Focus on Nature (FON) is a biennial juried exhibit of art of nature and science illustration, begun in 1990. The exhibit  is organized and hosted by the New York State Museum in Albany. This year’s exhibit, FON XII, runs from April 28 to December 31, 2012.
Over five hundred entries were submitted, by 220 artists from 18 countries. Patricia Kernan of the NYSM called the quality of the artwork “spectacular, making the selection a challenge”.

Karen Reczuch, Loon

Four exhibitors are SONSI members: Kathryn Chorney, Emily Damstra, Dino Pulera, and Karen Reczuch. For an international exhibit, Southern Ontario is pretty well represented!

Some thoughts from the jurors (taken from the FON website):
“Focus on Nature began as an experiment. We sought to demonstrate the connection between science and images; stimulate an interest in natural history art among practicing artists, aspiring artists and the public; and bring this art to the attention of people attending what has come to be called the Northeast Natural History Conference. Those thoughts still guide the jury. We think our experiment has worked because visual communication, like a universal language, will always help scientists explain complex objects and concepts to a general audience.

Emily Damstra, Paraspirifer bownockeri

Dino Pulerà, Hammerhead skull, brain, dorsal view.

Kathryn Chorney, Great Horned Owl.

Over the years, the quality of submissions has improved, the kinds of materials and media used has expanded, and the geographic representation of artists has broadened. Artworks considered for inclusion must accurately represent the subjects, or research results and processes.