Welcome to the 2004 Annual GNSI Conference setting in charming Williamsburg, Virginia and hosted at the College of William and Mary, the 2nd oldest college in the U.S. The college was built in 1693 by King William III and Queen Mary II when the capital of the colony of Virginia was still Jamestowne. Thomas Jefferson enrolled in 1760 at the age of 16. Henry A. Kissenger succeeded Lady Margaret Thatcher as Chancellor of the college in 2001. Rolling green lawns, shade trees, lake Matoaka, ivy covered brick buildings, sunken gardens and cobblestone walkways abound. It is a college town that pleasantly merges the old with the new, a pedestrian haven. Street and locale names reflect the many cultures that created Williamsburg; French, Native American, African American and British.
This year’s setting is as important as the rich array of conference offerings as it was an entry point for the earliest expedition style artists, precursors to what many of us now call the beloved profession of scientific illustration. Multiple layers of complex human history coexist here. Today’s Williamsburg is a southern cultural mecca, a relaxed blend of olden days, fine art galleries, shops galore and restaurants in Merchant’s Square. Dine in the outdoor cafes and people watch, browse the shops, sit a spell on the many sidewalk benches. If you can’t go without your daily morning latte, head to the Bookstore for your favorite Starbucks concoction. Evenings are wonderful here and celebrated for the enjoyable long walks down wide Duke of Gloucester (DOG) street where no traffic is allowed. Some of the Colonial Williamsburg taverns have comfortable outdoor tables where you can enjoy a glass of your favorite beverage and feed birds under ivy covered arbors. This is the perfect setting to enjoy your new friendships and catch up with the old ones. If you choose an on-campus dorm stay, you’ll be glad you didn’t lose one precious minute with the special people that always attend our yearly gathering.
Try to do your traveling July 3rd, so you can get an early start on the July 4th reenactment festivities going on all day at Colonial Williamsburg (CW)...a 5 minute walk from your dorm! We have purposely left the entire day open until the 7-9pm Portfolio Sharing, then it’s off to the fireworks that start at 9:30pm sharp! Bring something waterproof to sit on. Admittance to CW grounds is free. You will need to purchase passes to enter historic buildings and take guided tours. Busch Gardens and Water Country USA are within 10 minutes of Williamsburg if you feel the need for more daring entertainment or just want to shift into higher gear.
This year’s keynote guests are going to knock our socks off .Traditional, Digital track speakers and workshops are mostly new, exciting, very current and applicable to daily experience as hard working science illustrators. We’re doing our best to get participants up close and personal with Virginia’s natural settings........think breezy river banks, sandy beaches, waterfowl galore, river boats, dogwoods, walking the 300 year old grounds of William & Mary, Colonial Williamsburg, flower gardens, fireworks! The core evening events will be hosted in fabulous spaces. Prepare to relax and engage all your senses. If you’ve never been to the east coast wetlands you’re in for a delectable treat. Williamsburg is a wonderful place to begin exploring the southeast. A gentle retreat situated amidst an impressive array of universities, colleges and research collaborations spanning the east coast.
The grand finale is also different from past conferences. Don’t miss out on this chance to join noted ecologist (bear wrangler) Dr. Harold Cones, an expert on all things flora and fauna along the eastern shores. This day long trip along the delicate North Carolina Outer Banks will be an educational treat as Dr. Cones regales us with all sorts of fascinating details about its life and history to date. Lighthouses and barrier island life, the migratory path for countless waterfowl, sea birds, bald eagles and the Atlantic Ocean make for an unforgettable day. It’s your choice to take part in the field sketching or just go along for the fun of it. A one-of-a-kind experience on an ecologically fragile scenic route.
2004 in Williamsburg Virginia is not to be missed! Get those travel plans started if you haven’t already. We’ve reserved 150 dorm rooms...first come, first served. Guild membership is not required to attend the conference, but membership offers substantial savings. So check in at the University Center lobby, get your room assignment, stow your gear and head outdoors for the free July 4th festivities. Bring a camera, comfy walking shoes, sunscreen and lightweight clothing to help with mild humidity. And don’t forget to pack something to donate to the GNSI auction! Proceeds go to the GNSI Education Fund.