Bird Power

By: Kathy Kelsey Foley, director on September 8th, 2021

My thoughts these days focus on positives, despite the pandemic’s continued unknowns.

At the top of my list is the power of birds.

Just hours away from the start of previews of the 2021 Birds in Art exhibition, I can’t help but marvel at not only the Woodson Art Museum’s fortitude, but also the exhibition’s endurance . . . forty-six years strong and organized again this year in defiance of the coronavirus.

Perhaps “in defiance” is a bold claim, but I can back it up by citing the commitment of hundreds of artists; the flexibility and ingenuity of the Woodson’s staff; the unwavering support of Museum members and enthusiastic visitors; and the enormity of the avian world, providing an unlimited array of subjects and inspiration.

Birds in Art never ceases to amaze. Via this year’s 113 all-new artworks, artists take us to new places and new experiences – from the familiar to the exotic – through imagery that soothes, challenges, surprises, and inspires.

Add to this mix the debut of the Rooftop Sculpture Garden, atop the Museum’s 2012 building addition. Long imagined and finally realized, the rooftop space is home to eight sculptures and offers dazzling views to the west and also of the Museum’s campus to the south. This inviting space allows birdwatching, too, including an occasional soaring eagle, a complement to Bart Walter’s bronze perched on the pergola.

Our feathered friends received a lot of attention throughout the pandemic, surely a silver-lining. In the early days of lockdowns, many turned to watching birds through windows in both urban and rural environments. We’ve continuously envied birds for their ability to fly; as we were constrained and restrained by the pandemic, we yearned to emerge and regain freedoms lost. On so many levels and in so many ways, birds modeled behaviors we admired.

Celebrate the power of birds at the Woodson Art Museum this fall and all year long.

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