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Rocky Mountain Society of Botanical Artists
Feathers and Flora: A Natural Relationship


“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”
- John Muir


The Rocky Mountain Society of Botanical Artists (RMSBA), in partnership with the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History, will be staging an exhibit that will illuminate birds and their relationship with plants, flowers and trees. This relationship is mutualistic in that both benefit from the relationship. Birds assist in flower pollination when they collect the nectar from flowers (Ornithophily). They assist in seed dispersal as they fly away from the original plant and deposit seeds in a new location. Additionally, many species take shelter and raise their young in plants, especially trees, and sometimes, cacti. Many birds feed on the insects that are attracted to plants, which is again, a mutual relationship. All around this relationship is both beautiful and beneficial. We encourage artists to explore this relationship and depict whatever aspects you find most engaging and inspiring while adhering to high standards of botanical and biological accuracy in the skilled use of your choice of media. Each work must feature a bird and a plant in a way that depicts an interaction. Inspiration, beyond your own experiences and imagination, can be found in the following online resources as well as specific resources from the museum.

At the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History, there are three collections of birds that artists will be able to access. (View a campus map at:
• Critter Cases contain a small number of birds that can be checked out by artists.
• The Education Collection is housed in the museum, The Henderson Building.
• The Vertebrates Research Collection is housed in MCOL, two buildings away from the Museum.

Information on the species available and the procedure for reserving them for check out for $2.00 per week on the museum website:

The education office has a small collection of mounted bird specimens:

Common Goldeneye (female)
Eared Grebe
Red-tailed Hawk
Western Wood-Pewee (female juvenile)
Wilson’s Phalarope
White-tailed Ptarmigan
Montezuma Quail (female juvenile)
American Tree Sparrow (male)
House Sparrow
White-throated Swift

In addition, the collection includes a selection of bird study skins, feathers, nests and eggs.
Contact Person: Cathy Regan,
Contact Cathy at least one day prior to your visit to let her know which specimen(s) you want to see. She will arrange for someone to assist you and provide a space for you to use.

Nearly all North American bird species are represented in the Vertebrate research collection as taxidermy mounts. You may specify a particular bird by either common or scientific name or a type of bird, such as owl, songbird, raptor, etc. When you
submit your registration, you will receive a reply confirming the availability of the requested specimen.
Contact Person: Samantha Eads,

By appointment only at the dates and times specified below. Each time slot can accommodate up to three people.
February 5, 2019, 9:30 am – 1 pm
February 5, 2019, 1:30 pm – 5 pm
March 5, 2019, 9:30 am – 1 pm
March 5, 2019, 1:30 pm – 5 pm

To register for a timeslot, send an email to Samantha with the following information:
Email address:
Phone number:
Desired date:
Desired timeslot:
Specimen(s) you are interested in seeing:


Artists submitting work must be members in good standing of RMSBA. Current students in the botanical illustration program of the Denver Botanic Gardens are also encouraged to enter. You are invited to enter original artwork in an two-dimensional medium that reflects the traditions of botanical art. All work will be juried using high quality digital images. The entry fee for RMSBA members is $20 per image, plus $5 for each additional entry. Nonmembers entry fee is $30 per image, plus $5 for each additional entry. The entry fee is nonrefundable, and must be paid by August 1, 2019, the entry deadline. Retain your ‘Payment Receipt’ email for future reference.

All entries will be made through Online Juried Shows at For best results, make sure your image is 1920 pixels @72 dpi on the longest side. Images should be in JPEG format, sRGB color space. Help in photographing your work and properly sizing your images can be found at: You may call 949-401-4061 or email All artwork will be juried using digital images. Criteria for acceptance will include
botanical accuracy as well as artistic presentation and technical use of medium represented by a high quality digital image.

Jurors are: TBD.

Sales opportunities will be determined at a later date.

• Open for entry January 15, 2019
• February 5 – 2 sketching sessions, 3 people each session, reservations required
• March 5 – 2 sketching sessions, 3 people each session, reservations required
• Last day to enter August 1, 2019
• Notification of acceptance sent August 7, 2019
• Deadline and location for receipt of shipped and drop-off artwork to be determined. Detailed instructions to follow.
• Install date – TBD, late August 2019
• Opening reception – TBD
• Exhibit closes – December 31, 2019

The initial exhibit will be at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History. This exhibit is expected to travel to various venues so accepted pieces will need to be available for the duration of the exhibit. Additional venues are to be determined.

Frames must be ordered from Dick Blick at
Blick Essentials Wood Gallery Frames, Natural only.
The following sizes will be accepted for this exhibit. Product order numbers are:
12" x 12", 18862-9604
12" x 16", 18862-9506
16" x 20", 18862-9508
18" x 24", 18862-9509
24" x 30", 18862-9613

Selected entries must be:
• Framed and ready to hang.
• Add flush eye screws and picture wire. NO sawtooth hangers or projecting eye screws.
• Plexiglass required on all artwork (included with frame).
• White or off-white matte board colors only.
• Floating images are discouraged as they often fall during shipment.
• Label the back of your artwork with your name, address, phone number, email, title of artwork, sales status and price. Titles must include the Latin name of the plant portrayed as well as the common name of the bird species.

Please note: Accepted entries that do not conform to the above framing requirements may be refused at the time of hanging.

Artists whose work is accepted by jurors will receive detailed instructions for shipping and hand delivery of artwork. No packing materials will be retained by RMSBA during the exhibit time as art will be transported and installed using our art totes. Artists are responsible for all shipping and insurance costs to and from the exhibit.

For questions regarding the exhibit, please contact:
Eileen Richardson, RMSBA President,
Irma Sturgell, Exhibit Co-Chair,
Shiere Melin, Exhibit Co-Chair,

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