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Course Listing - by Instructor

Name Biography
Seda Anac Seda Anac is a ceramist and educator based in Brooklyn. She worked in the movie industry for many years before unexpectedly finding a new path in clay. She is an advocate for the use of clay as a medium for artistic expression and she is dedicated to helping others explore the many possibilities of the art form. She works with students of all ages to help them discover the joy of working with clay and to build their own creative projects. She also partners with local businesses to collaborate on unique, custom projects and host workshops. She is passionate about making clay accessible to everyone, and she hopes to inspire others to express their creativity through the medium of clay.
Damon Arrington Damon Arrington is a Landscape Designer whose work bridges science and architecture with art and community. Damon obtained a Master's in Landscape Architecture from the City College of New York where he was a scholar for the J. Max Center for Inclusion and Equity. His notable architecture projects include The Hills on Governors Island, Jamaica Bay Restoration Project and park spaces for The New York Housing Authority. His recent research and design intervention work in West Virginia's 'Chemical Valley' gained him an American Society of Landscape Architecture Honor Award. He currently teaches Landscape Design at New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx and at Cornell University.
Patrick Austin Patrick Austin is the plant propagator and nursery gardener at BBG. A former BBG propagation intern, he has an undergraduate degree in Linguistics, and is always interested in learning about how plants got their names. He has also worked at Greenbelt Native Plant Center, propagating native plant species for habitat restoration around the five boroughs.
Kayla Barthelme Kayla Barthelme is an herbalist, farmer, and garden designer based on the East End of Long Island. Her educational background is in conservation biology from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. A love of nature and working outdoors led her to pursue a career in sustainable agriculture and herbalism. She currently works part-time on organic farms growing food and herbs, designs and maintains gardens as a consultant, and runs her own business making small-batch herbal remedies and teaching people about the wonders of plants.
Elise Bernhardt Elise Bernhardt led nonprofit cultural organizations for over 30 years before she “reinvented” to follow her passion for flowers and start Fleur Elise Bkln. She brings her background as a dancer/choreographer and her studies of Ikebana (Japanese floral design) to her own designs. In her teaching, Bernhardt combines her experience building teams and her love affair with flowers. Her workshops are calm, creative, collaborative, and joyous.
Enid Braun Artist Enid Braun uses urban and nature landscape imagery in mixed-media drawing, pastel, and oil. She currently teaches private figure drawing in her Brooklyn studio and has taught for the Battery Park City Conservancy, the 92nd Street Y, and Cooper Union public programs. She recently taught week-long plein air workshops on Block Island, Rhode Island, and in the Adirondacks for the Tahawus Center in Au Sable Forks, New York, and has also been a visiting artist at the San Francisco Art Institute and at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. She received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and MFA from Pratt Institute. Check out her website for more information.
Nina Browne
Kwok Kay Choey Kwok Kay Choey is an artist and tai chi instructor. He received his art education in Singapore, New York, and Europe and is proficient in both Chinese and Western painting. He has led painting/calligraphy workshops at the Metropolitan Museum and at the American Museum of Natural History and taught at Queens College, Westchester Community College Center for the Arts, and elsewhere. A practitioner of tai chi/qi gong for more than 50 years, he often participates in tai chi seminars in Asia and has instructor certification in Tai Chi for Arthritis from the Dr. Paul Lam Tai Chi for Health Institute. He practices the Yang style, tracing tai chi's martial arts origins while emphasizing its health benefits.
Mary Christiansen Artist Mary Christiansen taught art at the Brearley School for 29 years and has also been an instructor in botanical art at the New York Botanical Garden, where she received a certificate in botanical art. She has exhibited her work in many juried group shows, including the American Society of Botanical Artists exhibitions at the New York Horticultural Society and at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, DC. Mary's artwork can be seen at . She is represented by Noho M55 Gallery in New York City.
Jibreel Cooper
Molly Culver Molly Culver is a farmer, educator, and floral designer based in Brooklyn. Her work in community food justice and farming began in the South Bronx with Just Food in 2005, and she later went on to work with many greening organizations in NYC, including GreenThumb, Earth Matter NY, and Green Guerillas. She holds a certificate in Ecological Horticulture from the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, UC-Santa Cruz and has worked as co-farm manager at the one-acre Youth Farm in Crown Heights since 2011, where she oversees crop production as well as farm education and training programs for adults. Molly is a cofounder of Farm School NYC, where she teaches growing soils and propagation courses, and runs her own sustainable floral design company, Molly Oliver Flowers.
