By Amy Beck, marketing and communications manager
The opening of Birds in Art is just around the corner, and you have seventy-four reasons to visit the Woodson Art Museum bright and early on Saturday, September 8, 9 am – Noon.
Seventy-four of the 125 artists selected for the 2012 Birds in Art exhibition will travel – many from throughout the world – to be here for opening festivities. Fifteen will sculpt, draw, and paint during Artists in Action in the sculpture garden.
Watch these artists at work!
9:15 – 10:30 am: Ralph James, oil; Gene Reineking, stone; Sherrie York, woodblock; Wendy Brockman, watercolor and pencil; Julie Chapman, scratchboard; Sean Murtha, oil; Kristin Hosbein, acrylic; Hank Tyler, wood.
10:45 am – Noon: Dennis Boyd, oil; Clarence P. Cameron, stone; Miki Harder, clay; Paul Rhymer, wax; Peter Mathios, acrylic; Robert Bateman, oil, Karen Bondarchuk, charcoal.
Who can you expect to meet and ask to sign your Birds in Art catalogue? I’ve been culling artists’ demographics and narratives to prepare story ideas for media representatives; here’s a sampling of who you’ll meet. Take the opportunity to get acquainted and learn insights by asking questions about their artwork, process, and inspiration.
- International Artists – Eleven of the thirty-three international artists will travel to Wausau from seven different countries: Canada, Japan, England, Australia, Belgium, France, and Sweden.
- Many Master Artists – Ten of the nineteen who’ve been named Master Artists during previous Birds in Art exhibitions will be here, including two who were in the Museum’s inaugural exhibition in 1976: Guy Coheleach and Maynard Reece.
- Seven Wisconsinites – All seven Wisconsin artists will attend, and three are UW-Stevens Point graduates: Mike Anderson, Gene Reineking, and Todd Wohlt. First-time Birds in Art artist Kevin Kohlman is from LaCrosse. Other Wisconsin artists are Clarence Cameron, James Kiesow, and Don Rambadt.
- Artists who “paint with heat” – Three artists’ medium of choice is pyrography, or woodburning. Julie Bender travels from Colorado for the opening and again for her artist residency, Pyro-techniques, October 16 – 22. She joins Nobuko Kumasaka from Japan and Richard Painter from Tennessee.
- Art for a Cause – Two artists created artwork to raise awareness about bio-diversity and social issues:
Walter Matia’s sculpture shines the spotlight on commercial overharvesting of horseshoe crabs and the resulting decline in rufa red knot populations because horseshoe crab eggs are a crucial food source for these rufas during their northward migration through Delaware.
Nancy Howe’s oil painting of a Kuna woman in Panama is part of Howe’s cultural project “Painting a Brighter Future for Women,” which has benefited women worldwide since 2007.
- Swedish birder is back – Peter Elfman, who extended his first-time Wisconsin visit last year to go birding returns from Sweden with his keen ear and eye for bird identification.
- Indoor Bird Watching – What kind of birds can you expect to spot in the galleries? Lots of gulls! Ducks and owls are featured prominently, too, but this year gulls appear in artwork by Robert Bateman, John Busby, Ralph Grady James, Eugen Kisselmann, Elwin van der Kolk, and Juan Varela Simó.
What artists do you hope to meet? Set your alarm and reap the early-bird rewards by visiting the Woodson Art Museum, 9 am – Noon, on Saturday, September 8.