Camas and Chocolate Lillies at the Nation’s Capitol

American Camp with Camas and Chocolate Lillies - Nancy Spaulding pastel

American Camp with Camas and Chocolate Lillies – Nancy Spaulding pastel

Local artist Nancy Spaulding shares some good news…

Dear Tim,

I recently had one of my island landscapes accepted into a show at the National Botanical Garden in Washington D.C. In celebration of the National Parks 100th anniversary. The art on display showcases the native flora of our National Parks. My pastel represents American Camp with Camas and Chocolate Lilies.

I am submitting to you a photo of the piece and a press release with more information from the National Botanical Gardens.

Best regards!

And here’s the official press release: 

A new exhibit at the the United States Botanic Garden (USBG) in Washington, DC, displaying artworks depicting familiar, rare, and iconic plants and trees of America’s national parks includes a pastel by Nancy Spaulding depicting Camas and chocolate Lilies – a species found in San Juan Island National Historical Park

Flora of the National Parks opened Thursday, Feb. 18 at the USBG on the National Mall. Free and open to the public through Oct. 2, 2016, the exhibition features more than 80 illustrations, paintings, photographs, and other art forms ranging in size from intimate 12-inch pieces to large-scale, 7-foot dramatic panoramas that showcase key plant life in national parks across the country. The USBG is staging the show to mark this year’s centennial of the National Park Service (NPS) and to highlight the diversity of the nation’s flora protected within national parks.

Nancy’s 22” x 28” Camas and Chocolate Lilies was created as a dry pigment pastel.The artist lives in Friday Harbor Washington. She came to the island in 1978 and has created many images from the park over the years in her earlier silkscreen prints and now in her recent pastel paintings. She has led several “sketching in the field” workshops at the park sharing how she works and gathers inspiration.

She says “Walk in out the national world often. Honing in to the world around you with sketching tools or a camera can greatly increase your powers of observation and enrich your experience.”

Camas and Chocolate Lilies are much loved wild flowers by islanders and visitors alike. Blue Camas was once an important food source for Native American residents of the island. The native peoples periodically burned areas to insure habitat for the flowers . The park also maintains the prairies at American Camp where the flowers grow in the grasslands with sunshine that they require.

More detail about the art exhibit:
“We are thrilled to present this exhibit showcasing the biodiversity of plants and landscapes in our national parks,” said Ari Novy, United States Botanic Garden executive director. “Our mission is to connect people with plants. There is no substitution for actually experiencing plants alive in their native ecosystems. We hope this exhibit will inspire people to explore and value plants in their native habitats, especially at our amazing national parks.”

“From the giant sequoia of Yosemite National Park to the cypress of Everglades National Park, America’s national parks showcase the diversity of our nation’s plant species,” said Bob Vogel, National Park Service regional director. “We are pleased to partner with the U.S. Botanic Garden on this exhibit that celebrates the flora at our nation’s parks as we mark the centennial of the National Park Service.”

The show includes vegetation both rare and familiar in parks from Florida to Alaska and from Maine to Hawaii. The artworks represent national parks such as Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Manassas National Battlefield Park, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, Homestead National Monument of America, and Acadia National Park.

Among the many plant and tree species depicted are iconic flora such as giant sequoias, bald cypresses, saguaro cacti, mangroves, ghost orchids, and magnolias. Large graphics on the gallery floor also depict the ground surface in different national parks so that visitors “stand in” the plants’ and trees’ landscape as they move through the gallery. Plants from the U.S. Botanic Garden collection will accompany the exhibit.

Programs connected with the exhibit will be offered throughout the run, including botanical illustration and photography workshops, meet-the-artist programs to interact with the artists included in the exhibit, and lectures by national parks rangers and other flora experts from across the country.

The artworks were selected from among submissions by hundreds of artists last fall for the eight-month show, which is installed in the USBG Conservatory near the foot of the U.S. Capitol on the National Mall, 100 Maryland Ave. S.W., Washington, DC. The USBG is one of the oldest botanic gardens in North America, with more than one million visitors annually. More information about the exhibit, programs, and visiting the USBG is available at

Posted on March 25, 2016 at 5:55 am by

Categories: Around Here


  1. Congratulations, Nancy, on this major achievement. Your pastel of camas and chocolate lilies perfectly depicts our beloved island landscape in spring. Cheers to your long career of capturing the exquisite beauty of the archipelago. There’s no place like home!

    Comment by Susan Vernon on March 25, 2016 at 8:17 am
  2. What wonderful news! Congratulations, Nancy! Your pastel is gorgeous and I am so happy to hear of this honor for you.

    Comment by Robin Jacobson on March 25, 2016 at 8:41 am
  3. What a beautiful painting! Congratulations.

    Comment by Jennifer Sereda on March 25, 2016 at 9:03 am
  4. Thank you Tim for the fantastic press. Thank you friends for the continued support. Here is to our wonderful National Parks on their 100th birthday and here is to protecting habitat and diversity on our beautiful planet.

    Comment by Nancy Spaulding on March 25, 2016 at 12:48 pm

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