Kim Eierman Specializing in ecological landscapes and native plants, Kim Eierman is a certified horticulturist through the American Society for Horticultural Science, master gardener, master naturalist, and accredited organic land care professional. In addition to BBG, she teaches at the New York Botanical Garden, the Native Plant Center at Westchester Community College (where she is also on the steering committee), and several other institutions. Kim is an active speaker on many ecological gardening topics and also provides horticultural consulting to homeowners and commercial clients.
Sara Epstein Sara Epstein manages BBG's school programs and partnerships and enjoys teaching and learning about plants with everyone.
Greg Frux A native of Brooklyn, artist Gregory Frux draws inspiration from both urban and wilderness landscapes. His cityscapes explore parks and gardens as well as industrial sites, and his wilderness work derives from are a lifetime of trekking internationally. He has been artist in residence in four national parks and worked as shipboard artist in north and south polar regions. His work is in the collections of Library of Congress, American Mountaineering Museum, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, NYC Department of Education, and National Park Service. Greg has also been an instructor at the Art Students League.
Arvolyn Hill Arvolyn Hill (she/her) is a community herbalist, flower essence practitioner, and outdoor educator with a never-ending curiosity about plants and the natural world. Raised on Schaghticoke land of rural Kent, Connecticut, her love of herbalism grew after the passing of several family members due to preventable environmental illness. She studied at Twin Star Connecticut’s School of Herbalism and Energetic Studies and in 2016 opened Gold Feather, an online apothecary and flower art shop. Arvolyn is passionate about reclaiming herbalism for BIPOC communities and using herbs to build ancestral connection. She’s the manager of the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden at the New York Botanical Garden, where she creates nature-centered science-exploration activities for kids. Arvolyn can be found growing herbs at her local community garden in Harlem or sharing herbal tips on Instagram @goldfeather_ Website:
Judith Hutton Judith Hutton has led workshops for educators at the New York Botanical Garden, Wave Hill, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the New York Hall of Science, Bank Street College of Education, and Lehman College. She has over 20 years of experience supporting educators in discovering how to use local urban nature in their classrooms.
Michelle Inciarrano Michelle Inciarrano and Katy Maslow, both born and bred Brooklyn artists, created Twig Terrariums in 2009, utilizing their backgrounds in design, marketing, horticulture, and botany. Their creations have been in many publications and shows, including The New York Times, The Nate Berkus Show, Garden Design Magazine, and Country Living. Twig has been awarded prizes in a variety of terrarium classes at the Philadelphia Flower Show and received an Honorable Mention at the New Jersey Flower Show.
Allison Maletz Allison Maletz is a contemporary watercolor and mixed media artist, with degrees from the Rhode Island School of Design and the Slade School of Fine Art, London. She has exhibited her work widely in Europe and the U.S. She has also taught people of all ages and currently leads classes in painting, drawing, illustration, installation, and professional practices for artists at Parsons School of Design, Marymount Manhattan College, and various continuing education courses in NYC.
Landon Newton Landon Newton is an artist and horticulturalist whose research-driven practice explores the participatory relationship between plants and people. Her work has been included in Frieze NY, WIENWOCHE, Vienna, Austria, CICA Museum, South Korea, EcoFutures: Deep Trash, London, UK, and Open Engagement, Queens Museum. She has received fellowships and residencies from Denniston Hill, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Studios at MASS MoCA, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Landon holds a BA from Smith College and an MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She works and gardens in Brooklyn.
Dawn Petter Dawn Petter teaches classes about the art of plant-based healing with the aim of making herbs and herbal medicine applicable to people's daily lives. She incorporates her training from Arbor Vitae School of Traditional Herbalism with her natural creative flare. In addition to teaching, Dawn works as a herbalist and flower-essence practitioner, leads herb walks, and runs an online apothecary shop called Petalune Herbals.
Rhiannon Platt Rhiannon Platt is at least third-generation fiber artist. Raised by seamstresses, crocheters, and fiber artists of all kinds, she picked up her first needle almost two decades ago. Since helping her mom sew holiday decorations, Rhiannon has gone on to fabricate for Lion Brand Yarn, Shakespeare in the Park, and the Philadelphia Ballet, and teach at the New York and Brooklyn Public Libraries and 92nd Street Y. In between commissions, she finds time to embroider the nature she sees while camping with her dog, Buddy.
