The Stark Museum of Art will host a presentation entitled Ultima’s Plants: Seeing the World with a Curandera’s Eyes by Mark “Merriwether” Vorderbruggen, Ph.D., Saturday, June 1, at 2:00 p.m. The presentation is included with regular admission to the Museum, which is located at 712 Green Avenue in Orange.

Vorderbruggen, an educator on edible and medicinal plants, will discuss plants featured in the novel Bless Me, Ultima along with the Stark Museum’s current exhibitions Wild Beauty: The New Mexico Setting and Practical Plants: Botanical Illustrations in Herbals. His talk will address myth and reality regarding the healing power of plants.

The event will begin in the Stark Museum with gallery tours, co-presented with Museum Curator, Sarah Boehme, Ph.D. It will continue with a slide presentation by Vorderbruggen in the Education Center, which is located at 812 Green Avenue. Light refreshments will be served, and visitors will have a chance to win a southwestern potted plant grown by horticulturalists at Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center.

Vorderbruggen gives classes and presentation on plants at the Houston Arboretum and other sites. He also maintains a website,

“The Museum is pleased to sponsor this presentation by Mark Vorderbruggen, who has developed an expertise in edible and medicinal plants and who will relate his knowledge to the Museum’s exhibitions in an entertaining talk,” commented Dr. Boehme. “We want to remind visitors that this will be one of the last opportunities to see Wild Beauty, as the exhibit closes on June 8. The program will also relate to the mini-exhibit, Practical Plants, which features illustrated rare books on plants.”

Both the upcoming presentation on Ultima’s Plants and the Museum’s current exhibitionWild Beauty are events associated with the Southeast Texas Big Read. The Big Read is a project of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage citizens to read for pleasure and enlightenment. The Stark Museum of Art is a non-recipient partner.

Practical Plants will be on view through Sept. 28. This mini-exhibit features botanical illustrations in publications known as herbals, books that describe plants and their practical uses. Three volumes from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are open to illustrations of medicinal and edible plants. Pages will be turned July 23 to exhibit different botanical illustrations

Located at 712 Green Avenue in Orange, Stark Museum of Art is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Admission is free for STARK Cultural Venues members. Admission fees for the Stark Museum of Art are $6 for adults; $5 for seniors (age 65 and up), students (with ID), and youth (age 10-17); $2 for children (age 4-9); and free for toddlers (age 3 and under). Group tours are available by advanced registration.

Pictured is Mark “Merriwether” Vorderbruggen, Ph.D.