Instructor’s Bios

Marilyn Garber is the founder of the Minnesota School of Botanical Art, Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is a Past-President of the American Society of Botanical Artists. Her work has been exhibited at the Royal Horticultural Society in London, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama City, Panama, the Queen Sirikit Royal Botanical Garden in Thailand, the Dahlem Botanical Garden and Museum in Berlin, Germany, the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, New York, the Bell Museum of Natural HIstory and the Science Museum of Minnesota.


Kathy Creger is a botanical artist and an avid orchid collector. She is the Past President of the Minnesota Orchid Society and judge for the Orchid Society of America. Kathy’s work has been exhibited at the Weisman Museum, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and the Royal Horticultural Society in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she was awarded a silver-gilt medal. Her illustrations are included in several publications.


In the fall of 2009, Ronda Dick took her first botanical class through the Minnesota School of Botanical Art and fell in love with this art form. It was a perfect fit of merging her love of art, plants and nature. She has continued to take classes and show her work through the Minnesota School of Botanical Art, Great River Chapter, Eloise Butler Florilegium, and Flora and Fauna at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Ronda is an avid gardener and enjoyed sharing information about plants for 15 years as a Minnesota Master Gardener. She holds a bachelor and masters in art education and just retired from teaching art in the public schools.

Nancy GehrigSM

Nancy Gehrig is from the rural Midwest and loved drawing from early on which led to a degree in Fine Arts. Her career started in medical illustration and graphic design. Owning a small hobby farm developed her passion for botany and the natural world. Nancy has shown with the Royal Horticultural Society and her work has been including in exhibitions at the New York Botanical Garden, the ASBA.HSNY International Exhibit, the Phoenix Art Museum, the Gallery at Fioli in Woodside, California, with the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators and regionally in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin.


Lynne Gildensoph is a Professor of Biology of St. Catherine Univeristy, where she has been a member of the faculty since 1993. She regularly teaches plant biology and plant physiology courses, and has recently jointly designed and taught a class, call the Art of Biology, with an art colleague. She has been taking classes at the Minnesota School of Botanical Art for a number of years in order to connect more closely with plants and to gain an art perspective on the subjects of her research.

Jane Hancock

Jane Hancock took her first botanical art class on a whim the year that the Minnesota School of Botanical Art was founded, and she gradually fell in love with the art form. The challenge of rendering plant forms accurately and beautifully is fascinating and endless. Jane holds a bachelor degree in French and a doctorate in art history; for many years she taught evening art history classes at the University of Minnesota. Visiting art museums is still one of her favorite activities. Since retiring from an administrative job at the U of M she has focused on creating botanical art. Jane has exhibited in juried exhibitions with the American Society of Botanical Artists (Annual International, 2016, 2020; Triennial, 2020-21), the Annual Botanical Exhibition at Fioli, the Minnetonka Center for the Arts, the Minnesota State Fair, and many exhibitions of the Great River Chapter of the ASBA and the Minnesota School of Botanical Art. Her art is in private collections and in the Florilegium of the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden.

Ben Lander

Ben Lander’s passion for both art and nature began quite early and was fostered through many years of summer camp in upstate New York. After earning an MFA in both sculpture and drawing at the University of Colorado, he embarked on successive careers in custom cabinetmaking, freelance commercial illustration, and museum exhibit design. His discovery of the Minnesota School of Botanical Art in 2011 was a return to his roots, studying for many years before joining the school as an instructor. Ben’s work has been exhibited regularly in Minnesota as well as in Wisconsin, Michigan and Colorado. He is a past president of the Great River Chapter of the American Society of Botanical Artists and is a member of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators. Recently he became a certified Master Gardener in Southern California, where he spends the winter.


Linda Medved Lufkin earned her Bachelor of Art degree in painting from Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine, specializing in figures in oils. After graduating from college she worked as a fine art framer, cook, and baker. While developing her skills in the quilt arts, dying fabric and gardening, she then moved into a fifteen-year career at Wanda, Inc. as a decorative painter in and around the Twin Cities area. She specialized in painting murals, nurseries, children’s rooms and floral details. Linda is now learning everything she can about the world of botanical art and began studying at the Minnesota School of Botanical Art in 2014 and feels that she has found a home that fits her painting style, her love of nature, of light on form and her love of the small details that make a painting come to life. Her work has been shown at the MSBA Biennial at the Bakken Museum, the Great River Chapter Inspired by Nature exhibit. She received an Honorable Mention Award from the American Society of Botanical Artists in 2015. She is a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists and the Great River Chapter of the ASBA.

julie at Monterey 5-04

Julie Martinez is a free-lance scientific illustrator specializing in the areas of natural history and medical illustration. She received her degree in fine art and biology at the University of Wisconsin. Her work appears in numerous publications.


Pat Robinson Schmidt is a botanical artist and a jewelry maker. Her work history includes teaching art to elementary school children. Since retired, she creates and hand engraves her silver and gold jewelry pieces using botanical drawings and designs, making her work truly unique. Favorite 2-D media include transparent watercolor and graphite.

Scott Stapleton 13 Aug 2023

Scott Stapleton took his first class at MSBA in Nov., 2014. It felt like coming home. Fifty years earlier, he had set out to be an artist, studying drawing and printmaking at the University of Chicago, only to find that future stymied. It wasn’t until after his work as an art librarian and a pastor that he stumbled upon Marilyn Garber’s color theory class and everything came into focus. He’s been a past president of the ASBA Great River Chapter of Botanical Artists, the discussion leader of the “Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and the Rewards) of Artmaking” series at the MSBA, a lecturer and teacher at the school, a frequent contributor to The Botanical Artist, and too infrequently, a maker of carefully crafted works of botanical art.

Tim Voigts is a freelance graphic designer and illustrator who has worked in the Twin Cities for the last twenty years. He received his degree in fine art at the University of Iowa. His interests include native plants and plant communities. Tim is a member of the Minnesota Native Plant Society.