Sandi Whetzel's Art Selected for Glide Wildflower Show 2009: Celebrating Oregon's 150 Years of Statehood

This year as every year, The Glide Wildflower Show held a competition to determine which artist would create the image for the 2009 poster to promote their annual event. Since Oregon will be celebrating 150 years of statehood this year, they wanted the poster to feature the Oregon Grape, (Berberis aquifolium), Oregon's State Flower which grows in the wild. I was happy to take up the challenge and pleased when they chose my art image to illustrate their 2009 poster.

As in all my work I was not content to merely reproduce an image of the subject. I wanted to give these small yellow budding blooms the recognition they deserve; poised alongside their holly-shaped leaves, which sport more than just shades of green at different types of the year in different weather conditions. After becoming familiar with the plant's anatomy, I took pleasure in designing the image of the young clustering buds beginning to open on a grander scale than reality. Many of us never experience an intimate view of smaller blossoms to truly appreciate their intricate beauty. Normally, these buds and blooms just appear as masses of yellow; too small to be noticed individually.

The Glide Wildflower Show was founded in 1965, with a mission to promote appreciation, education and conservation of our native flora. Not only is it the largest and oldest such event in the Pacific Northwest, it has also been responsible for an enormous amount of research and documentation of species, habitat change and preservation of rare and endangered plants. Each spring since 1965, thousands of nature lovers have visited Glide, Oregon to see hundreds of native wildflowers on display. Botanical experts answer questions and give informative talks.

Posters bearing my rendition of the Oregon Grape have been on display throughout Douglas County for the last several weeks. The Glide Wildflower Show will be held at 20062 N Umpqua Hwy, Glide, OR this weekend, April 25 & 26, from 9-5pm. Photographers are welcome to photograph any of the plant species. The original painting of my Oregon Grape will be on dispaly during the Wildflower Show and also during the Summer Arts Festival the last weekend of June.

Other related events in the area this weekend are the Botanical Art display by my artist friend, Judy Waller at Roseburg's Umpqua Valley Arts Association and the 9th Annual Douglas County Earth Day & Energy Fair held at the fairgrounds, April 25th.

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