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Cleaning Clayboard

This installment of Ripped from the List reviews one recent listserv thread that dealt with techniques for cleaning clayboard.

Question from Jeff: Does anyone have experience cleaning smudges off of clayboard? Specifically, I put a thumb print of newspaper ink into one of my projects.

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Britt Griswold featured in the Big Bang Theory

One of the fruits of my collaborations in the NASA WMAP project is an Education Outreach product - the WMAP beach ball. It is a great educational tool for explaining the shape and origins of the universe. 

This fall our in-house astrophysics EPO group did an interview with me, about the creation of the ball, for their "Blueshift" Blog.

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Artist For Conservation's virtual exhibit

In 2010, in lieu of a live gallery exhibit, the Artists for Conservation (AFC) is producing its first virtual exhibit. In future years, this will complement live gallery exhibits and make them more widely accessible to an international audience. The Artists for Conservation mission is to support wildlife and habitat conservation, biodiversity, sustainability, and environmental education through art that celebrates our natural heritage.

Several GNSI members are part of AFC's 500 member organization, including Patricia Savage, Barry MacKay, John Megahan, and Linda Feltner.

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2010 GNSI Educational Series Workshop: review

CLASSROOM OF STUDENTS AT WORK. PHOTO BY D. K.B. CHEUNGThe Smithsonian Natural History Museum was once again the setting for the 2010 GNSI Educational Series workshop, which took place March 18-21, 2010. Here, at an institution “dedicated to inspiring curiosity, discovery, and learning,” a wide diversity of participants from traditional media illustrators to scientists to comic book illustrators, gathered to engage themselves in new techniques that will help them succeed in an increasingly digital world. Many previous students returned this year to further refine their skills and take advantage of the diverse learning community.

Lessons were organized and led by Marie Metz, GNSI educational director and former Smithsonian Illustrator, Jennifer Fairman, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, and David Clarke, president of the Washington D.C. chapter of GNSI. The workshop began with a talk about the synergistic relationship between science/technology and illustration, by guest lecturer Dr. James Giordano, University of Oxford. Beginning with a discussion of prehistoric cave drawings and our innate human ability to communicate visually, Dr. Giordano explained the role illustration plays in the communication of scientific knowledge. He also gave examples of how illustration furthers science and vice versa. Participants left the lecture inspired and ready to begin learning.

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Shipping Artwork

Artists love to show their work: it’s an artist’s stage and performance. Transporting artwork to a local gallery is comparatively simple, usually involving only the time to carry the pieces to an exhibition. Shipping to a distant location, however, can be more difficult. And more disappointing if the artwork is returned damaged. Or not returned at all. A modicum of planning should make this process more successful, and relatively anxiety-free. However, one should remember Murphy’s Fourth Law: Mother Nature always sides with the hidden flaw in the system. Since the “system” includes a huge transportation network, one should be prepared for the occasional, often incongruous, surprise.

Timing

Whenever possible, give the preparation, packaging, and shipping of artwork the time it deserves. And well before the deadline so you won’t be hurrying. Uh-huh. And the rest of us humans should seriously consider shipping to an exhibit at least a month before the opening. Imagine a gallery operator receiving a hundred pieces of artwork the same week as an exhibit opening, and I’m certain you can also imagine that some of the artwork won’t receive the care and attention it deserves.

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Vesalius Trust Award applications open

The Vesalius Trust for Visual Communication in the Health Sciences is  accepting applications for the 2011 Dr. Frank H. Netter Award for Special  Contributions to Medical Education. This award is given annually in  recognition of the development of visually-oriented educational materials  that have made a significant contribution to the advancement of education and  research in the health sciences. There is no application fee. The award  includes a plaque and monetary award of US$1,000. Past winners have made  innovative contributions in healthcare education including anatomical models,  books, simulators, videos, and interactive learning materials. More  information is available on the Vesalius Trust website.  

http://www.vesaliustrust.org/scholarships.html#Netter

Book Review: The Multifaceted Life and Books of Arthur Guptill

All of us know of the American Artist's Magazine, its American Artist's Book Club and their publisher, Watson-Guptill Publications (ownership now is in Billboard Publications). This article is about Arthur L. Guptill, co-founder, co-editor and co-manager of these businesses in art, with his longtime friend, Ernest Watson. Together they undertook many art enterprises under the Watson-Guptill umbrella.

Arthur GuptillGuptill the Polymath

The word I have used goes back into early Victorian history: a person with multiple interests and vocations who pursues all of them vigorously at the same time. Guptill's major occupations were artist, architect, decorator, teacher and finally author with the Watson-Guptill firm thrown in between. At all of these things he was good; to them all,l he brought a strong artistic sense; and in them gained an enviable reputation for his work.

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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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