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  • The Casual Naturalist: the artist’s books of Rebecca Chamlee

    July 6, 2018 – September 28, 2018

    Chamlee’s work examines the intersection of her artistic and scientific interests by collecting and cataloging the natural world around her. She is motivated to record, interpret and celebrate nature.

    The exhibition will include letterpress printed, hand bound artist’s book editions and detailed letterpress prints of native plant and animal specimens. In addition, process materials such as project journals, printing tests, book binding dummies and research notes will be on display alongside the final work.

    Exhibition included with admission $4-$9

    Get Outside, Get Inspired, Write Wild!

    Five sessions September 29, October 6, 13, 20, 27, 2018 1:00pm-3:00pm

    Instructor: Rebecca K. O’Connor

     Develop your nature writing through weekly readings and writing exercises based on exploring the grounds of the Arboretum. In five sessions once a week students will discuss short writings from lauded nature writers, then delve into the nuances of what makes a piece of writing on nature truly sing. Students will have the opportunity each class to wander through one of the Arboretum’s gardens with a writing prompt, discovering how using all your senses can add to your story and how pausing to look closely at nature can offer up fantastic tales and insights. Nature can be an alien and unexpected world when examined closely, but it can lead to insights on what it means to be human. Students will be guided through finding their own authentic voice as they learn to further discover and share their own personal connection with nature.  Class also includes Paula Panich’s lecture “Lines of Bright Scarlet: Mary Austin’s California Mountains.”

    Rebecca K. O’Connor is the author of nine reference books on the natural world, including a best-selling parrot training guide The Perfectly Trained Parrot. She has also the award-winning falconry memoir Lift published by Red Hen Press. Her most recent novel is We Were Wilder, a self-published post-apocalyptic wilderness journey that is the first in a trilogy. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California, Riverside. Her essays and short stories have been published in numerous places, including, Iron Horse Literary Review, Los Angeles Times Magazine, West, divide, and The Coachella Review. Her essays have been anthologized and nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

    Five sessions September 29, October 6, 13, 20, 27, 2018 1:00pm-3:00pm

    $100 for non-members $85 for members of the Los Angeles Arboretum Foundation and the Rivers and Lands Conservancy. To register call 626.821.4623

    The Sweet Breathing of Plants; Indigenous Arts of the Neshkinukat Artists.

    October 6, 2018 – December 21, 2018

    Opening Reception:

    Tuesday, October 9, 2018 at 6:30pm-8pm

    Artist Talk:

    Tuesday, October 9, 2018 at 7pm

    The Sweet Breathing of Plants presents the indigenous art of Neshkinukat artists. In the Lakota language Neshkinukat means “We Are All Related.” In the Luiseño language it means “One Who Has Relatives.” The exhibit includes  an exceptional collection of textiles, baskets, multimedia, photographs, and paintings, which celebrate the remarkable nature of plants.

    Free and Open to the Public

    “Lines of Bright Scarlet: Mary Austin’s California Mountains”

    Saturday, October 20, 2018 at 2pm

    Join writer Paula Panich who will speak about Mary Austin’s 1914 book, California, and the glory of the San Gabriel Valley.


    In October, 1888, Mary Hunter, who would become Mary Austin soon enough, started out from Pasadena on horseback.  Her mother and brother were along too, tucked under the bonnet of a Prairie schooner, headed for the San Joaquin Valley. She was barely twenty.

    She wrote about the trip for her college magazine. She then knew she had found her work, her voice, and her passion — the landscape of the West.

    Fifteen hard years later, she published her first book, The Land of Little Rain, about the Owens River Valley, that would define her as we see her now: environmentalist, advocate for Native people, water rights activist, feminist, lyrical writer of the landscape.

    Her voice on the page is steady, sure, rhythmic, almost oracular. It ripened into an incantation-like tone praising the beauty of her adopted state.

    In the autumn of 1914, her book, California: The Land of the Sun, was published by Macmillan Company, “Painted by Sutton Palmer, Described by Mary Austin.”

    It is her tribute to the mountains of California, with tipped-in reproductions of the paintings of Sutton Palmer. Her writing is luminous, matched by Palmer’s rich paintings of the mountainous California landscape.


    Paula Panich’s talk at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens Library, on October 20, 2018 commemorates the Library’s acquisition of  a pristine copy of the 1914 book, once owned by the Hearst Memorial Library.

    Paula Panich is an Albuquerque-based landscape, food and garden writer who has contributed to the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Foundation for Landscape Studies and other publications. She is author of The Desert Southwest, and other books.  www.theliterarygardener.com

    $20 Non-Members/$15 Members. To register call 626.821.4627

    Check the Biodiversity Heritage Library for the latest Arboretum journals and newsletters that have been digitized thanks to a grant from the Good Family Foundation.

    © 2015 Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden • 626.821.3222 • 301 North Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007 • Website Design by Kirk Projects.

    © 2015 Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens

    Phone: 626.821.3222

    301 N. Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA, 91007

    Site Design by Kirk Projects