Birds in Art 2020 at Woodson Art Museum this fall
For the City Times
WAUSAU – Artwork from 114 artists from throughout the world will be included in the 45th annual “Birds in Art” exhibition, opening Sept. 12, at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. This year, 510 artists submitted 830 artworks for consideration by the three-person jury.
The exhibition includes artwork by the Museum’s 2020 Master Artist Timothy David Mayhew, 22 who were named Master Artists during previous “Birds in Art” exhibitions, and 91 artists whose work was selected by the jury. “Birds in Art,” which presents original paintings, sculptures, and graphics created within the last three years by worldwide artists, once again celebrates avian marvels through fresh artistic interpretations.
As a COVID-19 precaution, all “Birds in Art” opening-day festivities are suspended; there will be no Master Artist Talk and no Artists in Action on Saturday morning. The museum’s extended opening-weekend hours are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sept. 12 and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sept. 13.
“Birds in Art” 2020 remains on view through Nov. 29.
“Ever inspired by avian muses, “Birds in Art” 2020 artists took cues from birds’ behavior and some incorporated quarantine themes, too,” a museum release said. “While Karen Bondarchuk drew parallels in her ‘Cache ‘n’ Carry’ charcoal of blue jays competing at the feeder, much like shoppers at grocery stores last spring, Sherrie York’s linocut ‘A Tern of the Tide’ features a solitary seabird, underscoring the importance of quiet moments alone but also of community. David Milton took a whimsical approach, while Nancy Howe used circling crows to convey its ominous nature. In Claire Duncan’s painting of white pelicans, one bold bird swivels to lead the swimming flock out of the advancing shadows, which she described as ‘a metaphor for the times in which we live.’”
Other artists also reference birds’ work habits and amusing antics. Creating a vivid yellow watercolor painting of a spectacled weaver, Robin Berry used a giant calligraphy brush to paint the bird’s body in three bold strokes, as confidently as this bird when weaving its intricate nest. Tom Hill’s twisted wire sculpture captures two wacky birds’ interaction via the subtle tilt of their heads.
Highlighting the Museum’s 2020 Master Artist, a selection of artwork by New Mexico artist Timothy David Mayhew, also will be featured. In his oil paintings and natural-chalk drawings, Mayhew captures the essence of sensory experiences in the wild – the intricate complexity of reflections in water, bone-chilling cold during snow-geese migration, chukars’ animated interactions, and the magical pre-dawn glow in a marsh.
Prioritizing fieldwork is crucial to Mayhew. His four-decade-long intensive research into Old Master drawing materials yielded essential knowledge aiding his field studies. During the Renaissance, natural chalks were quarried from the earth and sawn into short sticks for drawing. Natural red and natural black chalk have unique properties, he says, “which enable drawings to survive rough handling in remote backcountry settings.”
Whether through watercolor, acrylic, charcoal, wood, or bronze, artists convey captivating light, pattern, and texture as in, for example, the brilliant blue background of Jeremy Paul’s painting and delicate reeds supporting two birds in Walt Matia’s sculpture. “Birds in Art” 2020 artists depict avian wonders in innovative and varied ways sure to send spirits soaring.
For more information, visit www.lywam.org, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 715-845-7010.