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School of Botanical Art and Illustration

Botanical Art Classes for Everyone

Step out of the everyday....

Become absorbed in drawing and painting the natural beauty of plants. Learn how to draw and paint.

Botanica 2014

BOTANICA 2014: The Art & Science of Plants (June 28-August 8), at the Brookside Gardens Visitors Center, is the school’s annual juried exhibition. It is open to faculty, current and former students; we are delighted to again welcome entries from members of the Botanical Artist Society of the National Capital Region (BASNCR), including members who have not (as yet!) attended our classes. (NO ENTRY FEES).

An opportunity to push the boundaries of botanical art - You are welcome to enter a picture with a botanical focus that might include one or more of the following – (i) a drawing medium, coloring medium, or mixed media rarely if ever used for botanical art, (ii) interesting background treatments, block printing, etching, wax resist etc, (iii) a botanical with an innovative approach to picture composition. Some boundaries remain however: avoid man-made props in the composition and ensure the named plant material featured does not portray obvious inaccuracies. As always, aim to exhibit a certain degree of expertise in the application of your chosen art medium and demonstrate that the overall design has been thoughtfully considered. This could be a fascinating and inspiring addition to the exhibition, especially if sufficient suitable entries to have these exhibited on their own exhibition wall. Please email Margaret,, BOTANICA Exhibition Director and Juror, if you have any questions regarding these entries or the exhibition entry requirements in general.

If you wish to enter BOTANICA 2014 please download the printable Exhibition Guidelines and BOTANICA 2014 Entry Form.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to construction work in the top parking lot near the Visitors Center during BOTANICA 2014, all guests to the Gardens will park in the Conservatory parking lot from where arrangements will be put in place for exhibiting artists to have their pictures (and the artist, if desired) transported to the Visitor Center in a Montgomery Parks vehicle, where exhibiting artists will unpack and check-in their pictures as usual. The same procedure will apply during show take down: you will take down and wrap your art and we will then transport it for you to your vehicle in the Conservatory parking lot. The Visitor Services Supervisor, Ellen Hartranft will ensure that the utmost care will be taken when transporting the pictures, but advise pictures have extra wrapping than usual.

Course Calendar

The new Xperience is here! Registration for spring & summer programs opens February 14th for residents of Montgomery and Prince Georges Counties and February 15th for all others. Be sure to investigate and register for classes starting in March. Don't miss the opportunity to learn from experienced artists and network with other students. Enjoy the small class size and the beautiful garden setting for inspiration. Encourage your fellow artists to register with you. Each class needs a minimum of 5 registrants to run.

Upcoming SBAI classes

Have you signed up for a class? Look for materials to bring in one of the following lists:
Required Class Materials - Fall & Winter 2013/2014
Required Class Materials - Spring & Summer 2014

Check the calendar below for detailed program and event information by date. Register for our botanical art and illustration classes online through ParkPASS or by calling 301-962-1451. The calendar is interactive so that you can modify the view to your preference by clicking the tabs at the top right, but in order to register online for any of the programs or events listed, you must visit ParkPASS. If you don't already have a ParkPASS account, visit the sign in page to create one.


Want to learn more?


The Brookside Gardens School of Botanical Art and Illustration (SBAI) is located at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD. Botanical art class offerings are listed in the current issue of the Xperience Guide to Programs and Events. For more information, contact Laura Vogel on 301-962-1470.

Subscribe to the Brookside Gardens E-Newsletter to recieve notice when Xperience Guide to Programs and Events is published, along with other Garden news and updates

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

For information on individual classes, browse programs online at:
ParkPass, School of Botanical Art.

Sign up for our E-Newsletter

SBAI Fall 2013 E-Newsletter


Subscribe to the SBAI E-Newsletter to receive periodic School news and updates. (After clicking on the link, check the box to indicate your interest in the School of Botanical Art and Illustration.)


Congratulations to our 2013 Certificate Recipients!

Congratulations to Kelly Mills Sverduk and Kathy Lutter, this year’s recipients of the prestigious Brookside Gardens School of Botanical Art& Illustration Certificate. The certificate course requires course credit for core curriculum classes, electives and workshops and culminates in the compilation of a final portfolio that includes a selection of practical assignments, (submitted earlier for regular evaluation over a period of two calendar years), and a Certificate Project – begun in a student’s third year that includes an artist statement and description of their creative process. Many thanks to Susan Fisher, Leonie Norton and Alice Tangerini for assessing their final projects. You can view their portfolios, which were submitted to our three external examiners, on the walls of our Online Gallery. Sign our Guestbook while you’re there to leave some congratulatory remarks for Kelly and Kathy.


Sites of Interest

If you are interested in learning more about the field of botanical artistry or botanical art classes in your area, visit the other websites listed below:

Online Galleries and Art Societies
Other Schools of Botanical Art & Illustration