As a nature illustrator, environmental educator, and author, Zebith Thalden aims to inspire a deep engagement with the natural world, rich celebration of the unknown, ecological stewardship, and a connection through shared wonderment. Her creative practice is devoted to honoring insects, botanicals, amphibians, and other biological treasures. While at PLAYA, she is focusing on the survival, adaptability, and habitat of flora and fauna either adjacent to or nestled within human culture. Through place-based inquiry and highly detailed 2-dimensional works, she presents species that are thriving in, struggling with, or missing from the shared landscape. Each piece is influenced by the inhabitants of the land, extensive research, conversations (with conservationists and others), and on-site observation.
In addition to PLAYA, she has been invited to artist residencies at Zion National Park and Ayatana Artists’ Research Program. It has also been an honor to have her artwork featured in solo and group exhibitions in galleries, cultural centers, and art museums throughout the United States and abroad, including the CICA Museum in Gimpo-si, South Korea; American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington DC; the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh; the Annmarie Sculpture Garden in Dowell, Maryland; and the Sitka Center for Art & Ecology in Portland, Oregon. She earned an MFA at Goddard College and a BFA at the Rhode Island School of Design. Her textbook, The Butterfly Artist: How to Observe, Draw, and Paint the Fascinating World of Insects will be published by Timber Press in 2023.