Birds, in my mind, are true works of art. I still cannot believe that Scarlet Tanagers can be so red, or that a Painted Bunting can possibly have such a rainbow of plumage, or that sparrows come in such rich, subtle shades of brown. And beyond the incredible palette of colors, there's the delicate anatomy, the songs, and the magic of flight. True art, indeed.
So what better way to celebrate the beauty of birds than with an art show dedicated solely to avian artwork?
Each autumn, the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin, does just that with the Birds in Art exhibition. Dozens of artists from around the globe are chosen to display their original paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures. And the work is nothing short of incredible.
Take, for example, the bronze sculpture of this year's Master Wildlife Artist, Walter Matia. Two of Matia's pieces permanently grace the grounds of the museum: his Great Blue Heron fountain, and Three Wild Turkeys sculpture, near the main entrance (pictured below). And at this year's show, you can see a dozen of his detailed bronze pieces, featuring the Long-billed Curlew, Green-winged Teal, Whooping Crane (pictured here), and more. (We featured last year's Master Wildlife Artist, the wonderful printmaker Andrea Rich, in our October 2006 issue.)
Birds in Art runs from September 8-November 11, 2007. Exhibition hours and directions to the museum are available online at www.lywam.org. If you can't make it to Wisconsin to see Matia's artwork in person, look for his sculptures at locations across the country, including the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Houston's Reliant Stadium, and Merrill Lynch offices in Florida, New Jersey, and Colorado. – J.E.