Florilegium exhibit opens Thursday for one-week run

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kathy Giovinazzo points out the completed leaves of the Tambourissa peltata piece she’s working on Tuesday at the National Tropical Botanical Garden Education Center in Kalaheo. Giovinazzo said if she worked a 40-hour week, the piece would take a week and a half to complete.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Florilegium artists Joan Luzney and Kathy Giovinazzo work on side projects taking their minds off their respective main projects Tuesday at the National Tropical Botanical Garden Education Center.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Esther Carpi, a participating Florilegium artist, works on a Meyers lemon illustration because someone brought some in from a neighbor, Tuesday at the National Tropical Botanical Garden Education Center in Kalaheo.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Wendy Hollender, the Florilegium instructor, works on a sapote project, the soft, edible fruit to her left, Tuesday at the National Tropical Botanical Garden Education Center in Kalaheo.

The National Tropical Botanical Garden Florilegium Art Show 2022 opens Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the NTBG South Shore Visitor Center on Lawa‘i Road in Kukui‘ula, coinciding with the visitor center’s weekly Aloha Market that runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Closed on Sunday and Monday, Florilegium continues through March 3, the closing date coinciding with the market that offers a variety of items from fresh fruits and vegetables to jewelry, food and entertainment at the visitor center. Florilegium also offers shoppers an opportunity to view and purchase prints, with proceeds supporting the NTBG science and conservation programs.

With the advances in digital technology, these prints are scanned and the files made available to a variety of people who do everything from printing to apparel, greeting cards, and more-exotic items like smartphone cases.

“Some of the original prints are acquired by the National Tropical Botanical Garden and auctioned off during its annual fundraisers,” said Wendy Hollender, described by Jon Letman of NTBG as a long-time NTBG partner and botanical illustration instructor/author. “It’s all to benefit the NTBG. Some of the pieces are used by NTBG as plant markers, and more.”

Florilegium is a group of botanical illustrators and artists gathered by instructor Hollender of Draw Botanical who gather at the NTBG Education Center in Kalaheo to explore, study, observe and document Kaua‘i’s unique native and introduced flora through illustration.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Florilegium has not appeared for nearly two years, this year’s event marking the return of the popular exhibit.

“Some of us were here earlier for the NTBG workshops,” said Joan Luzney, one of the participating artists at Florilegium. “Today we were invited to come here to work on some of our pieces.”

Hollender said artists participating in the exhibition come from all over.

“Kaua‘i, the other parts of the state,” Hollender said. “They are from all over the mainland, Canada, and even around the world. Obviously, we can’t have the artists from Japan and Australia here this year because of the travel restrictions. These artists are all accomplished people. They don’t need an instructor. In fact, some of them are instructors where they come from.”

Tuesday, Hollender and a group of artists worked on projects at the NTBG Education Center.

“Obviously, this sapote won’t be part of this year’s show,” Hollender said. “But I like working on edibles, and the sapote is one of the edible plants.”

For those who are unable to view the collection in person, visit the NTBG website at ntbg.org, and follow the “events” tab to the Florilegium event to view the variety of items ranging from gift cards, apparel and the exotic smartphone cases available.


Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.