Birds in Art

Robert Seabeck, Heron in Kyoto, 2005, Oil on fabric on hardboard
WAUSAU, WISCONSIN: If a long-running Broadway play is said to have “legs,” it follows logically that a long-running exhibition devoted to bird-themed art can be described as having “wings.”

“Birds in Art,” the flagship exhibition of the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin, has wings and a whole lot more. Having first taken flight in 1976, the exhibition celebrates its thirtieth birthday in 2005 from September 10 through November 13.

As in its previous twenty-nine outings, “Birds in Art” again offers fresh looks and stop-in-your-tracks peeks into bird life from around the world. An eclectic mix of 126 paintings, works on paper, and sculptures created by 115 global artists comprise the 2005 exhibition. With this number of artists comes varied artistic styles as well as a smattering of whimsy and sass in keeping with “Birds in Art” having reached official Gen-X status.

The international flavor that has marked the exhibition since the mid-1980s continues in 2005 thanks to artists who hail from Belgium, England, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden in addition to Canada and the United States. Wisconsin is represented by painter S.V. Medaris (Mount Horeb) and sculptors Clarence Cameron (Madison), Boleslaw Kochanowski (Junction City), Jim Ramsdell (Bayfield), and Todd Wohlt (Appleton).

Nancy Howe, a painter who resides in Dorset, Vermont, is the honored Master Wildlife Artist. As the Master, she is represented with twelve works, none previously exhibited at the Woodson Art Museum and two completed expressly for this year’s exhibition. Howe previously has exhibited in “Birds in Art” twelve times and is the second female to be honored as a Master by the Woodson.

The public is invited to “Meet the Flockers” from 9 am-noon on Saturday, September 10, when more than 70 exhibiting artists who have flocked to Wausau will be on hand to mark the exhibition opening. At 10 am Nancy Howe presents “Lost and Found,” a discussion of how her willingness to get lost in her work allows her to find true art from within.

A 134-page full-color catalogue documenting every work in “Birds in Art” is available from the museum.