The Arts at MBG

Mobile Botanical Gardens offers a wide variety of programming!

From Derek Norman, our Botanical Art Instructor:

After you’ve cleaned out all of your closets several times, maybe, just maybe you may wish to consider a little painting & drawing. A momentary escape from your corona virus worries. Armed with pencil, paint brush and paper can take you to a world of calm and tranquility, one of peace and quiet - an opportunity to lift your spirits & enjoy the therapeutic benefits of unexpected relaxation.

Help us create MBG’s first virtual/actual botanical art exhibition. Draw and paint the flowers you have just purchased at the garden’s plant sale, or the plants in your garden or whatever botanical theme you choose to paint - it will all be part of The Art of Staying at Home exhibition!

And not forgetting the poets and writers of prose - send us your “brush with words” contributions!

Who can participate? Everyone! Young, old, experienced stick figure drawer, or DaVinci's competition, everyone is welcome to participate!

SUBMIT your own work

Mobile Botanical Gardens has a wonderful Botanical Art program that is lead by renowned botanical artist, Derek Norman. He is the former President of the American Society of Botanical Artists and his work can be found in collections ranging from the Library of Congress to the British Museum. Derek offers a wide variety of classes, including graphite, colored pencil, watercolor, pen and ink and more. For information on current classes being offered, please visit our Current Event page.

Garden Sketch Club
Interested in joining the fun? Come join us every Friday from 2-4pm for an afternoon of sketching in the Gardens. All levels of experience welcome! General admission applies for those who are not member of the Gardens.

Derek Norman and his wife, Ursel, are members of MBG and they are new to our Gulf Coast community, having moved here from Chicago. Derek was born, bred and educated in England before he moved to the States. His graphic works, paintings, drawings and botanical works have been exhibited in Europe and America. He has won Gold and Silver Gilt Medals at the Royal Horticultural Society in London and he is represented in many private and permanent collections including the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Pittsburgh, the Library of Congress, the British Museum and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Florilegium Society. Learn more about Derek here.




#drawMBG #gouache #botanicalart ...

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Come out and have fun at the Gardens! #chalkart #drawMBG #npgd #mobilealabama #gardenart ...

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Our Botanical artists are enjoying the beautiful weather. It’s a great day to paint! #mbgscene #drawMBG #botanicalgardens #botanicalart ...

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This is a great gift for the kids! A coloring book unique to the Mobile Botanical Gardens created by the Botanical Gardens artists. #coloringbook #botanicalart #drawmbg ...

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I loved making art this weekend at the National Public Gardens Celebration at the mobilebotanicalgardens. The wonderful team of volunteers made it all possible! Check out the many faces of Platanus occidentalis, Eastern Sycamore, I was ablento reveal thanks to their clever monoprint activity. #drawmbg #npgd #publicgardens #horticulture #botany #mbgscene #mbgscene1 #platanusoccidentalis #easternsycamore #easternplaintree #nature #natureart #monoprints #nationalpublicgardensday sday ...

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Creative Writing classes are lead by Dr. Sue Brannan Walker and Dr. Linda Busby Parker – whether you are just being to explore writing, or almost ready to publish, you will find inspiration and guidance in these writing classes! Sue teaches regularly on Wednesday mornings and Linda offers Thursday afternoon classes. For details on current offerings, please visit our Upcoming Events page.

Poetry by Moonlight is an annual poetry reading event held at the Gardens in the Fall. Organized by Sue Brannan Walker, and sponsored by the Carolyn W. Saunders Foundation, it has continued to grow in popularity since 2017. It’s a not to be missed event of the year!


About our Instructors:

Sue Walker (left) receives 2019 “Horace Ray Roberts Jr Award for Excellence in Writing”. Photo by Danny Moore

Sue Brannan Walker, Ph.D. is Professor Emerita at the University of South Alabama where she served as Chair of the Department and the Stokes Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing. She served as Poet Laureate of Alabama from 2003-2012 and has published eight books, including poetry and an award-winning book on the ecopoetics of James Dickey. Sue is the Publisher at Negative Capability Press, which has been publishing quality books and a journal for 39 years.

Linda Busby Parker, Ph.D. authored two novels: Seven Laurels (historical fiction set  during the Civil Rights Era in Alabama) and Oliver’s Song (upmarket fiction set in Mobile during Mardi Gras). Seven Laurels won the James Jones First Novel Award and the Langum Prize for the Historical Fiction. Her short stories appear in The San Diego Union Tribune, Mobile Press Register, 2nd and Church, and First Draft. She earned her PhD from the University of Michigan and her MFA from Spaulding University. She now teaches Creative Writing at the University of South Alabama and mentors in a low-residency writing program at Middle Tennessee State University. She serves as Publisher/Editor for a small press, Excalibur Press. This past summer (2019) she was selected as a contributor in nonfiction at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Linda’s current writing projects are in both fiction and nonfiction. Visit Linda’s blog here.

MBG Photographer in Residence Program

Elizabeth Gelineau is a member of the Gardens and a well regarded photographer in the area. As photographer in residence, Elizabeth will be our liaison for promoting and scheduling photo sessions at the Gardens. She will also be offering photography classes and other photography related events.

Learn more about this program here