Guest Column by Laurie Grawl
I have always found there are events in life that can lead us into interesting opportunities, and this is one of those experiences. As a student majoring in Studio Art and minoring in Art History I grabbed onto this research idea of studying the historically significant trees and flowering plants on the Sam Houston State campus and the Sam Houston Museum and Park complex and tying their location to the campus walking trail and map.
The idea was originally was born out of the need to complete a Honors College contract during the Fall 2013 semester with Art Professor, Martin Amourous. He was well aware that Botanical Illustration was something I was interested in and that I had taken a previous online summer course summer with Cornell University. As with most projects they take on a life of their own and turn into to something much bigger than originally envisioned. The project is now a two semester Independent Study for the Academic Distinction Program.
Currently the beginnings of my research are being exhibited in the Dan Rather cases located on the Second Floor of the Newton Gresham Library. The cyanotype artwork was created using botanical plant specimens that are site specific from the Sam Houston Museum and Park complex located across from the campus. The scope of my research will take place in both locations. I want to expose these historical hidden treasures because sadly many do not know they exist. My goals consist of using an artistic approach to document these plants and their story, and then take my renderings, photos, artwork, and background information and create a published book that would interest Alumni, and other community members with a portion of the profits contributing to future Art and Honors scholarship awards. For more information www.lgrawlbotanicalstudy.blogspot.com