Nature Art Gallery presents Under The Microscope, artwork by Rosalynn Villaescusa, now through August 28

For immediate release ‐ August 08, 2016

Contact: Emelia Cowans, 919.707.9837. Images available upon request

Painting by Rosalynn Villaescusa.

RALEIGH — The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences’ Nature Art Gallery is currently featuring the artwork of North Carolina artist Rosalynn Villaescusa now through Sunday, August 28. The paintings included in Under the Microscope were completed in 2010.  Each oil painting was completed by observing magnified insects. Using the intricate detail in their forms allowed Villaescusa to render realistic, yet abstract paintings, in a process she calls “organic abstraction.”  Legs, hairs, compound eyes, and other anatomical features are displayed not as an illustration, but instead as artistic elements on their own without regard to function. Someone looking at the painting does not know what the whole insect looks like or what each insect is, but focuses on the detail of the composition according to abstracted anatomy.

In contrast, many of Villaescusa’s impeccably detailed illustrations were completed for a Biological Illustration class at NCSU in the spring of 2016. These works once again showcase her passion for nature, but this time for the purpose of knowledge. “Illustrating is used not as just an art form, but as a method of communication and teaching,” says Villaescusa. “In these works, the text and labels are just as important as the illustrations as tools that work together for learning.”

Villaescusa and her family moved from Utah to North Carolina when she was 11.  Transitioning to the South brought about a variety of changes, one of which was her discovery of the multitudes of insects and wildlife that resided in her backyard.  Seasons seemed to change according to the insect swarms, including ladybugs, cicadas, June bugs, Japanese beetles, stink bugs and more. While her interest in art and biology started in high school, her love of both made it logical to focus on combining the two in her work.  She studied art at UNC-G and NCSU.

The Nature Art Gallery is located on the top floor of the Museum Store (1st floor, main building). Store hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 4:45 p.m. All exhibited art is for sale.  For more information about the Nature Art Gallery, call 919.707.9854.

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (11 W. Jones St. and 121 W. Jones St.) in downtown Raleigh, is the state’s most visited cultural attraction. It is an active research institution that engages visitors of every age and stage of learning in the wonders of science and the natural world, drawing them into the intriguing fields of study that are critical to the future of North Carolina. Hours: Mon.- Sat., 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sun., noon-5 p.m. Admission is free. Visit the Museum on the Web at Emlyn Koster, PhD, Director; Susan Kluttz, Secretary, N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources; Pat McCrory, Governor.

The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. Led by Secretary Susan Kluttz, NCDNCR’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.

NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette’s Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C. Zoo, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit

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