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Lara Call Gastinger

is an artist and botanical illustrator from Charlottesville, Virginia. Currently, she is the chief illustrator for the Flora of Virginia Project. The subjects of her art come from the natural world and her art reveals detailed evidence of change, decay, and processes that occur in nature. She finds great inspiration in a carrot that has gone to flower, a broken seed pod, twisted roots or insect damage to a leaf. She strives to make a plant portrait in such a way that it reveals its character and uniqueness. Her focus is on the small details in nature, down to the small venations in leaves which hopefully inspires others to look a bit deeper and pause a bit longer.

Exhibits

Teaching

  • McGuffey Art Center 6 week classes. Charlottesville VA,Winter and Spring 2015.
  • Monticello Flower painting class. Charlottesville, VA, full day class instructor (Painting flowers), May 16, 2015.
  • Monticello Heritage Harvest Festival. Charlottesville, VA,(botanical sketching), September 13, 2014.
  • Virginia Science Museum. Richmond, VA, presentation and workshop, April 2015.
  • Pittsburgh ASBA meeting. Pittsburgh, PA, ASBA conference full day class instructor (Painting Kale), October 2013.
  • Chicago Botanic Gardens. Chicago, IL, ASBA conference full day class instructor (Painting Specimens in Sepia), October 2012.
  • William Cox Inn. Stanardsville VA, November and May weekend workshops, 2007 - current.
  • Norfolk Botanic Garden Painting Class. Norfolk, Spring 2006.
  • Flower Camp Botanical Art Instructor. Weekend retreat in Buckingham Co, Spring and Fall workshops 2005 - current.
  • Field Studies Institute Botanical Painting and Sketching Class instructor. The Wintergreen Nature Foundation, Fall 2002 current.
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute Graduate Teaching Assistant. Biology Lab instructor, Fall 2000, Spring 2001, Fall 2001.
  • National Wildlife Federation Summit Faculty Member. Botanical Field Sketching, Summer 2001.

Professional experience

  • Botanical Illustrator for The Flora of Virginia Project. Fall 2002 - current
  • Utah State University. Logan, Utah. Developed a GIS map of plant distributions and illustrated poster of endemic plant species, Summer 1999.
  • Susan Nelson Warren Byrd Landscape Architects. Charlottesville, Virginia. computer graphics, marketing, Draftsperson, Plant research, 1998-1999, 1999-2000.
  • Education

    • Virginia Tech. Masters Degree in Plant Ecology awarded May 2002.
    • University of Virginia. Bachelor of Arts in Biology, Architecture minor - awarded May 1998.
    • Rhode Island School of Design. Summer 1997. Field Ecology and Drawing Program.
    • Cornell/University of New Hampshire Shoals Marine Program. Summer 1996. Biological Illustration.

    Organizations

    • Rivanna Master Naturalists. Charlottesville, VA, Spring 2013 - current.
    • Piedmont Council for the Arts. Fall 2012 - 2013.
    • American Society of Botanical Artists. Spring 2004 current.
    • McGuffey Art Center Associate Member. Spring 2004 - current.
    • Virginia Native Plant Society, Jefferson Chapter member, Spring 2003 current.
    • Guild of Natural Science Illustrator Member (GNSI). Spring 2003 Spring 2005.
    • Utah State University. Logan, Utah. Developed a GIS map of plant distributions and illustrated poster of endemic plant species, Summer 1999.
    • Susan Nelson Warren Byrd Landscape Architects. Charlottesville, Virginia. computer graphics, marketing, Draftsperson, Plant research, 1998-1999, 1999-2000.

    Organizations/Community Involvement

    • Rivanna Master Naturalist. Charlottesville, VA, Spring 2013 - current.
    • Election poll worker. Charlottesville, VA, Fall 2002 - 2006.
    • Ivy Creek Natural Area Guide. lead nature tours for schoolchildren - Charlottesville, VA, Fall 2002 - 2006.
    • Kew Botanic Garden Millennium Seed Bank Project seed collector. Summer 2004.
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