Aquatic Artist

Fishes of Wisconsin: The sunfish family

University of Wisconsin Zoological Museum

Kandis Elliot.

Kandis Elliot. Photo: Bryce Richter.

Scientific illustrator Kandis Elliot ’70, MS’79 spent decades drawing plants and their anatomy for the UW’s botany department. Now retired, Elliot is on a mission to accurately document the inhabitants of the state’s more than 15,000 lakes, rivers, and streams. Her efforts include an epic 13-foot-by-44-inch poster that depicts all 183 species of Wisconsin fish in life-size scale. The smallest is the one-inch least darter and the largest is the six-foot-long lake sturgeon. “I insist on making them life-size. It’s visual information, a sense of wonder, that you can’t get from just numbers,” says Elliot, who’s been working on the project for the past two years. Elliot uses a special wide-format printer purchased with her own money to create the posters. “The idea behind the posters is to create a splash,” she says. “There is a wow factor. We want people, especially kids, to have an awareness of all our fishes, not just hook-and-line species.” Elliot’s series of ten posters is being sold to support the University of Wisconsin Zoological Museum. Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium was among the first buyers.

Published in the Winter 2015 issue

Tags: Arts, Science

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