Students in the Science Illustration Program show their work

Frog, by L. Parsons (2007)

Illustrating Nature, the 18th annual exhibit of artwork by students in the UCSC Extension Science Illustration Program, is on display at the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History May 5 through June 10. An opening reception for the artists will be held on May 4 from 7 to 9 p.m.

The 70 artworks displayed in this year's exhibit depict everything from mammals to microbes and from amphibians to asteroids in astounding detail, using watercolor, acrylic, pen and ink, colored pencil, graphite, scratchboard, and digital media.

In conjunction with the show, on Saturday, May 12, students will give a demonstration of illustration techniques from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. And on the following Saturday, May 19, students will present techniques for keeping an illustrated field journal from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition, there will be a special program on natural science illustration for kids on Saturday, June 2, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Graduates of the Science Illustration Program go on to illustrate for a variety of prestigious institutions and publications such as Smithsonian, National Geographic, Scientific American, and the American Museum of Natural History. UCSC is one of the few universities in the U.S. with a specialized program in scientific illustration.

The Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History, located at 1305 East Cliff Drive, is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $2.50/general, $1.50/seniors, children under 18/free. For more information, call the museum at (831) 420-6115.

Illustrating Nature is cosponsored by the Science Illustration Program, UCSC Extension, and the Santa Cruz Museum Association.