature and technology, of sentiment and commerce. The author also raises environmental issues related to the trade, as well as the concerns of florists. 

Saturday, October 3

Members Only Fall Plant Sale - DETAILS COMING SOON

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Members only hours coming soon...

Compost and Compost Tea (Parts I & II)

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All compost is not created equal. So if you've learned the basics of composting, come take a deeper dive into this wonderful world with this two-class, online workshop! You will learn which type of composting is considered the gold standard and how to make aerated compost tea. You will also learn how to determine whether your soil needs fungal or bacterial compost, how to make these two types of compost, and the best way to use both. You will leave knowing how to harness the enriching, healing power of compost in your yard and garden.

Instructors Kim Martin and Laurie Bostic, owners of Barking Cat Farm, focus on growing high quality crops in an organic and sustainable manner. Brix testing is done regularly to monitor the nutritional quality of the produce and compost and compost teas are applied to the soil to ensure that soil biology is constantly improving. Both Laurie & Kim have their Permaculture Design Certificate from Geoff Lawton’s Permaculture Design Course. Both have studied under Dr. Elaine Ingham and are working towards becoming Certified Soil Life Consultants. They offer permaculture design and soil biology consulting services to other growers and gardeners.

Saturday, October 3 & 10, 2020 (10 am – 12:30 pm)

Registration Deadline: October 1       

$85/$75 member

Location: This is an online class; you will receive an email the day prior to the first class with the Zoom class code and password. 

Mindfulness Meditation

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Meeting the first Saturday of most months, our Mindfulness Meditation classes invite you to slow down, release the stresses of everyday life, and tune in to the serenity of the natural world. Learn mindfulness practices and techniques from meditation instructor Lisa November, M.A. Ed. Lisa leads her students in unique, hour-long mindfulness meditations, always attuned to the surrounding natural world. When onsite, classes often take place outdoors, weather permitting. During times of social distancing classes take place virtually. 

Instructor: Lisa November is a meditation teacher based in Fort Worth. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in history and communication from the University of Northern Iowa in 1982 and her Master of Arts in Special Education-Moderate Needs from the University of Northern Colorado in 1992. She is a life-long teacher and learner and has been practicing mindfulness based meditation since 1996. Most recently, she has received the 14 Mindfulness Trainings in the Order of Interbeing, Tiep Hien, Ordained Students of Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh in August of 2019. She is also a student of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), a proven heath and wellness program from the Oasis Center at the University of Massachusetts.

Saturday, October 3, 2020 (2 pm – 3 pm)

Registration Deadline: October 1        

$10/$8 member

Location: This class will take place online; you will receive an email the day prior to class with the Zoom class code and password. 

Saturday, October 10

Flower Power

Girls Nature Workshops

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A groovy partnership between the Fort Worth Garden Club, Fort Worth Botanic Garden, and the Botanical Research Institute of Texas provides an opportunity for girls to complete badge work and enjoy nature-based activities together. Join us for some educational fun this year! 

  • Time: 1:00 PM - 3:30 PM
  • Audience: 2nd - 12th grade
  • Price per session: $10/participant

Sessions:

  • October 10th: Groovy Plants
  • December 5th: Zen Power
  • January 23rd: Heading to the Beach
  • February 27th: Neato, Flower!
  • March 27th: Havin' a Blast with Butterflies
  • April 10th: Far Out, Wellness

Click here to register! 

Bonsai 101

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Bonsai is a Japanese art form which utilizes cultivation techniques to produce, in containers, small trees that mimic the shape and scale of full size trees. Join the Fort Worth Bonsai Society for an introduction to this beautiful tree cultivation method. You will learn about the history of bonsai, tree species, and a variety of styles.

Stay tuned for Meet Your Bonsai, an an intermediate class held in the spring in the Japanese Garden. There you will learn about soil, how to pot your tree and secure it with wire, and take home your very own tree. 

Instructor: The Fort Worth Bonsai Society promotes knowledge of and interest in bonsai and serves as a focal point for those interested in bonsai in and around the Fort Worth area. The Society provides a variety of educational and support services to the bonsai community. The Officers and Directors of FWBS are unpaid volunteers who are dedicated to spreading the word about this wonderful, satisfying, and challenging hobby. 

