Carol Till unwraps a print for RARE Imperiled Plants of Colorado, a traveling exhibition of Colorado Rare Pants. The exhibit debuted at the Denver Botanic gardens and ran from March 7 to May 17. The exhibit is now open at the Steamboat Art Museum and will run until Sept. 30.

Photo by John F. Russell

Carol Till unwraps a print for RARE Imperiled Plants of Colorado, a traveling exhibition of Colorado Rare Pants. The exhibit debuted at the Denver Botanic gardens and ran from March 7 to May 17. The exhibit is now open at the Steamboat Art Museum and will run until Sept. 30.

Steamboat Art Museum exhibit highlights rare plants

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A rare reception

The Steamboat Art Museum hosts a reception for its summer shows, "RARE: Imperiled Plants of Colorado" and "The Wild Bunch," from 5 to 8 p.m. June 5. Regular museum hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 870-1755. The museum hosts a workshop on botanical art July 10 to 12 at the Yampa River Botanic Park.

To learn more about the Rocky Mountain chapter of the American Society of Botanical Artists, go to www.botanicalarti...

— Carol Till has been involved with the American Society of Botanical Artists for years, but it wasn't until she started working on a new art exhibit - "RARE: Imperiled Plants of Colorado" - that she realized the educational impact the group could have.

"RARE" includes 40 illustrations in traditional botanical style by 29 artists. The show is open now at Steamboat Art Museum this week, and it will be on display through Sept. 30.

The exhibit is a project of the Rocky Mountain Society of Botanical Artists and the Colorado Rare Plant Initiative; the initiative is working to develop a statewide conservation strategy for Colorado's native plants, according to its Web site. "RARE" spent time in Denver before coming to the mountains and will tour Durango and Manitou Springs in 2010.

"I didn't even know there were rare plants in Colorado before I started this project," Till said. There are about 400 species of rare plants in Colorado, and about 120 of those are listed as critically impaired, she said. "The whole point of having it tour the state and having it tie into all of these projects was to make people aware of these plants."

Steamboat Art Museum is partnering with a number of local nonprofit groups to raise awareness around the exhibit's subject. Educational displays will offer information about techniques used in botanical illustration, said Shirley Stocks, who handles exhibitions and acquisitions for the museum.

"RARE" is one of two plant-centric exhibits on display at the museum; "The Wild Bunch" includes mixed media depictions of Colorado wildflowers by Studio Botanica.

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