Birds in Art 2018

September 8  – November 25, 2018

Birds enthrall us with their stunning plumage, amusing antics, and lilting song. Avian art inspires in endlessly novel ways, too, evoking the freedom of flight and the fragility of their earthbound existence. Artists from throughout the world push themselves to new heights, striving to be selected for the internationally renowned Birds in Art exhibition. The 43rd annual exhibition celebrates avian marvels through new interpretations – in an array of mediums, including oil, watercolor, the graphic arts, bronze, stone, and others – created within the last three years.

On March 8, the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum announced New England pastel artist Cindy House as its 2018 Master Artist who will be honored during the Museum’s 43rd annual “Birds in Art” exhibition this fall. House, the Woodson Art Museum’s 37th Master Artist, will receive the Master Wildlife Artist Medal during the “Birds in Art” opening, Saturday, September 8. For additional information about Cindy House see the 2018 Master Artist press release.

Artwork for the Birds in Art exhibition is selected each year in May; see this list of 2018 Birds in Art artists’ names whose work will be included in the 2018 exhibition. A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies Birds in Art and will be available for purchase in advance via this link in summer 2018 or at the Museum in September 2018.

Opening day, Saturday, September 8, part of Wausau’s Artrageous Weekend, provides varied opportunities to interact with more than sixty Birds in Art artists visiting from throughout the world.

Birds in Art Opening Day –  Saturday, September 8, 2018

Meet the Artists    9 am – Noon
More than sixty worldwide artists converge for Birds in Art opening festivities. Visitors mingle and renew artist acquaintances, form new friendships, and get catalogues and posters signed. Coffee is available at the arbor, along with treats to purchase. Plan to make Birds in Art your first stop of Wausau’s Artrageous Weekend.

Master Artist Talk    9:30 – 10:30 am
The Museum’s 37th Master Artist will provide insights into the artist’s inspiration and process during this presentation.

Artists in Action    10:45 am – Noon
Birds in Art artists demystify processes during Artists in Action, demonstrating their work in various mediums beneath tents in the sculpture garden.

The 2018 exhibition presents artworks by 114 artists in total: 2018 Master Artist Cindy House, 21 who were named Master Artists during previous “Birds in Art” exhibitions, and 92 artists whose work was selected by three jurors who reviewed 904 entries submitted by 575 artists.

Innovative artistic approaches and intriguing mediums – from acrylic and oxidized sterling silver leaf to cut turkey feathers and oil and cold wax on linen – capture the character, spirit, and habitats of birds. A luminous, elegant oil painting by Michael Dumas highlights a house sparrow pair atop layers of fabric, while a whimsical wire artwork by Thomas Hill depicts a wild-eyed, gangly heron running. All-new artwork features varied interpretations of avian wonders – from vibrant to serene – via original paintings, sculptures, and graphics created within the last three years.

This year’s “Birds in Art” exhibition includes 31 international artists, 8 Wisconsin artists, and 12 first-time “Birds in Art” artists. The 8 Wisconsin artists are Gary Eigenberger, Green Bay; Terrill A. Knaack, Beaver Dam; S.V. Medaris, Mount Horeb; John Miller, Madison; Katie Musolff, Stoddard; Don Rambadt, Milwaukee; Thomas R. Schultz, Green Lake; and Jan McAllaster Stommes, Owen.

Artist Residency Programs throughout Fall

Two Birds in Art artists will lead public programs during artist residencies this fall. Kris Parins will share watercolor techniques during her residency, October 2-7. Josh Guge will highlight woodcarving during his residency, November 1-4.

California-based artist and science illustrator Jane Kim, who recently completed a mural at the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology celebrating the evolution and diversity of birds, will design and paint a mural for the Woodson Art Museum focusing on how birds get their color. Her residency will take place November 9-18 and coincides with the publication of “The Wall of Birds” (Harper Collins), detailing Kim’s Cornell Lab of Ornithology project.

For program details, check the events calendar in late August at

Sampling from Birds in Art 2018

Cindy House, Autumnal Colors, 2018
Cindy House, Autumn Gathering, 2013, pastel
Cindy House, Wood Duck Spring, 2016, pastel
Hélène Arfi, White Storks, 2017, bronze
Rose Tanner, Bee Curious, 2017, oil
Michael Dumas, Sparrow’s Rest, 2016, oil
Thomas Quinn, Beyond the Corrals, 2017, watercolor
Tyler Vouros, Bubo scandiacus, 2017, charcoal and water
Ray C. Brown, Jr., Gary, the Forest Chicken, Pauses Briefly to Ponder His Own Existence, 2018, charcoal
Karen Bondarchuk, Quantum Hubie, 2018, charcoal, ink, 16k and composition gold
Thomas Hill, Running Heron, 2018, steel
Sherrie York, Watching + Waiting, 2016, reduction linocut
Don Rambadt, An Exercise in Curves, 2018, welded bronze and silver
S.V. Medaris, Omar and the Magic Feather, 2017, reduction linocut
Walter T. Matia, Noon Flight, 2017, bronze
Kris Parins, Green Heron, Red Mangrove, 2018, watercolor
Josh Guge, Cape May Warblers, 2017, tupelo wood, brass, acrylic paint
Jennifer L. Hoffman, A Sedge of Cranes, 2017, oil and cold wax
James M. Clow, Arizona Sun King, 2018, acrylic and sterling silver
Thomas Schultz, Pad Walker, 2018, acrylic

Birds in Art is an international juried exhibition organized annually by the Woodson Art Museum.

Thanks to the members, donors, grantors, and sponsors who supported the 2018 exhibition and programs.




Support for Birds in Art 2018 comes from Aspirus, Inc. and Aspirus Arise. Additional exhibition and educational support comes from Jim and Sue Konkel, and additional educational support comes from Gary and Amy Sweet. Birds in Art 2018 media support comes from Wisconsin Public Radio. Marketing supported in part by City of Wausau Room Tax funds.

Exhibitions and programs are supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. Support for the Jane Kim mural project comes from the Community Arts Grant Program of the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin, with funds provided by the Wisconsin Arts Board, a state agency; the Community Foundation; and the B. A. & Esther Greenheck Foundation. A grant from the B. A. & Esther Greenheck Foundation supports the Kris Parins and Josh Guge artists residencies.

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