Special Exhibit: The Art of Nature

"Under Foot" by Fiona MacLean

“Under Foot” by Fiona MacLean

Open April 10 – June 21

The Museum welcomes back the California Guild of Natural Science Illustrators for its annual exhibit highlighting the amazing detail and artistry of local science illustrators. Come experience 40 works in a variety of media, depicting botany, birds, mammals and invertebrates. Discover why art is so important to science, and our understanding of the natural world. You are invited to explore the beautiful world of illustration and test your own skills while drawing Museum specimens in our Illustration Station.


What is science illustration?

Science illustration is art that helps explain science. It is a useful tool in science communication because often images can deepen our understanding of a subject or convey complex ideas very quickly. This exhibit shows work that combines both scientific research and artistic training. Scientific illustration can be found in many places, including: museums, zoos, aquariums, parks, science publications, field guides, children’s books, research facilities, universities, and government agencies.

Art and illustration of science and natural history has had a long and storied tradition from the days of illustrators who joined expeditions of exploration around the globe, to the modern-day artists who create digital images of our universe. We’re proud to exhibit artworks by our guild members and the next generation of science illustrators who continue to produce the images that inspire and describe the diversity and complexity of the world around us.

-Katie Bertsche, President, CA Guild of Natural Science Illustrators

first friday santa cruz logoLive Artist Demonstrations

May 1st & June 5th, 5-8pm

How do you capture a moving bird? See local exhibit artists demonstrate their impressive techniques and enjoy light refreshments while viewing the exhibit. Part of Santa Cruz’s monthly First Friday Art Tour.

School Tours

Tuesdays-Fridays, May & June

Bring your class to the Museum to explore the exhibit and learn how illustration is used to convey information and connect people with the natural sciences. Students will get to experiment with different types of media, and complete an exhibit scavenger hunt. Learn more.

Article written by lizbroughton