Margarita Poulson Margarita Poulson, current Gardener of BBG's Water Garden and former curator of BBG's interior displays and Washington Avenue gardens, makes unique jewelry pieces using botanical materials, a passion she discovered and embraced as a Horticulture intern at BBG. She draws inspiration from the cultural traditions, folklore, and natural history of the seeds, bark, stems, and flowers she incorporates into her work. Margarita enjoys sharing and exploring her craft while teaching the Art of Botanical Jewelry Making at BBG and NYBG. You can find her work on Instagram @tainoseedsmith
Isa Rodrigues Isa Rodrigues (she/her) is a textile artist and educator currently based in Brooklyn and Lagos, Portugal. She works mostly with weaving and dyeing, inspired by natural phenomenas, handmade textile processes, and sustainable materials. She is also interested in art education as a means to create community and preserve material culture. Isa is a founding team of the Textile Arts Center (TAC), where she has worked as co-executive director for the last six years. From 2010 to 2016, she developed the project Sewing Seeds, creating and activating natural dye gardens in empty lots and community gardens in Brooklyn, and she’s currently a consultant for the Pratt’s Natural Dye Garden. Isa teaches weaving, natural dyeing, and other surface design techniques at TAC, RISD, Ox-Bow, Pratt Institute, and other venues.
Adele Rossetti Adele Rossetti is the illustrator of Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Discovery Garden interpretation consoles and a fellow of the BBG Florilegium Society. She has an MFA in painting and an MS in history of art, design, and architecture from Pratt Institute. She has taught art extensively and has received numerous honors and awards, including a 2016 Fulbright Scholarship. She is also a lecturer, scientific illustrator, private art tutor, and exhibiting artist.
Valerie Striar Valerie Striar has led walking meditation at the Garden since 2014 with the intention of supporting our interconnection and reverence for the earth. Valerie has cultivated a longtime practice of mindfulness meditation and is certified with the Inner Strength Foundation and Inward Bound Mindfulness Education for Teens, iBme. She has completed trainings with Lama Rod Owens, Tara Brach; Jack Kornfield; Mindful Schools (the eight-week MBSR training), Compassion Cultivation Training, created at Stanford University; and yoga and trauma-informed training with The Lineage Project, among others. She has taught yoga in the Iyengar tradition for over 25 years. Valerie is also a performing dance and theater artist and is a master practitioner, facilitator, and advisor with Narrative 4, an international organization that brings people together in story exchanges to foster empathy, understanding, and connection.
Mike Troy Brown
Kimberly Tryba As managing partner of international landscape practice Martha Schwartz Partners, Kimberly Tryba manages the strategic planning and global business development efforts for the firm's three offices in New York, London, and Shanghai. Active in ASLA since 2012, she's a board member of ASLA-NY and chairs its Advocacy Committee; she also cochaired the 2021 and 2022 NJASLA annual meetings. Kimberly sits on the board of NYSCLA and the steering committee of the PDC?s Designing New York: Streetscapes. A 2018 MLA graduate of Rutgers University, Kimberly also teaches landscape design at the New York Botanical Garden.
Heather Wolf Heather Wolf is a Brooklyn-based birder and author of Birding at the Bridge: In Search of Every Bird on the Brooklyn Waterfront. She works for Cornell Lab of Ornithology as a web developer for such sites as eBird and Birds of North America. Heather has taught birding classes at Brooklyn Brainery, given lectures for various organizations, including NYC Audubon and Brooklyn Public Library, and has led bird walks for Brooklyn Bridge Park, Washington Square Park Eco Projects, Florida Trail Association, and more. She blogs her photos at
Nsombi Woodson Nsombi Woodson is the founder of The Woodson Bloomery, an interactive floral art studio which teaches the artistic expression of floral design. Nsombi Woodson’s love of flowers began in childhood among the beautiful roses her grandmother grew in her Bronx backyard. Nsombi explains her artistic philosophy as “Trying very hard not to mess up what Mother Nature has given.” She loves demonstrating “the joyful, meditative, and restorative nature of floral design.” In her 20 year career, her floral designs have been featured in the Kips Bay Decorator Show House, Elle Decor Magazine, Southern Bride Magazine, Coveteur, and Architecture Digest.
Julianne Zaleta Julianne Zaleta is a professional herbalist, aromatherapist, and natural perfumer. As the proprietor of the Brooklyn-based Alchemologie Natural Perfume, she crafts artisanal and bespoke perfumes as well as aromatic and therapeutic remedies and elixirs for a wide variety of ailments. She is a certified aromatherapist as well as a licensed massage therapist and meditation teacher.