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ASBA's 26th International Exhibition at Marin Art & Garden Center

The American Society of Botanical Artists has many call for entries to exhibitions. Perhaps the most well known is the prestigious Annual International Exhibition. This is a juried exhibition open to all members of ASBA. This year the 26th Annual International Juried Exhibition selection jury of Beverly Allen, Lee McCaffree, and Deborah Shaw, selected 48 artworks from 150 entries. Artists whose work is in the show are from the United States, Australia, Canada, Chile, France, Ireland, Japan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.

Marin Art and Garden Center is hosting the 26th International through November 26,2023. The artist's with work accepted and now showing are: Helen Byers, Claudia Campazzo, Sophie Chartier, Yoona Chea, Hyunjin Cho, Mary Crabtree, Rebecca Davies, Antoaneta Denkin, Dorothy DePaulo, Carrie DiCostanzo, Mary Dillon, Crystal Driedger, Sharon Duplantis, Jean Emmons, Akiko Enokido, Christiane Fashek, Damodar Lal Gurjar, Sora Han, Yoko Harada, Asuka Hishiki, Karen Kluglein, Claudia Lane, Curly Lieber, Lucy Martin, Tammy McEntee, Shiere Melin, John Pastoriza-Piñol, Sally Petru, Anne Pieussergues Dherbicourt, Linda Powers, Dick Rauh, Gillian Rice, Betsy Rogers-Knox, Alice Rosa, Constance Scanlon, Mitsuko Schultz, Liz Shippam, Heidi Snyder, Myra Sourkes, Halina Steele, Vi Strain, Wako Tashiro, Susan Tomlinson, Julia Trickey, Donnett Vanek, Denise Walser-Kolar, and Carol Woodin.

I am one of the exhibiting artist, and was able to attend the opening reception for the 26th Annual International on September 17,2023 at the Marin Art and Garden Center's, The Studio. The venue is a lovely space, with a high wood open beam ceiling.

ASBA 26th International opening reception at Marin Art and Garden Center. photo by Donnett Vanek ©
ASBA 26th International opening, Marin Art and Garden Center- photo Donnett Vanek©

The opening reception was well attended. There was a very celebratory feel to the afternoon, I think people were happy to be able to attend an ASBA event in person for the first time after the last few years of online events. It was gratifying to see that many of the attendees were people from the general public who have an interest in botanical art. They were engaged with the artists, asking questions about the artwork and the techniques that the artists use in their work.

I found it interesting to see the broad range of subjects represented in the artwork. Artists chose to render garden flowers, wildflowers, endangered species, trees, food crops, bouquets, and seed pods. I am always interested in the composition of artwork and how the artist choose to place their subject within the confines of the substrate they were working on. Is it rendered directly in the center in a symmetrical composition or is it off to one side, or to the top or bottom in an asymmetrical composition? When viewing the pieces in this exhibition, it is clear to see that the artists put a lot of thought into the best way to render and compose their artwork. The techniques used in rendering of each piece are exquisite. A variety of mediums were used such as watercolor, colored pencil, pen and ink, graphite, gouache, egg tempera, tempera and an etching with aquatint. Substrates used included paper, vellum, film and wood panel.

Many exhibiting artists attended the opening reception on September 17th. What a pleasure it was to meet many of these artists and speak with them about their artwork.

Artists at the opening reception for the 26th International. Photos curtesy of Myra Sourkes©

Several awards were given out during the reception. Those awards were;

Marin Art and Garden Center Best in Show Award


Arisaema kishidae

Watercolor on paper

Eleanor Wunderlich Award

Persian Berry Iris

Iris ‘Persian Berry’

Watercolor and colored pencil on paper

Brooklyn Botanic Garden Award for a Print or Drawing

Stippled Madagascar Palm

Pachypodium lamerei

Pen and ink on paper

Honorable Mentions

Korean Winter Hazel

Corylopsis coreana

watercolor pencil on paper

Grandmother Madrone

Arbutus menziesii

Gouache and watercolor on paper


Tillandsia paucifolia

Watercolor on paper

Adjacent to The Studio gallery is the upper level gallery where the Northern California Society of Botanical Artists (NCalSBA) presented works from their Sketchbook Exchange project.

Northern California Society of Botanical Artists Sketchbook Exchange. Photos courtesy of Catherine Dellor©

The Sketchbook Exchange began in June 2022. The participants selected or made an accordion-fold sketchbook. The first person worked on the title page for the sketchbook and then mailed it to the next member.The participants had a month to work on their page before sending it on to the next artist. Each book took about ten months to complete. The sketchbooks are beautiful and unique. It is interesting to see how each artist interpreted the theme of the sketchbook they were a part of. There are 35 sketchbooks on view at The Studio.

The Studio is located at the Marin Art and Garden Center in Ross, California. This is a lovely botanical garden consisting of eight gardens : Basketry Garden, Edible Garden,Habitat Garden, Memory Garden,Rose Garden, Succulent Garden, Sun garden and the Nursery. Featured trees are: the Dawn Redwood, English Oak, Magnolia Circle, Mission Pear, Giant Sequoia. It is a wonderful place to spend a day. I think my favorite tree was the incredible English Oak, it is magnificent!

Marin Art and Garden Center Photos -Donnett Vanek©

I would like to thank and acknowledge the Northern California Society of Botanical Art for all of their dedication and work in coordination with ASBA and the Marin Art and Garden Center to make this exhibition possible.

Thank you to Marin Art and Garden Center for hosting the 26th Annual International Exhibition of the American Society of Botanical Artists.

On a personal note, to have my artwork included in this exhibition of so many talented artists is truly an honor and high point of my botanical art career.

If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, make it a point to visit The Studio at Marin Art and Garden Center to see the 26th International. The show runs until November 26,2023. For more information on visiting the garden to see the show follow the link below:

To see all of the artwork and to read about the artists backstories whose work is in the 26th International follow the link below:

It's that time of year to renew your ASBA and BAGSC membership. Please follow this link for more information:

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