The heralding of autumn means that a few of those falling leaves are bound to find their way between the pages of an heirloom book, pressed onto a schoolchild’s classroom art project — or, if they’re especially fortunate, featured on national TV or in a gallery show as part of the work of Laura Bethmann.
To say that the South Jersey artist (and certified master gardener) “employs nature-based themes” in her watercolor paintings and ink/acrylic prints is to deny the deep harmony and symbiosis between the natural world, and its “more observant than the av-er-age bear” chronicler in color and texture. In addition to her fancifully and fantastically detailed studies of herbs and flowers, the author of Hand Printing from Nature specializes in collages that radiate from contact prints of leaves, fruits, vegetables, feathers, hair and other “found” materials from Nature’s hobby-lobby.
This Sunday, September 21, the Monmouth Museum (on the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College) hosts a free and public-welcome opening reception for a solo show of Bethmann’s work — part of the Emerging NJ Artists series at the building’s Nilson Gallery. The artist is expected to be present during the reception that runs between 4 and 6 pm — and that’s not all that’s going on around the halls and walls of the Museum.