Ronald Aakjar, Jr., of Botany Bear Art in Plympton will finish a two-month run at the end of October at the Plympton Public Library where he has displayed his work. Stop in and see his unusually beautiful snippets from nature.
“Having grown up in a small town in Northwest Connecticut in a family of four, I’ve always had a love of nature and an enjoyment of the quiet places. As kids growing up, my brother and I didn’t have all the electronics kids have today. Our time was spent outdoors exploring the woods, lakes, and streams around our home.
“After graduating high school and spending several years in the military, I started my college journey and ended up going in a direction I hadn’t thought of going. I earned my degree in Biology with an emphasis on Plant Biology.”
Aakjar finished his Bachelor of Arts in Biology and went on to earn a Master’s degree in Botany. As a student, he learned to press plants in order to place them into an herbarium for preservation and it was through this process and seeing how artistic the plants looked after being pressed and dried that he decided to turn this inot an artful adventure.
It wasn’t until he was in my 30s that he met a local artist who was using her press in a different manner, using her press to flatten the plants but not dry them out. She was making it so she could use the leaves and other plant parts for Nature Printing. She used the various parts and printer’s ink to make beautiful relief prints. Aakjar was instantly enamored with the process.
After spending several years working as a horticulturist at a private estate in Bridgewater, CT, and working as an adjunct professor in Botany at Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury, CT, he found the full time job teaching biology labs for majors at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, MA, going from Bridgewater, CT to Bridgewater, MA. He has been teaching at BSU for eight years now and plans to retire from there.