GNSI Blast From the Past

How many of these people do you recognize? A surprising number of them are still GNSI members. This group photo was taken at the National Zoo in Washington DC, in July of 1996. Over 200 people attended the Washington DC conference, our largest gathering ever. This was the year my youngest daughter was born, during the conference, so I was not in the group that day (I am local to DC).

One of the standout faces in this image is Elaine Hodges, one of my mentors, and now unfortunately removed from our lives too early.

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Space Art by Lynette Cook

Lynette’s illustration of the newly discovered “Goldilocks” planetAstronomical artist Lynette Cook works in the world of science news deadlines. Lynette’s illustration of the newly discovered “Goldilocks” planet was made on an especially tight deadline. It ended up being featured in a number of news venues, including the NBC Nightly News (West Coast edition), AP, NPR, Reuters, the NY Times, USA Today, space.com, astronomy.com, Astronomy Picture of the Day, Yahoo, and Seed Magazine online.

Lynette writes:  "I was traveling with my mother for a couple of weeks and arrived home to find a request from astronomer Steve Vogt, one of the discoverers, asking if I could do a rush job. I was back in the nick of time to say ‘Yes!’ So I buried my face in the computer for a few days, working quickly from rough through the final stage, communicating back and forth with Dr. Vogt several times each day. The press conference was held at the National Science Foundation on Wednesday, September 29, and the news story and image began showing up on the web and on television broadcasts that evening. One never knows what will happen when a press release like this goes out. Over the years I have been involved with several and remember that some received little attention and others really excited the media and the public to the point of 'going viral.'

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You can help protect USA Artist rights

Dear GNSI members and Friends,

The same group that worked so hard to defeat the Orphaned Works bill in Congress is going on the offensive to help secure real benefits for U.S. artists. They will be presenting this month to the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organizations (IFRRO). The intent is to gain recognition in the international community as an official organization handling reproduction rights funds.

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In Memoriam: Hedvig Ostern

Nancy Halliday with Hedvig Østern, GNSI conference, Washington DC, 1996.It is with profound sorrow that I inform you of the death of my friend, nature illustrator Hedvig Østern of Norway. Elaine Hodges introduced us at the GNSI conference in 1988, and we have remained pen friends since. Hedvig came again to the GNSI conference in 1996, and in 1998 I visited her at her home and studio near Drammen. Only then did I realize the full extent of her artwork. Despite physical disabilities and poor health, Hedvig had nevertheless documented much of Norway’s alpine flora in watercolor. Hedvig did not limit herself to flowers: she also painted fungi, fossils, and butterflies, teaching herself by making models of butterfly wings.

> Nancy Halliday with Hedvig Østern, GNSI conference, Washington DC, 1996.

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Copyright and Fair Use

This is an edited virtual roundtable discussion held online. Transcribed for the September 2010 GNSI newsletter column "Ripped From the List "- edited by Stephan DiCerbo, and now edited for online presentation.

Gail Guth emailed the list about a fellow who wanted to avoid the cost of repro rights on someone else’s images by tracing them and was concerned—with good reason—if he was infringing on copyrights. The thread brought out various takes on the issue, some of which you might find surprising. This thread also touches upon “fair use for educational purposes” and “government use and public domain.” – Stephen Di Cerbo

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Message from the GNSI President

Suzanne WegenerOn July 14th Gail Guth handed the reins of this organization to me, and so started my term as president. At the banquet, there was a good amount of teasing to the effect of Wow! President, that’s a big job! Big shoes to fill! Why did you say yes?!

Why did I say yes? Why do anything? Why not just let someone else do it?

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Book Review: Manual of Leaf Architecture

Leaf Architecture Cover

A new book on the architecture of leaves, Manual of Leaf Architecture, by Ellis, Daly, Hickey, Johnson, Mitchell, Wilf and Wing, goes into great detail, assigning names and descriptions to important characters that distinguish different leaves. Size, shape, lobing, surface texture, apex and base and margins all are fully described and named and are characteristics we should be aware of as artists.

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GNSI-DC: Mammals on Parade!

One of the highlights of the year for the GNSI D.C. chapter was a tour of the newly renovated Mammal Hall at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), Smithsonian Institution. We had a great turn out on March 16, 2004, of approximately 25 members for the fabulous tour led by Sally Love, NMNH Exhibit Developer assigned to the renovation of the hall.

Sally led us not only through the new hall, but through the trials and tribulations of designing the hall, demolishing the old, contracting design firms, major construction, fundraising, scientist/designer/writer meetings (“pencils were thrown”), and all the ups and downs inherent to a large project such as this.

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