Beautiful But Deadly

Selections from the Botanical Art Society of the National Capital Region

July 30 — September 6, 2020 

What dark secret does that sweet little buttercup conceal?  Beautiful But Deadly leads you down a twisted path into a shadowy world whose plants have poisonous effects ranging from the mildly irritating to the venomously lethal. Be they common garden varieties, native wildflowers, or hot-house exotics, enter the exhibit at your peril! 


Thirty works by sixteen members of the Botanical Art Society of the National Capital Region were chosen by the jurors as representative of an array of unusual as well as familiar native and exotic plants with toxic effects. The labels that accompany the exhibition explain the specific properties that make the featured plants poisonous and dangerous.


This exhibition was juried by two members of the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA): Lara Call Gastinger from the Botanical Art Society of the National Capital Region and Elena Balmaseda Scherer from the New England Society of Botanical Artists.


The Botanical Art Society of the National Capital Region (www.basncr.org) is a nonprofit organization of professional and semi-professional artists and illustrators who specialize in depicting botanical subjects in ways that are both scientifically precise and aesthetically appealing. It is a chapter of the American Society of Botanical Artists (www.asba-art.org). 

Above: Marsha Ogden, Angel Trumpet ( Brugmansia hybrid), watercolor, 21”w x 23”h

Application Deadline: August 14, 2020

Exhibition Dates: September 10 — October 18, 2020 

This is a time like no other our generation has faced. It is no exaggeration to say that the pandemic has affected every one of us. It has changed how we navigate the most mundane tasks in our lives; in some cases, it may cause long-term change in our social and economic environments. We invite artists to respond to this particular, unique moment.


Artists are invited to submit works that represent the full gamut of how the global Coronavirus pandemic and its associated ‘social distancing’ has affected them. Fear, uncertainty, anger and doubt are certainly typical responses but we are also interested in evidence of the creative benefits of solitude and reflection and the time to process them. 


We plan to assemble an exhibition that both chronicles this particular moment in time and surprises viewers with unique and unexpected perspectives.


Five $500 prizes will be awarded, selected by an independent arts expert, and awarded at the opening reception on Sunday, September 13, 2020 and a $500 Viewer's Choice prize will be awarded at the end of the exhibition.

Click here for complete details

© 2019 The Athenaeum/NVFAA   201 Prince Street

Alexandria, VA  22314   703-548-0035

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