Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods proudly welcomes back internationally renowned Botanical Artist Heeyoung Kim, accompanied by her students from the Botanical Art Academy, for the Seventh Annual Enriching Life Exhibition. This event showcases carefully crafted pieces spanning different stages of completion, allowing visitors to join in the celebration of an artist's progress and process. Through a dedication to detail, Heeyoung Kim guides her students into creating art with purpose extending beyond their obvious beauty, as they foster a deeper connection with the often overlooked elements of nature. Through this meticulous eye, their pieces highlight the intricacies of our local ecosystems and educate audiences on the importance of each individual species.
Heeyoung Kim, a now highly accomplished artist, displayed her first solo exhibition with the Brushwood Center after participating in one of their group shows in 2009. She reflects on her invitation, saying, “that was so exciting, and I was not even ready to have a solo exhibit at that time, but I said YES I’m going to do it, and I felt like that was such a humbling moment. I never even thought of having a solo show!”
These feelings of symbiosis are shared with the center’s leadership, as well. Director of Arts and Administration, Julia Kemerer, remarks, “Heeyoung has been a fixture at Brushwood Center since we first saw her work.” Brushwood’s goals to deepen the public’s connection with the environment and support the health of both people and the planet are actualized with the presence of Heeyoung’s Botanical Art Academy. “The Academy has been one of the cornerstones of Brushwood Center’s programming since it began in 2012,” says Kemerer.
Heeyoung’s class provides her students with the opportunity to learn drawing and painting techniques, so they can build a strong foundation as artists, but furthermore, helps them build the confidence necessary to pursue art seriously if they choose. As the majority of her students found their way to art later in their lives, the former business people, lawyers, and doctors may not have labeled themselves as artists prior to showcasing their work. Julia Kemerer says, “One of