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Upcoming and Current Exhibits

The Art of Symbiosis

Mann Library Gallery

Cornell University

September 5, 2023 - January 15, 2024

The natural world has evolved over billions of years by developing extraordinary relationships between different species and populations. These symbiotic relationships, both cooperative and destructive, demonstrate the importance of long-term partnerships for a healthy ecosystem. From mysterious microscopic organisms to amazing plant life, insects, and large mammals including humans, many species' survival is interdependent on one another. 


We invite you to view an exhibition featuring works by the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators - Finger Lakes Chapter. The exhibition brings art and science together to help us understand the importance of interconnectivity and how better-informed decisions will help address the challenges of biodiversity loss, food insecurity and environmental conservation. 

poster design: Jenny Leijonhufvud (c) 2023

Art of Symbiosis Posters_Screen landscape.jpg
Past Member Exhibits

Weird and Wonderful

Trumansburg Conservatory of Fine Arts

Opening reception Saturday, April 8, 2023 from 4-6pm with live music from the Maplewood Jazz Trio and refreshments. Open to all!

Show runs through May 12 with open gallery hours on Fridays and Sundays 1-5 pm.

This planet is weird and wonderful – from its geologic formations to the plants and animals that inhabit it.  The members of the Finger Lakes Chapter of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators would like to share with you, through their artwork, some of these organisms. Art is one of the earliest forms of communication, and illustrations continue to be an excellent way to share knowledge. Our artists hope you can appreciate the weird in this wonderful world.

Image at right: selection from "Cecropia Moth Transformation," Amy Maltzan (c) 2023

Captivated by Nature

Cumming Nature Center, Naples, NY

January 15 - April 17, 2022

What have you seen lately in Nature that captivated you—something that was so interesting you wanted to learn more about it? In this exhibit 22 artists share with you what they recently found captivating in the natural world. These artists pay close attention and work slowly as they study the subject. The subject holds their interest for hours! The shape, color, details discovered by close observation, all the additional information found in books and websites—all contribute to the artists’ attempt to share this captivation in an art form. 

poster design: Norman Frisch (c) 2021; cover art: "Winter Wren" by Sue Williams. Background design: enlargement of "A Walk In the Woods" by Carla Elizabeth.


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Drawn to the Water: Life In and Around the Waters of the Finger Lakes

Trumansburg Conservatory of Fine Arts

5 McLallen Street, Trumansburg, NY 14886

March 20 - May 21, 2021

The Finger Lakes region, sculpted by glaciers beginning two million years ago, is an area with an abundance of water. Creeks, ponds, marshes, vernal pools, springs, the Finger Lakes themselves, are home to thousands of living beings. For this exhibit, the members of the Finger Lakes Chapter of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators chose to depict some of the many animals and plants dependent on the waters that form these ecosystems. We hope the art you see will pique your curiosity!


The "Discover Cayuga Lake" Boat Project

Installed July 2021; currently viewable on the MV Teal


Members of the chapter have contributed illustrations of life in and around Cayuga Lake to the MV Teal, the Floating Classroom of the Discover Cayuga Lake Boat Tours.


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GNSI Finger Lakes Members Show

Trumansburg Conservatory of Fine Arts

5 McLallen Street, Trumansburg, NY 14886

February 22 - April 4, 2020

This show featured diverse works from group members in a variety of media. 

Life in the Waters of the Finger Lakes

Cumming Nature Center, Naples, NY

January 29 - November 15, 2020

Just about everyone has gazed out over our local Finger Lake’s waters to admire the birds and sunsets, but what is the life like under the surface? This exhibition of science illustrations will illuminate some of the mysteries beneath the Finger Lakes’ surface, shining a light upon a selection of the 50 species of fish, thousands of invertebrates, and numerous plants that inhabit them—as well as interactions between the flora and fauna above and below the surface. With maximum depths that range from 40 to 618 feet, the Finger Lakes may have had common geological origins, yet today each has unique ecological attributes and life. Let’s learn about the secrets from the great murky depths!

poster design: Norman Frisch (c) 2020; cover art: "Common Diatoms of the Fingers Lakes" by Amy Maltzan, (c) 2020.