Saturday, October 10, 2020 (2 – 3 pm)

Registration Deadline: October 8        

$15/$12 member

Location: This class will take place online; you will receive an email the day prior to class with the Zoom class code and password. 

Saturday, October 17

Autumn at Burgundy Pasture Beef

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Experience a local, sustainable grass-fed cattle ranch on this visit to Burgundy Pasture Beef in Grandview. Learn how rancher and co-owner, Jon Taggart, mimics Mother Nature to raise healthy native grasses and cattle. We will explore topics such as soil and native grasses, with an emphasis on building and maintaining a sustainable eco-system. 

Instructors: Jon Taggart is a cattle rancher and co-owner of Burgundy Pasture Beef. At the basis of Taggart’s system is a straightforward yet overwhelmingly complicated thing: grass.

Saturday, October 17, 2020 (9 – 11 am)

Registration Deadline: October 15   

$30/$25 member

Location: This outdoor class meets at Burgundy Pasture Beef in Grandview, TX. You will receive a detailed email upon registration with directions and other specifics. 

Monday, October 19

Remarkable Creatures (ZOOM)

by Tracy Chevalier

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“Chevalier admirably weaves historical figures and actual events into a compelling narrative.”
—San Francisco Chronicle 

Remarkable Creatures is a beautifully written book about two remarkable women, Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot. A fictional account based on real-life characters and events, Remarkable Creatures is set in the early 1800's in the coastal town of Lyme Regis, England.  Mary Anning, born in a poor family, was from an early age fascinated by the fossils that could then be picked up on the beaches.  Her discoveries of fossils leads to conflict with the religious authorities in town and friendship with Elizabeth Philpot, a woman of higher social class who is also fascinated by the fossils. Their relationship strikes a delicate balance between fierce loyalty, mutual appreciation, and barely suppressed envy. Ultimately, in the struggle to be recognized in the wider world, Mary and Elizabeth discover that friendship is their greatest ally.

Wednesday, October 21

Herbal Mixology

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Come join BRIT and Proper, the multi-awarded craft cocktail habitat in Fort Worth, to discuss how the herbs in your backyard can bring you joy in some "herb-tastic" cocktails. We'll chat about the many ways you can use local herbs and how those herbs are used in making a multitude of spirits - some well-known and some obscure. Sample cocktails will be imbibed and a take home kit provided. This class takes place outdoors, in the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. 

Instructor: Lisa Little-Adams is co-owner of Proper, your favorite Magnolia Avenue craft cocktail habitat. Her cocktails are classic and made to perfection. 

Saturday, October 21, 2020 (6 – 7 pm)

Registration Deadline: October 19         

$45/$40 member

Location: FWBG*

*This class will take place outdoors with space for 6' between participants. Class size will be capped at 18. Masks and hand sanitizer will be available; participants must wear a mask for the duration of the class, unless sampling cocktails. 

Thursday, October 22

2020 International Award of Excellence in Conservation

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The Botanical Research Institute of Texas is proud to announce the recipients of our 2020 International Award of Excellence in Conservation: Cristina Mittermeier, international photographer, conservationist, and founder of the prestigious International League of Conservation Photographers; and Russell Mittermeier, Global Wildlife Conservation’s Chief Conservation Officer and a world leader in the field of biodiversity and tropical forest conservation.

Both Mittermeiers have devoted their lives to protecting Earth’s natural habitat and informing and influencing people as to the delicate balance between nature and traditional cultures and both have made significant impacts on preserving the variety of plant and animal life on Earth and protecting its ecosystems.

Join us at our annual gala on October 22, 2020 at the Palmwood Event & Conference, Frost Tower Fort Worth for an inspiring evening of conversation with two of the world's greatest conservation adventurers as we recognize their impactful achievements.

Banner photo by Cristina Mittermeier.

