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School of Botanical Art & Illustration Team

Administration

Carina Bañuelos-Harrison, Manager
Carina has worked as a public art administrator and curator. At the University of Colorado, Boulder, she studied studio arts with a focus in photography. Carina is thrilled to bring her art expertise and her 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.

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 fine 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 and Illustration at Denver Botanical 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.

Phillip Potter
Phillip is a contemporary Denver-based artist. His work is a juxtaposition between botanical illustration and large-scale abstract color work. He studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Metropolitan State University of Denver. He received his certificate in botanical illustration from the School of Botanical Art & Illustration at the Gardens in 2019. His understanding and ability to create abstract compositions informs his sensibilities when approaching a botanical work. Phillip is a former member and president of EDGE Gallery, as well as Spark Gallery. His work is held in both private and public collections nationally and internationally.

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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