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Student Art Exhibit: Medicinal Plant Illustrations of Yasuni National Park

Date: April 25, 2014 - May 13, 2014 Location: Watzek Library, 3rd floor

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Watzek Library, 3rd floor

Visit Watzek’s third floor to view Katie George’s (LC, 2014) series of drawings, which will be on display through May 9. While in Yasuni this spring, George documented a fraction of Yasuni’s medicinal plants in this series of watercolor and pencil illustrations.


Artist Statement:

Yasuni National Park, part of the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest, is argued to be the most biodiverse area of our planet. Yasuni’s wealth is not limited to its biodiversity of flora and fauna, as it also harbors an estimated 846 million barrels of oil. This past year, the drilling of Yasuni’s natural resources commenced, disrupting the once harmonious ecosystem. The president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, ensures his country and the global community that the drilling of Yasuni’s oil will be done in an environmentally safe fashion. However, extracting all of Yasuni’s oil will take approximately 10 years and introduce roads, habitat fragmentation, hazardous material, and elevated acoustics to a once pristine area of our world. 


The use of medicinal plants in Ecuador itself is astounding and Yasuni is home to a diverse array of these plants along with the people who use their unique medicinal properties daily. This spring, I traveled to Yasuni to document a fraction of the medicinal plants found in the park by creating illustrative renditions of the plants. With the help of a naturalist and native guide, we were able to successfully identify 23 medicinal plants. These plant illustrations serve as a reminder to what nature has provided us and what we have learned from the simplicities as well as the intricacies of our natural world. Many pharmaceuticals used today are derived from plants and other organisms and it goes without saying that much remains to be discovered. Through an artistic lens, I hope to capture and share my amazement towards Yasuni with the Lewis & Clark community.


All pieces are for sale and all proceeds will be donated to a conservation organization in Yasuni National Park.  Contact the artist at for more information


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