The BAGSC 25th Anniversary Celebration

The Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California (BAGSC) Celebrates its 25th Anniversary

Iris germanica ‘Bernice’s Legacy’, Beth Stone, watercolor on paper, © 2022.
Iris germanica ‘Bernice’s Legacy’, Beth Stone, watercolor on paper, © 2022.

In 1997, an enthusiastic group of botanical art students taught by Olga Eysymontt at The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens decided to create an official group, with the purpose of promoting botanical art in Southern California. We quickly came up with a name and the immediate goal of our first botanical art exhibition. Within a year we organized a week-long workshop taught by Anne-Marie Evans. Our next goal was to become an official chapter of the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA), accomplished by becoming the third chapter in 2001. In the 25 years since our inception, membership has grown from nine Los Angeles area members to 164 members from around the world.


What better way to celebrate BAGSC’s 25th than with an exhibition about the Iris, the flower associated with 25th Anniversaries? BAGSC members contributed 19 works for an exhibition at The Huntington’s Brody Center.



Contemporary botanical artworks by Japanese artists that had been shown in the   “Gifts from Japan” exhibition at the Portland Japanese Garden hang in the adjacent “Flora-legium” room. Photo by Gayle Uyehara, © 2022.
Contemporary botanical artworks by Japanese artists that had been shown in the “Gifts from Japan” exhibition at the Portland Japanese Garden hang in the adjacent “Flora-legium” room. Photo by Gayle Uyehara, © 2022.

Also shown with our Iris exhibition was part of a prior exhibition entitled Gifts from Japan. Guest-curated by Robert Hori of The Huntington for an earlier exhibition this past summer at the Portland Japanese Garden, this concurrent exhibition showcases contemporary botanical artworks from Japanese artists. Seeing the Iris and Gifts from Japan exhibitions together made for extraordinary botanical art viewing during our celebratory evening.

Looking at BAGSC Irises hanging on the west wall. Photo by Gayle Uyehara, © 2022.
Looking at BAGSC Irises hanging on the west wall. Photo by Gayle Uyehara, © 2022.

A big heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed to this wonderful celebration—BAGSC members, Huntington staff, and all the artists.


With exquisite art, a presentation of BAGSC history, and a delicious Italian dinner, everyone who attended this celebration appeared to be full of smiles and gratitude.

BAGSC President Tania Norris welcomes members and guests to the 25th anniversary event in the Brody Center at The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, September 30, 2022. Photo by Gayle Uyehara, © 2022.
BAGSC President Tania Norris welcomes members and guests to the 25th anniversary event in the Brody Center, The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, September 30, 2022. Photo, Gayle Uyehara, © 2022.

 

Below is a letter that that was sent to our BAGSC group in honor of our 25th Anniversary from Akiko Enokido, one of BAGSC’s members living in Japan.


Dear BAGSC,

Congratulations on the 25th Anniversary!!


My first contact with BAGSC was 17 years ago in 2005, when I moved from New Jersey and attended a member meeting the day after I called BAGSC Chapter contact (Gilly) in the ASBA Journal. Since then, for the seven years before I left California, and for the ten years since I moved to Japan, I have been grateful for the connections I have made with BAGSC members through botanical art.


I am pleased to have had the opportunity to work with BAGSC to organize the Gifts from Japan Exhibition.


It was my gift to all of you that I was able to ask each Japanese artist to send their wonderful artwork to the United States. More than that, this project allowed me to learn more about the history between Japan and the United States through plants. This was a great gift to me.


Thank you, BAGSC!


I look forward to having even more open and fascinating activities at BAGSC!


Sincerely,

Akiko Enokido

 

To the next 25!

Iris, Pacific Coast Hybrid, Beth Stone, watercolor on paper, © 2022.
Iris, Pacific Coast Hybrid, Beth Stone, watercolor on paper, © 2022.

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