Saturday, October 31

Photography in the Japanese Gardens: The Zen of Bokeh

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The term bokeh comes from the Japanese and refers to the aesthetic quality of the blur created in out-of-focus parts of photograph. Join professional photographer and educator, Edgar Miller of Edgar Miller Images, as you learn to include this technique into your photographic repertoire, all amidst the carefully composed beauty of the Japanese Garden. Emphasis will be placed on recognizing the elements that make a strong photograph, such as selective framing, focus, and exposure. You will take away connections with fellow-photographers and your own “zen of bokeh” to be used in all your images. Bring your cameras, lenses, and tripods to create lasting memories. This workshop is outdoors; comfortable clothes are recommended.

Instructor: Edgar Miller is a commercial and fine art photographer and educator, having earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. He has taught photography and art for the last 20 years and is always looking for new ways to help his clients learn. His work has been shown and awarded in several Texas and national exhibitions, and he is a member of the Texas Photographic Society and the Texas Artists Coalition. Influenced by his late father and his college photography professor, Edgar continues to find interesting light on interesting subjects.  

Saturday, October 31, 2020 (10 am – 12 pm)

Registration Deadline: October 29    

$35/$30 member

Location: FWBG, Japanese Garden

Supplies: Bring your cameras, lenses, and tripods. 

Friday, November 13

The Loom Botanical

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The Loom Botanical is a special showing of new handwoven pieces by members of the Fort Worth Weavers Guild. Guild members' handwoven pieces that are not only inspired by nature, but also include many botanic elements incorporated directly into the woven textiles. The works included in the exhibition utilize plant weaving materials and the use of plant-derived dyes.

The Fort Worth Weavers Guild was organized in 1955 and promotes the interest of weaving and encourages the highest standards of craftsmanship. All facets of weaving are explored, including different weave structures on the loom, dye processes, using varied equipment, and studying contemporary and historic weavers. Woven pieces created by members are widely varied and express many functions – from practical textiles to wall art.

A Best in Show award and two additional awards will be announced upon the opening of the exhibition. Given the realities of the pandemic, it is undetermined if an opening reception will be held.

Saturday, November 14

Sketching in the Japanese Garden

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In this class you will learn different techniques for drawing foliage, texture, and value, all while sketching the elegant beauty of the Japanese Garden. Artist Erika Duque Scully will demonstrate how to achieve these techniques and will share examples of other artists’ works for further inspiration. You will be encouraged to draw loosely, sketching balanced and interesting compositions of trees and other plants with confidence. Supplies are not provided (see below for a supply list).

Instructor: Erika Duque Scully is a landscape and nature-based painter who lives and works in Fort Worth, TX. Scully received her BFA at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA in painting at Texas Christian University. She has been featured in over thirty solo and group shows throughout the Metroplex. In 2017, Scully was nominated by Ro2 Gallery for Rising Star Fundraiser at the Oak Cliff Society of Fine Arts. She is currently represented by Fort Works Art Gallery in Fort Worth.

Saturday, November 14, 2020 (11 am – 1 pm)

Registration Deadline: November 12        

$35/$30 member

Location: Japanese Garden

Supplies: Click here for the supply list. Class size will remain small to accommodate proper social distancing, and masks and hand sanitizer will be available. 

Monday, November 16

The Lochsa Story: Land Ethics in the Bitterroot Mountains (ZOOM)

By Bud Moore

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"Bud Moore's The Lochsa Story is epic. It's an autobiography, a history, and a manifesto; a massive work of nonfiction incorporating folklore and ecology." --Zach Dundas, Missoula Independent

This story chronicles the history of the Bitterroot Mountains, the preservation of forest landscapes, early Native Americans, the Lewis and Clark Trail, and Bud Moore's life as the last of the mountain men to live there and join the U.S. Forest Service. He became Head Ranger of Powell Ranger District, Chief of the Forest Service Region in Missoula, Montana, the leading authority on fire management and smoke-jumpers of the northwestern forests and the system of fire lookouts and fire suppression.   Moore is profoundly dedicated to the forest and all of the natural elements, including people, that make it whole. He believes anyone who works with the land must have a feel for it. "When in doubt, go slow," he advises. "Be humble. Learn from your mistakes."