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201 W. Mifflin Street
Madison, WI


Jacki Whisenant

September - October 2018 RESidency

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Under the Lens

Large watercolor/mixed media paintings of tiny things, drawing attention to the smaller elements of the natural world that often go unnoticed.


Jacki Whisenant
is a scientific illustrator with a fondness for bats, beetles and other unsung ecological heroes.  As an artist and educator, she enjoys finding ways of celebrating the many facets of the natural world, and encouraging enthusiasm for all aspects of science, from the vast down to the very small.  Slowing down creates space to breath, sink your feet into the dirt, and notice small details of the surrounding environment. Each painting becomes a study in patience and the meditative practice of close observation.
A Madison native, she is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Entomology at UW-Madison, and holds a Master’s certificate in Science Illustration from the University of California - Monterey Bay. She delights in any opportunity to get outside, breathe the fresh air, and investigate tiny worlds hidden beneath logs and mosses.

Photo credit: Timothy Russell

Stop into the Bubbler Room to learn more about Jacki and why she is wild about the wild things in this world! Draw with her or take on your own interpretation of creatures real and unreal with various making materials.

Tuesdays from 6-8pm in the Bubbler
Wednesdays from 2-6pm in the Bubbler
Saturdays from 12:30 - 5pm in the Bubbler
Sundays from 2:30 - 5pm in the Bubbler
*No Open Studio: 11/12


Saturday Sept. 15 from 11:00 am - 12:30 pm: Tiny Things: the wondrous world of the very small  
All ages; max 12 participants; register here!
This workshop will use FoldScopes (lightweight, portable microscopes that use a smartphone and a stage to see microscopic views of small objects). There are so many amazing things to explore in this world, and it is easy to overlook ones that are seemingly insignificant. Through the lens a tiny seed becomes a sculpture, and a feather becomes a forest. We will take the opportunity to draw some of these objects and appreciate their unique shapes. If we're lucky, we may even find some water bears (Tardigrades)!

Saturday, Sept. 22 from  11:00 am - 12:30 pm: Botanical Drawing
All ages; max 12 participants; register here!
The classic subject of scientific illustration - plants have so many wonderful forms that it is a marvelous opportunity to investigate how different they can all be. With subjects fresh from the farmer's market, we will investigate flowers and their relationship with pollinators, and practice drawing cross section diagrams as well as watercolor painting.

Sunday, Sept. 30 from 1:00 - 2:30 pm:  Drawing Insects
Ages 16+; max 12 participants; register here!
Insects are one of the most numerous group of organisms on the earth, with some of the most amazing body shapes and forms! We will look at the differences between the major groups of insects and practice drawing them using FoldScopes to see some elements like legs up close

Sunday, Oct. 7 from  1:00 - 2:30 pm: On the Wing: Drawing Birds
Ages 10+; max 12 participants; register here!
Birds inspire the imagination, and this workshop will look at drawing the varied forms and beautiful colors of birds from around the world, as well as ones you may find in your own backyard.

Saturday Oct. 20 from 11:00 am - 12:30 pm:  Drawing Insects
Ages 16+; max 12 participants; register here!
This workshop will handle more delicate insect specimens for drawing insects - and we will work with the FoldScopes for higher detail drawing as well.

Saturday Oct. 27 from 11:00 am - 12:30 pm Creature Comparison - Skeletons!
All ages; max 12 participants; register here!
Just in time for Halloween, we will look at the fascinating structures within. Animals that look completely different on the outside all share a similar blueprint on the inside, and we are all more alike than we realize. We will look at basic skeletal anatomy and practice making our own skeletons of anything from badgers and giraffes to whales and even cartoon characters! Freehand or some guides will be available.

The Artist-in-Residence program, connecting artists to the community and the community to artists, is funded by Scooter Software, Inc.

The Artist-in-Residence program, connecting artists to the community and the community to artists, is funded by Scooter Software, Inc.