about the masthead image
Kelly Marie Houle, 2013. "Treasure of the Beagle (detail)." Frontispiece of The Illuminated Origin of Species. Watercolor and Gold Foil on Paper. 22in x 30in.
The stunning artwork in this issue's header was produced by artist, teacher, and writer Kelly M. Houle, a graduate of English's Creative Writing Program (MFA 2005). The piece's title refers to the name of the ship—the HMS Beagle—which carried a young Charles Darwin around the world on a survey expedition. His observations from that journey would form the foundation of his groundbreaking scientific theories.
Houle is at work on a massive project illustrating Darwin's On the Origin of Species (1859). The goal is to produce an illuminated manuscript that pairs traditional calligraphy and painting with one of history's greatest works of scientific literature. Houle anticipates completing work on the edition by February 2019. You can check out progress on her website.