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School of Botanical Art & Illustration Team


Carina Bañuelos-Harrison, Manager
At the University of Colorado, Boulder, Carina studied studio art with a focus in photography. She has worked in bilingual elementary education as well as for several local Denver nonprofit organizations. Carina’s passion for the arts led her to work as a public art administrator and art curator. She continues to practice various art mediums and enjoys being an advocate for artists and community. Carina is thrilled to bring her art expertise and perspective as a Latinx artist to the School of Botanical Art & Illustration.

Liz Edwards, Teaching Production Coordinator
Since graduating from the University of Denver with a degree in cognitive neuroscience and subsequently pursuing several years of art training, Liz has worked as a freelance artist and scientific illustrator, specializing in charcoal, graphite and colored pencil works. Liz’s driving passions center around utilizing art and communication to make the scientific world an accessible and inclusive space for all people, and Liz is excited to bring these passions into the School of Botanical Art & Illustration.

Dr. Kathryn "Kati" Fay, Program Coordinator
Kati has an interdisciplinary education and work background, coming from the world of museums, higher education, archaeology and history. She has worked in several museums, taught for multiple colleges and universities and spent time doing historic preservation work for the federal government. Kati comes to the School of Botanical Art & Illustration from the Gardens’ exhibits team and brings her experience working with artists, students, instructors and community stakeholders.

Cher Crichlow, Teaching Production Assistant
With experience in technology, business and education, Cher embraces everyday opportunities for learning, experimentation and growth. She is enthusiastic about immersive education for all ages and is committed to providing a productive learning and teaching environment that encourages discovery, creativity, fun and connection with students. Cher is excited to couple her love for plants and people at Denver Botanic Gardens.

Teaching Artists

Renee Jorgensen
As a graduate of the School of Botanical Art & Illustration, Renee has been teaching for Denver Botanic Gardens for the past 16 years. She brings to the school a broad spectrum of artistic skills accumulated from work as a technical draftsperson for the sciences, commercial and graphic design in typography and illustration, including the art of calligraphy and hand lettering. She continues to teach and work in a variety of mixed media, which includes her passion for medieval illumination and the natural sciences.

Marjorie Leggitt
Marjorie is an award-winning science illustrator based in Boulder, Colorado. Specializing in illustration for professional botanical journals, reference publications and museum exhibits, she also creates art for commercial clients. A self-taught artist, Marjorie began her career dissecting and illustrating Australian land snails at Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History but soon returned to her passion – drawing plants. While illustrating the first of several botanical field guides, she was contracted by the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to develop visual reconstructions of ancient plant life for the Prehistoric Journey permanent exhibit. Today, Marjorie is a lead artist for the Flora of North America and Flora of Oklahoma. Marjorie has taught botanical illustration courses through Denver Botanic Gardens School of Botanical Art & Illustration since 1990.

Lori Ann Levy-Holm 
Lori Ann attended Temple University and studied at the Tyler School of Art in Rome. After college, she served two formal apprenticeships and worked at the Staffordshire Pottery Museum as a demonstrator thrower. Lori Ann earned her MFA in illustration at the University of Hartford. After 16 years of teaching art to students of all ages, she has returned to her roots of drawing and painting. Lori Ann teaches a variety of Art Exploration courses and workshops as well as introductory Botanical Illustration courses. She is passionate about making art accessible to all. 

Shiere Melin 
Shiere has worked as a graphic designer and illustrator in corporate and agency environments and currently does business as BluBlaze Creative. Her combined interest in science and art lead to an MFA from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor in medical and biologic illustration. She has continued her illustration interest by achieving a Foundational Certificate in Botanical Art & Illustration at Denver Botanic Gardens. Shiere teaches Art Exploration and Botanical Illustration courses.

Sarah Pedry
Sarah holds a BFA in painting as well as an MFA in interdisciplinary art. She has a passion for research and focuses her work primarily on nature and connecting people to nature. She has recently illustrated signage for the High Line public park in New York City and is currently working on a children’s book. Sarah teaches a variety of Art Exploration classes.

Laurence Pierson-Bonenberger
Born in France, Laurence has lived in many countries, from Chile to the Philippines, discovering cultures and exploring art. She had been painting Byzantine icons for 20 years (using egg tempera technique) when she discovered the Botanical Illustration program at the Gardens. She completed the certificate program in 2013 and has been an instructor with the program ever since. Currently, she’s in training to become an art therapist.

Heidi Snyder
After careers in education and law, Heidi turned to botanical and nature illustration. She prefers colored pencils for her detailed art, which focuses on wild species in their natural habitats. It is her mission to make the viewer aware of all the often-hidden details nature has to offer and bring out the beauty and information therein. She belongs to many nature and environmental organizations, co-authored “Wild in the City: Fauna and Flora of Colorado Urban Spaces” (2015) and uses her art to raise environmental awareness.

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