Reflections on Fall from 2021 AIR Laura Poulette

By Jenny Zeller

Laura Poulette engages the public through a mini plein-air botanical sketch workshop along the Nursery Loop Trail.

The return of the fall season brought the return of Laura Poulette, an artist and educator from Berea, Kentucky, who creates beautiful geographical and botanical studies. Laura is documenting Bernheim’s incredible plant diversity throughout all four seasons and plans to create large-scale drawings and paintings from her experience. Below are the artists’ reflections of her fall experience at Bernheim.

Seeds, twigs, fruits, pods, and nuts are just a few of the many inspirations Laura Poulette has documented this fall season at Bernheim.

I was recently at Bernheim for the fall week of my year-long, seasonal artist residency. As with my other visits, I spent much of my time sketching and painting, but I had a couple of unique opportunities to engage with other creative folks who are also inspired by Bernheim. One morning I taught a plein air botanical sketching workshop on the Nursery Loop Trail. I enjoyed sharing my love of drawing plants with a great group of students in an inspiring setting. I also participated in a gathering of regional artists in honor of Esther Callahan, Great Meadows Foundation’s 2021 Critic in Residence. It was stimulating to hear Esther’s perspective and learn about the creative work of other artists who share a tie to Bernheim.

I spent an afternoon in the archives looking through Bernheim’s herbarium. It was fascinating to pore over the large collection of pressed plants. I found it inspiring to see familiar plants in their pressed, preserved state and sketched several pressed plant specimens. I also made progress on my goal of hiking all 40+ miles of Bernheim’s trails during my residency year. Fall and winter are my favorite seasons to hike, and I did 22 miles over the course of the week. I’ve saved the 13-mile Millennium Trail for my winter residency. I’m going to be training for that one! Now that I’ve completed my third seasonal visit to Bernheim, I’ve begun pulling together all of the paintings, sketches and notes I’ve made in preparation for creating a series of artwork that encapsulates Bernheim’s botanical year.

I’m looking forward to my last visit coming up in December and adding the stark beauty of the winter woods to this work.

Stay tuned to learn more about Laura’s winter adventure and see how her creative work comes to fruition through her total immersion experience at Bernheim!


( window.MSReady = window.MSReady || [] ).push( function( $ ) {

“use strict”;
var masterslider_8af5 = new MasterSlider();

// slider controls
masterslider_8af5.control(‘arrows’ ,{ autohide:false, overVideo:true });
// slider setup
masterslider_8af5.setup(“MS65fd095548af5”, {
width : 800,
height : 800,
minHeight : 800,
space : 0,
start : 1,
grabCursor : true,
swipe : true,
mouse : true,
keyboard : false,
layout : “fillwidth”,
wheel : false,
autoplay : true,
loop : true,
shuffle : false,
preload : 0,
heightLimit : true,
autoHeight : false,
smoothHeight : true,
endPause : false,
overPause : true,
fillMode : “fill”,
centerControls : true,
startOnAppear : false,
layersMode : “center”,
autofillTarget : “”,
hideLayers : false,
fullscreenMargin: 0,
speed : 20,
dir : “h”,
responsive : true,
tabletWidth : 768,
tabletHeight : null,
phoneWidth : 480,
phoneHeight : null,
sizingReference : window,
parallaxMode : ‘swipe’,
view : “basic”

window.masterslider_instances = window.masterslider_instances || [];
window.masterslider_instances.push( masterslider_8af5 );


The Artist in Residence program has attracted artists from around the world who seek to use Bernheim as their inspiration. Established in 1980, this internationally renowned program annually awards artists the opportunity to live and create site-specific work inspired by their total immersion experience in the natural environment. Work created through the program allows our visitors to connect with nature in new and exciting ways.

Our Newsletter

Sign up for the Bernheim Buzz

Get the "buzz" of Bernheim activity weekly in your inbox by signing up below.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.