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The Guild of Natural Science Illustrators (GNSI) just had their weeklong conference in Bar Harbor, Maine.  I was fortunate to not only be able to go, but also to help coordinate some of the workshops and presentations.  The three day core of the conference started out with a few key speakers on the first day followed by presentations by our members.  Our keynote speaker was James Gorman, a writer for the NY Times, who spoke on the challenges of explaining science to non-scientists.  He uses humor in his writing to keep interest and kept us amused as well.  John Anderson, a professor of ecology at the College of the Atlantic (CoA)(where we were staying), was up next.  He encouraged us to put down our technological devices and get outside and to encourage the next generation to do the same…as we will only save what we know and love.  Our last speaker on the first day was Kate Petrie, a park ranger from the National Park Service who talked about artist-in-residence programs.  She did a great job explaining the process of applying and it may be something I explore in the future.

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The first night included the opening reception to the conference exhibit.  The exhibit is being held at the Dorr Museum on the CoA campus and will run from July 8 through August 25, 2013.  There were lots of beautiful pieces that covered the full range of science illustration, both traditional and digital.

Your time is fairly structured but there’s always opportunities to get away and enjoy the beauty of the setting.

Rocks by the pier sketch © 2013 Karen A Johnson

Rocks by the pier sketch
© 2013 Karen A Johnson

View from the dining hall

View from the dining hall

Sketching at low tide

Sketching at low tide

Sunset in Bar Harbor

Sunset in Bar Harbor

The next two days had a mixture of presentations, forums, a technique showcase and several mini-workshops.  Evenings were fun with our annual auction on Tuesday and a lobster banquet on Wednesday.  I donated a katydid sculpture/necklace to the auction and was honored and thrilled that it raised over $400 for the Guild!

Katydid necklace © 2013 Karen A Johnson brass, polymer clay, glass beads, silver silk cord

Katydid necklace
© 2013 Karen A Johnson
brass, polymer clay, glass beads, silver silk cord

I will finish off the week in the next post as I took a workshop and explored Acadia National Park and Swan’s Island in two wonderful field trips.

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