405-445-7080

301 W. Reno
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

Outdoor grounds open daily 6 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Crystal Bridge Closed for Renovation.
Reopens fall 2022.

The natural sciences have gone hand-in-hand with art for centuries, thanks to naturalist illustration. Since the 16th century, naturalists have taken part in scientific expeditions or investigated nature of their own accord. The preservation of their drawings of their discoveries resulted in the knowledge they obtained becoming the foundations of modern science.

The scientific revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries culminated in the birth of modern science. At that time, scientists and illustrators began to form part of teams that traveled around the world in search of knowledge. Their studies were based on observation, and they quickly realized the importance of recording every single discovery, no matter how small. Naturalist illustration emerged as a discipline during a time of great exploration, when the world was lacking basic knowledge about flora and fauna. This type of illustration focused on recording each discovery about nature while thinking carefully about composition, lighting, and other artistic elements.

When it comes to naturalist illustration, it is not necessary for the final artwork to be a faithful image of reality–it is not a case of copying but of presenting the observer’s viewpoint. This is precisely what differentiates naturalist illustration from scientific illustration. In naturalist illustration, the artist will add elements to make the result more beautiful. As this discipline has evolved, nowadays, every artist chooses their own style.

This exhibit features contemporary takes on this art form by a select group of local Oklahoman artists and naturalists.

Artists' Bios

Amanda Marie Reich

Amanda Marie Reich’s nature photography and illustrations offer an intimate up-close look into Oklahoma’s wild and natural beauty. Her artwork focuses primarily on small-scale subjects such as wildflowers, berries, lichens, leaves, mushrooms, moths, butterflies, and bees with the vast majority being ecologically native to Oklahoma. She has a particular fondness for fine lines, tiny details, curious shapes, delightful textures, and exquisite colors and employs her artwork as an active mindfulness practice. Amanda advocates for nature, mindfulness, and art for mental health. In addition to her art, she teaches mindful nature journaling and has recently returned to college to study art therapy and eco therapy. She is also an active conservationist and avid wildlife gardener.

Erin Gericke

After receiving her BFA in Painting from Southeast Missouri State University, Erin Gericke relocated to Norman to continue working in public libraries while still creating her watercolor artwork. Her work focuses on plants and botanicals and aims to capture their beauty through bright colors and simple lines. The use of vintage library due date slips is a way to combine both her passion for libraries and nature, while preserving and giving new life to a piece of literary history.

Taylor Young

I was born into a family of artists and art enthusiasts in Iowa in 1979. My current work is a confluence of realistic, spare, modern symbolism. I am inspired by the human form and nature. I create images based on my life experience and memories to create iconographic images in a divine light. My process organically developed through an amalgamation of my training and experience. My materials are often watercolor, charcoal and acrylics. The overall objective of my work is to create a focused meditative experience that explores life, nature, and the divine.

Kayla Andrus

I spend a lot of time thinking about the concept of birth, death, and regeneration and how that applies to most things that exist. Things like animals and plants who are born, die and then return to the soil to become a plant again. I once learned that nearly all of the elements within life were created within a star first and had to travel through many supernovas for us to come into existence. I love to think about how the charcoal I use to draw had to go through that same process. It was grown or “born” from a willow tree branch, burned, and then transformed into the physical material that I use to create my drawings. Additionally, within my work, I aim to highlight the fragility of nature within the hands of humans and the pursuit of healing our wounded earth.

 

Lauren Rosenfelt

Lauren Rosenfelt is a freelance, natural science illustrator, and plant biology graduate student at OU, currently living and working in Norman, Oklahoma. She graduated from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in 2014 with a BFA and minor in Liberal Arts. Her work focuses on sharing the importance of native wildlife and plant species. Her clientele ranges from private commissions to project specific jobs with commercial and nonprofit organizations. One of her recently completed public-projects can be found at the Norman Central Library as informative signage indicating the benefits of the library’s stormwater retention system and native prairie habitat which is a novel ecosystem beneficial to pollinators and birds.

Nature of Art Image Gallery

The Art of Nature

May 27-July 6

Amanda Marie Reich

Amanda Marie Reich’s nature photography and illustrations offer an intimate up-close look into Oklahoma’s wild and natural beauty. Her artwork focuses primarily on small-scale subjects such as wildflowers, berries, lichens, leaves, mushrooms, moths, butterflies, and bees with the vast majority being ecologically native to Oklahoma. She has a particular fondness for fine lines, tiny details, curious shapes, delightful textures, and exquisite colors and employs her artwork as an active mindfulness practice. Amanda advocates for nature, mindfulness, and art for mental health. In addition to her art, she teaches mindful nature journaling and has recently returned to college to study art therapy and eco therapy. She is also an active conservationist and avid wildlife gardener.

Erin Gericke

After receiving her BFA in Painting from Southeast Missouri State University, Erin Gericke relocated to Norman to continue working in public libraries while still creating her watercolor artwork. Her work focuses on plants and botanicals and aims to capture their beauty through bright colors and simple lines. The use of vintage library due date slips is a way to combine both her passion for libraries and nature, while preserving and giving new life to a piece of literary history.”

Taylor Young

I was born into a family of artists and art enthusiasts in Iowa in 1979. My current work is a confluence of realistic, spare, modern symbolism. I am inspired by the human form and nature. I create images based on my life experience and memories to create iconographic images in a divine light. My process organically developed through an amalgamation of my training and experience. My materials are often watercolor, charcoal and acrylics. The overall objective of my work is to create a focused meditative experience that explores life, nature, and the divine.

Kayla Andrus

I spend a lot of time thinking about the concept of birth, death, and regeneration and how that applies to most things that exist. Things like animals and plants who are born, die and then return to the soil to become a plant again. I once learned that nearly all of the elements within life were created within a star first and had to travel through many supernovas for us to come into existence. I love to think about how the charcoal I use to draw had to go through that same process. It was grown or “born” from a willow tree branch, burned, and then transformed into the physical material that I use to create my drawings. Additionally, within my work, I aim to highlight the fragility of nature within the hands of humans and the pursuit of healing our wounded earth.

Lauren Rosenfelt

Lauren Rosenfelt is a freelance, natural science illustrator, and plant biology graduate student at OU, currently living and working in Norman, Oklahoma. She graduated from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma in 2014 with a BFA and minor in Liberal Arts. Her work focuses on sharing the importance of native wildlife and plant species. Her clientele ranges from private commissions to project specific jobs with commercial and nonprofit organizations. One of her recently completed public-projects can be found at the Norman Central Library as informative signage indicating the benefits of the library’s stormwater retention system and native prairie habitat which is a novel ecosystem beneficial to pollinators and birds.