Artist Rebecca Jabs explores wild places and spends hours bird-watching in Wisconsin. Her observations of the flora and fauna flourishing together in natural communities inspired her artwork for “Natural State” on exhibit in Steinhauer Trust Art Gallery at UW-Madison Arboretum Visitor Center, 1207 Seminole Highway.

“‘Natural State’ is a representation of Wisconsin’s natural communities, but it also documents a developing relationship with the state I call home,” Jabs said in a press release. “Familiarity can covertly prevent us from feeling a due sense of curiosity and interest. However, when we take time for careful observation, we find that a familiar environment tells compelling stories.”

A desire to learn the names and relationships between the plant and animal species she encounters inspires much of Jabs’ work, as well. It has been said that her work is an observation of nature with a hint of narrative.

As an artist and scientific illustrator, Jabs creates both large and small pieces using a variety of traditional and digital media. Her work with clients includes interpretive artwork and information graphics for publications and organizations along with fine art for private commissions.

Jabs graduated from the science illustration graduate program at California State University, Monterey Bay, Calif., in 2016. As an intern, she illustrated beetle specimens for the Systematic Entomology Lab at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

A resident of Manitowoc, Jabs is a member of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators and Manitowoc’s Lakeshore Artists Guild.

— Robyn Norton

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Robyn Norton is a features assistant for the Wisconsin State Journal.