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Rocky Mountain Society of Botanical Artists
From Platte to Peak: a celebration of plants collected by Edwin James in the summer of 1820

From Platte to Peak:  A celebration of the plants collected by Edwin James in the Summer of 1820 


“It enters my day dreams that I may yet go forth to gather weeds and stones and

rubbish for the use of some who may value such things…” 

Edwin James, 1797-1861


The year 2020 will be the 200th anniversary of the Stephen H. Long expedition of 1820 into the unknown territory acquired in the Louisiana Purchase.  Edwin James, botanist, participated in this expedition to the new territory collecting and documenting the botany and geology during the first American scientific exploration to understand the western United States.  This exhibit will focus on the collected plant specimens and encourages artists to render them in their media of choice.  


Exhibition Details

The mountain columbine, the state flower of Colorado, unknown to Americans prior to the Long expedition was among many botanic specimens first collected by Edwin James.  Over the course of the expedition, of the 700 plant species collected, 140 were new to science.  We invite artists working in traditional botanical media,  (water media, graphite, pen and ink, colored pencil, silverpoint or hand pulled prints) we encourage artists to render any of the species from the attached collection list.  Our goal is to illuminate the discoveries of the expedition as we honor and celebrate the explorers who collected and named them.  On a side note, it was Edwin James, not Zebulon Pike, was the first, with two others, to climb Pike’s Peak during that summer of 1820.  RMSBA will offer opportunities for artists to learn more about the expedition as well as the collected plants. Multiple venues will be sought for the exhibition of selected works.  



Artists are encouraged to become members of the Rocky Mountain Society of Botanical artist but all artist can enter with tiered entry fees.




The entry fee for RMSBA members is $20 for your first entry and $5 for each additional entry. Nonmember entry fee is $30 for your first entry, and $5 for each additional entry.

The entry fee is non-refundable, and must be paid by August 15th,2020, the entry deadline. Retain your ‘Payment Receipt’ email for future reference.



Entering Your Images:

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: If you need help entering

your images or are unable to, please email or call





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 TBD




Sales information will be determined at a later date.




RMSBA is seeking multiple venues for this show and pieces must remain in the exhibit venue(s) until the official close of the exhibit. 

1. Open for entry January 15, 2020

2. Last day to enter August 15,2020

3. Notification sent August 22, 2020

4. Deadline and location for receipt of shipped and drop-off artwork to be determined. Instructions will follow upon acceptance.

5. Install : TBD

6. Opening reception : TBD

7. Takedown: TBD



Presentation of Artwork:

Frames must be ordered from Dick Blick Blick Essentials Wood Gallery

Frames, Natural only. Product order numbers are:

12 x 12” 18862-1904

12” x 16” 18862-1906

16” x 20” 18862-1908

18” x 24” 18862-1909

Selected entries must be:

• Framed and ready to hang

• NO sawtooths or projecting eye screws

• Plexiglass required on all artwork

• White or off-white mat colors

• 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.

Accepted entries that do not conform to the above presentation may be refused at the time

of hanging.  


 All artwork will be transported in RMSBA Fleece Art Sacks and other packing material will not be stored by RMSBA.


Questions about the exhibit may be directed to exhibit coordinator Martha Narey,  or, RMSBA President.  

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