Heeyoung Kim, botanical artist, instructor, native plant advocate
Wildflower painter, Heeyoung Kim, documents native plants of Midwestern prairies and woods. Rare and endangered ones are in her priority as plant population is rapidly decreasing globally. She creates detailed portrayals of each plant and its life cycle through keen observation and broad research throughout its growing seasons in natural habitats. Her paintings and drawings are distinguished with scientific accuracy, authentic composition, and masterful rendering of the medium. She has been building up a digital image bank from her artworks in her blog "Project 200". She set a goal to paint 200 native species and hope her art would be used for educating the public about native plants and nature conservation.
Her watercolor paintings of prairie plants were garnered with the most distinguished awards in the world, Gold Medal from Royal Horticultural Society, London (2012), Best in the Show from New Horticultural Society (2012) and Diane Bouchier Artist Award for Excellence in Botanical Art by the American Society of Botanical Artists in 2012.
These accolades lead her to invitation by the Prince's School of Traditional Art to participate in Transylvania Florilegium, the wildflower documentation project in Transylvania, Romania in 2013. Three of her watercolors have been selected for inclusion.
After her first solo exhibition at Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods in 2011, she quickly gained a reputation as a wildflower painter. Her story was featured in WTTW, Chicago Tonight as ''Rare Plant Painter", in June, 2015, and numerous local media.
Recently she spends more time in teaching in order to hand down the tradition of botanical art. Also she often collaborates with schools, Chicago Botanic Garden, and garden clubs to advocate the important role of plants to eco sustainability and our own existence.