Olivia Braida is founder of the Academy of Botanical Art, a division of OM Art Designs. As a Certified Botanical Artist, Ms. Braida has authored a book series entitled, “Ten Steps – A Course in Botanical Art, Volumes 1-12” which she has used to design the various classes that form the Academy’s Botanical Art Certificate Program. The botanical art lessons are designed to be sequential with each lesson building on the one before.
Ms. Braida’s course curriculum emphasizes developing strong drawing skills and an understanding of both watercolor and pen and ink which are considered the traditional media of the botanical artist. The entire program is designed to prepare the student for becoming a professional artist – whether it be for vocation or avocation.
Founder and Board President Emeritus of the Florida Society of Botanical Artists, Inc. (FSBA), Ms. Braida is delighted to expand the awareness of botanical art to both adults and young teens who may find the numerous opportunities connected with botanical art of great interest as they develop their drawing skills.
Ms. Braida's work has received many exhibition awards and publishing honors. She is a full member of the Copley Society of Artists in Boston, Massachusetts. Her work is featured in “TODAY’S BOTANICAL ARTISTS” by Cora B. Marcus and Libby Kyer, Schiffer Publishing 2008 and in “Kirpal Singh,His Grace Lives On” published by Ruhani Satsang 2001. She created a florilegia reflecting the biodiversity study in the Caribbean -- thirteen grand scale commissioned pieces now hang in the Cornell University’s Conference Center for Biodiversity and Medicinal Plants, in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Ms. Braida has been recognized by The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Research Division of Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh, by the purchase for their private collection of her original watercolor, “Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem’ #2 and the South Florida Museum in Bradenton, Florida by their acquisition of “Nelumbo Baby Doll’ a Dwarf White Lotus. She has developed a network of clients within the United States, the Caribbean, Europe, and Thailand. Ms. Braida is the founder and director of the Academy of Botanical Art. Her school, books, and teaching methods available through her Distance Learning Program attract students in the US, Canada, Europe, South America, Australia and Mexico.
A graduate of the State University of New York, Ms. Braida holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Art and a Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate from the New York Botanical Garden. She received her professional art training at SUNY Purchase, Pratt, the New York Art Students League, the New York Botanical Garden and studied under Master Painters Caesar Borgia and Anne Marie Evans in the New York and in the United Kingdom.
Ms. Braida also conducts travel workshops and offers distance learning both in the U.S. and abroad. She lives in Sarasota with her husband and other family members close by.
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