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A Brush with Nature

Cumming Nature Center, Naples, NY

January 23 – April 14, 2019

Opening reception: Sat, March 23, 9am -1pm
GNSI Finger Lakes Member Show


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Worth a Thousand Words: The How and Why of Scientific Illustration

Mann Library, 2nd floor, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

February 2 - March 31, 2019

Our quest for knowledge about the natural world is an intrinsic part of our humanity.  From the first cave-paintings to the most advanced computer illustrations of today, art has served to clarify and codify our scientific knowledge. Scientific illustrators translate complex facts into pictures, creating images that aid in the understanding of science and nature. With this new winter exhibit at Mann Library, we invite you to come inside from the cold to enjoy the world of science and art, featuring pieces by the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators - Finger Lakes Chapter.

poster design: Jenny Leijonhufvud (c) 2019


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Elusives: The Natural World We Seldom See

The natural world holds many secrets! How much are we missing, as we go about our daily lives? Organisms, big and small, are actively pursuing life unknown to us—growing and feeding, sending down roots, rearing young, establishing territories or moving to new areas—sometimes at night, perhaps in the dark forest or underwater, even under our feet. Our exhibit showcases the creatures and plants that live in the shadows, under rocks, and in the depths of the water or the woods. Each artist has chosen species and behaviors that fascinated her or him, and we hope that you will be equally fascinated! 

The show opened at Cumming Nature Center in Naples, NY, on March 2018. It moved to Beaver Lake Nature Center, in May and June of 2018, with a Meet and Sketch with the Artists event on June 17th. 

The exhibit will be at Lifelong at 119 W Court St in Ithaca, NY, through November and December 2018.  The opening at Lifelong is on Nov. 2, 5-8pm, as part of Gallery Night in Ithaca.

poster design: Norman Frisch (c) 2018


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Beauty in What We See

A sampling of the nature-themed artwork of our chapter, featuring the work of 13 artists.

The exhibition was held at the Cumming Nature Center in Naples, NY, from February 6-May 14th, 2017.  On March 1, 2017, we had a "Meet and sketch with the artists" day at the Nature Center, and invited the public to sketch along with us!

poster design: Norman Frisch (c) 2017); cover art: "Black-footed ferret" by Shirley Hogg, (c) 2016


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Weeds: Untamed Wonders

A selection of the wild and weedy!  In our show, Weeds: Untamed Wonders, artists from the Finger Lakes Chapter of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators painted some of their “favorite” weeds of the northeast.  We explained what makes a weed a weed, included fun facts about native weeds, and provided helpful information about invasive plants which endanger local plant communities.

The show appeared at the Boyce Thompson Institute on the Cornell University campus, the Cumming Nature Center in Naples, NY, and the Cornell Botanic Gardens in Ithaca, NY in 2016 and 2017.

painting at right: "Grecian Foxglove" by Elizabeth Morales, (c) 2016


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Marsh Madness

We presented our illustrations of the flora and fauna of New York State Wetlands in our exhibition, Marsh Madness.  Our art was accompanied by Daniel Elswits's photographs of wetlands in Upstate NY and the Adirondacks.  This travelling exhibition was  on view during 2013 and 2014 at the Cumming Nature Center in Naples, NY; the Cornell Lab of Ornithology; the Community School of Music and Art in Ithaca, NY; the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge; Lime Hollow Nature Preserve in Cortland, NY, and Kendal of Ithaca (NY).  

painting at right:  "Skunk Cabbage" by Gretchen Halpert, (c) 2013

The Sweet Voiced Bird Has Flown: Portraits of Common Birds in Decline

A Project of the Finger Lakes Chapter of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators in collaboration with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology 2009-2010.  

See our paintings at

painting at right: "Eastern meadowlark" by Camille Doucet, (c) 2009

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