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Following in the Bartrams Footsteps Exhibit & Special Exhibition at South Florida Museum


Three Upcoming Special Exhibitions at the 

South Florida Museum

Following in the Bartrams’ Footsteps

Aspects of Style

Botanical Paintings of O.M. Braida

201 10th Street West  – Bradenton, Florida

 September 19, 2013 through December 29, 2013

Opening Reception:  September 26, 2013 

  5:30pm to 7:00pm

Matt Woodside, Chief Curator and Director of Exhibitions of the South Florida Museum has appointed Olivia Braida, artist and founder of the Academy of Botanical Art, as Assistant Curator to help develop three upcoming exhibits featuring the beauty, complexities, and importance of botanical art and illustration for today and future generations.    Forty-three original artworks selected from botanical artists around the world will be on display in the First Floor Gallery.  In the second floor gallery, more than thirty works of botanical art by Julia Rega who began Ms. Braida’s Academy program at the age of 15, certified at age 17, completed her art college education and now pursues her graphics art career through Victoria Secret in New York City.  In addition, several large works by Ms. Braida will be on display.  The second floor pictorial exhibit will demonstrate the steps artists take to execute these refined and demanding art works. These three exhibitions promise to appeal to a wide audience as it ties together art, science, history, nature, culture and education.

Bartrams Exhibit Catalog 


Following in the Bartrams’ Footsteps 

South Florida Museum first floor gallery from

 September 19, 2013 through December 30, 2013

On exhibit are forty-three original artworks selected from around the world by nearly 200 American Society of Botanical Artists and Philadelphia Society of Botanical Illustrators member entries. The exhibit focus is on the native plant discoveries made by John and William in their travels through the eastern wilderness between the 1730’s and 1790’s.

The exhibit is a collaboration between the American Society of Botanical Artists and Bartram’s Garden, featuring contemporary botanical artworks depicting plants discovered and introduced by two generations of the Bartram family’s dedicated pursuit to disc

over and inform others about our natural world. Following in the Bartrams’ Footsteps will draw attention to the history and culture of 18th-century American naturalists, and illuminate the role contemporary artists continue to play in depicting plants for today’s audience in an effort to communicate a

nd preserve this valuable information for posterity. The plant portraits on display will give viewers a view of the Bartrams’ journey and insight into the contribution these two men made to American and worldwide gardening. Viewers will witness how contributing artists have portrayed images on paper or velum from the blossoms of heirloom seeds grown in their own gardens, from Bartram’s Garden itself, and from other botanical gardens.





Aspects of Style

South Florida Museum second floor gallery from 

September 19, 2013 through December 30, 2013

Botanical Drawings & Paintings by Julia Rega

Certified Botanical Artist & Graphic Designer

Student and Graduate of Academy of Botanical Art


Aspects of Style will demonstrate to museum visitors the technical demands and delicate precision work required to portray nature portraits with attention to detail and accuracy through the efforts of Academy of Botanical Art student and graduate, Julia Rega.  Ms. Rega will be presenting more than 30 pieces of her botanical artwork from the age of 15 to 17. The exhibit will demonstrate Ms. Rega’s botanical art process and show how her early naive work blossoms into beautiful art from the accomplished hand of one so young.

The presentation will delight viewers as they walk through Julia’s four levels of learning – from early pencil renderings to mature, and sophisticated watercolor paintings.  The four education levels include four levels of drawing and watercolor, and two levels of pen and ink illustration, research, and morphology study — the structured teachings of Olivia Braida, the Academy’s founder.

To become a certified botanical artist, Julia at the age of 17, submitted her thesis on aquatic plants and presented nine completed works based on three aquatic plants.  These delightful images will be on display together with three highly informative research boards that were part of Julia’s graduation presentation.

From student, to certified botanical artist, to college art graduate, to graphic designer at Victoria Secret in New York City, Julia’s success story is just an example of how foundational art forms build student confidence, skill, and sense of discovery.  “The inspiration begins from foundational art training and leaps beyond technique to freedom.” omb





Botanical Paintings by O.M. Braida

South Florida Museum second floor gallery from 

September 19, 2013 through December 30, 2013

Master Botanical Artist and Academy of Botanical Art Founder

“The South Florida Museum has on permanent exhibition one of Olivia’s exquisite watercolor paintings. Her artistic talent is of the highest caliber showing great technical skill as well as aesthetic sensibility.”  Matt Woodside, Chief Curator, South Florida Museum.

Nancee Clark, Director of Continuing Education, for the Ringling College of Art and Design stated: “Olivia Braida’s classical teaching approach gives a solid foundation and a deeper, richer experience of aesthetics and the art-making process.” After collaborating with RCAD for over a decade, Ms. Braida’s Academy of Botanical Art now offers Certification through the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens – a world-renowned garden specializing in the research and description of orchids and bromeliads.

The Academy offers both local and long distance learners of all ages an opportunity to study what she refers to as a “foundational art program that opens minds and doors to many possibilities after completion of the course program.”  As its director she bases her “world-class educational system” (Ron Sanders, on the twelve books and sixteen course paks she has written.  Her “Ten Steps….” series of books help guide her students to a high level of execution and, if desired, certification. Her school, books, and teaching methods attract students in the US, Canada, Europe, South America, Australia and Mexico.

Olivia Braida has a network of clients within the United States, the Caribbean, Europe, and Thailand, she has created a florilegia for Theodore W. Kheel reflecting the biodiversity study in the Caribbean — thirteen grand scale commissioned pieces now hanging in the Cornell University’s Conference Center for Biodiversity and Medicinal Plants, in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.  She is recognized by The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Research Division of Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh, by the purchase for their private collection of her original watercolor, “Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem’ #2 and the South Florida Museum in Bradenton, Florida by their acquisition of “Nelumbo Baby Doll’ a Dwarf White Lotus.   She is a Full Member of the Copley Society of Art in Boston, Massachusetts, as well as a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists, and the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators.


 South Florida Museum Hours of Operations

January through April and the month of July: Open 7 days a week: ?Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.?Sundays from 12 Noon to 5 p.m.

All other months: Open 6 days a week: ?Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.?Sundays from 12 Noon to 5 p.m.

We are closed on Mondays during the months of May, June and August – December.

Closed the 1st Saturday in November, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and the 2nd Monday in March.


Monday – Saturday (January – April and July) 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sundays 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Tuesday – Saturday (May – December, excluding July) 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sundays 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.



Museum Members of Friends Program Free
Adults $15.95
Seniors (65+) $13.95
Children (4-12) $11.95
Ages 3 and younger Free with paying adult
First Saturday of most months (Family Night) Half price regular admission

Museum members Free


Group Rates 

Available for groups of 15 or more; reservations are required. Email Amy Bower, Program Coordinator, or call 941-746-4131 ex 13.

Accepted Payment Methods 

Cash, American Express, MasterCard, Visa, personal checks & travelers’ checks


Coupons and discounts may not be combined with other discounts.

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