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Award-Winning Botanical Artist Exhibits Her Work at Trailside Nature & Science Center


MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – What better way to welcome spring than to come see Alana Van Rensselaer’s botanical artwork at Trailside Nature and Science Center in Mountainside. The exhibit of 39 original botanical watercolor paintings, sponsored by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Department of Parks and Recreation, includes perennials and native species found in New Jersey woodlands. Trailside is open daily from noon until 5 p.m. and the botanical artwork will be on display until August 15.

Alana Van Rensselaer developed a love of nature from her mother and a creative passion from her father, Al Hartley, a cartoonist for Archie Comics. Her unique style emanates from her understanding of botany and her appreciation of the translucency of watercolor.

“Growing up in New Jersey with a lake in my backyard and surrounded by undisturbed woods, I discovered the wonderful natural world I try to portray on paper,” Ms. Van Rensselaer said. “We are living in a renaissance of botanical art and I feel very fortunate to have studied with some of the greatest masters of our day. It gives me great pleasure to share my journey in the hope of enriching others.”

Alana studied at the International Studio of Chinese Art in Hong Kong, where she learned the defining art of single stroke brush painting, and she graduated with a certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration from the New York Botanical Garden. She is a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists, the Visual Arts Center of Summit, the Mid Atlantic Society of Botanical Artists, and the Contemporary Center for Art.

Her work has been in exhibitions for the New York Horticultural Society, the Frelinghuysen Arboretum, the Mayo Arts Center, the Great Swamp Watershed Association, the Retrospective Show of the Land Conservancy of New Jersey, the India Fine Arts Society in New Delhi, and is currently in an exhibit at the Arnolfini Museum in Bristol, England.

For information about upcoming programs and events at Trailside, please call 908-789-3670 or visitWWW.UCNJ.ORG/TRAILSIDE. Trailside Nature and Science Center is located at 452 New Providence Road (at Coles Avenue) in Mountainside and is a service of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.