GROW YOUR SKILLS. EXPAND YOUR NETWORK. INSPIRE CURIOSITY.
by Hannah Martin Lawrenz
Each summer, the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators hosts a fun-filled week for artists, scientists, and educators from across the nation. The GNSI Annual Conference offers endless opportunities for brainstorming, professional development, and sharing local attractions alongside some of the brightest individuals in our field.
With 160–200 attendees, every event provides enough diversity to catalyze great conversations and address different skill levels and interests while ensuring a comfortable environment for interacting and networking.
The conference opens on Sunday evening with dynamic portfolio sharing and a meet-and-greet reception, followed by core programs from Monday to Wednesday and workshops/fieldtrips from Thursday to Saturday.
Core sessions include:
- Keynote address – field influencers share innovations and challenges.
- Programs – on-trend topics include business strategy, legal tips, and technique.
- Members exhibit/reception – engage with peers’ work in a juried show.
- Business meeting – listen to Board reports and participate in Guild affairs.
- Banquet – experience locally inspired cuisine.
- Auction – bid on new art pieces, publications, materials, and more.
Bonus opportunities for relaxing and honing your skills involve:
- Workshops – learn digital, traditional, and off-beat media in a hands-on format.
- Field trips – visit natural attractions nearby (e.g. preserves, parks, museums, arboretums).
Each conference happens in a different U.S. city, alternating between East and West Coast and mid-country. Look below to check out some of our past locations. (Fun fact: In 2000, 150 American illustrators flew to Portugal to experience our first international destination.)
University accommodations offer a relaxed environment with top-line facilities, including affordable dorm-style lodging and plenty of time to discuss your favorite topics over meals in the cafeteria.
Some Guild members have attended conferences for over 20 years, enjoying the ability to catch up with friends and colleagues, find new inspiration, and grow their knowledge of the science illustration field. New members and budding professionals also appreciate the conference’s welcoming atmosphere and rewarding career insights.
Each conference features a juried exhibition of members’ achievements, even if they can’t attend the event. Check out the web gallery of past submissions.
Sample our sessions by searching #GNSIconf on Twitter and Facebook or viewing several plenary talks on the Guild’s YouTube channel. For conference registration and additional info, please see our most recent conference FAQ.
2018 GNSI Conference will be in Washington DC, July 15-21, 2018
The 2018 Conference registration site will be activated in December of 2017.
Visit Past Conference Sites:
2017 - Ashville, North Carolina
2016 - Santa Cruz, California
2015 - Glenside, Pennsylvania
2014 - Boulder, Colorado
2013 - Bar Harbor, Maine
2012 - Savannah, Georgia
2011 - Olympia, Washington
2010 - Raleigh, North Carolina
2009 - Fort Kent, Maine
2008 - Ithaca, New York
2007 - Montana State University, Bozeman
2006 - University of Madison, Wisconsin
2005 - Bar Harbor, Maine
2004 - Williamsburg, Virginia
2003 - Denver, Colorado
2002 - Lawrence, Kansas
2001 - Bar Harbor, Maine
2000 - Évora, Portugal
1999 - Richland, Washington
1998 - Iowa State University at Ames, Iowa
1997 - University of California at Santa Cruz, CA
1996 - Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
1995 - Northern Arizona University at Flagstaff
1994 - Stouffer Hotel, Orlando, Florida (World Congress on Biomedical Communications)
1993 - Western Washington University at Bellingham
1992 - Univ. of Southern Colorado, Pueblo, CO
1991 - Duke Univ., Durham, NC
1990 - Univ. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
1989 - UC at Santa Barbara, CA
1988 - Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO
1987 - University of Georgia, Athens, GA
1986 - Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
1985 - University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
1984 - RISD - Providence, Rhode Island
1983 - Ann Arbor, Michigan
1982 - Seattle, Washington
1981 - Gainesville, Florida
1980 - Savannah, Georgia (at AMI-BlO '80)
1979 - Hunt Botanical Library, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA