Taxidermist & Bronze Sculptor’s Residency Oct. 21-27

WAUSAU, WISCONSIN: A second-generation former Smithsonian taxidermist turned full-time bronze sculptor shares insights from his dual careers throughout his artist residency, Monday through Sunday, October 21-27, at the Woodson Art Museum.

“Birds in Art” artist Paul Rhymer will present lost-wax bronze casting demonstrations, a three-day Bronze Boot Camp workshop, a taxidermy tips event and contest, and an Art Beyond Sight program for individuals with low vision or no vision – just some of the upcoming programs that animate this year’s 38th-annual “Birds in Art” exhibition, on view through November 10 at the Woodson Art Museum. During Rhymer’s residency October 21-27, this avid birder and bird hunter explains how these pursuits and his twenty-five year career as a model maker and taxidermist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History has informed his taxidermy mounts and bronze sculpture. He recently served as a judge on the AMC TV series “Immortalized,” a competitive taxidermy reality show. During his “Casting Call” residency, Rhymer will lead bronze-casting demonstrations for school children during class visits to the Museum as well as the following programs:

Little Masters & Young Artists: Clay Play
Tuesday, October 22, 4:30 – 6 p.m.
Youngsters, 5-12 years, learn about bronze casting, focusing on the all-important preliminary work in clay with Paul. Call 715-845-7010 to register.

Bronze Boot Camp
Thursday & Friday, October 24 & 25, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday, October 26, 1 – 5 p.m.
Adults and teens are invited for a three-day crash course in bronze casting. Participants create their own original bronze sculpture under Paul’s guidance (available for pick up following the conclusion of the class) – an incredible, hands-on learning opportunity. Supplies included; dress for working outdoors and for bronze pouring; and bring a bag lunch. Fee: $135 for members; $175 for non-members. Call 715-845-7010 to register.

Rhymer Time
Thursday, October 24, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Join Paul for a two-part presentation – half talk, half demo. Learn about his years as a Smithsonian taxidermist and gain an understanding of the bronze-casting process.

Art Beyond Sight
Saturday, October 26, 10:30 a.m. – Noon
A multisensory gallery tour and hands-on art experience for individuals with low vision and blindness, led by Paul and Museum educators. Call 715-845-7010 to register.

Taxidermy Tips
Sunday, October 27, 10 a.m. – Noon
Watch Paul in action – from start to finish – as he creates a bird mount. A former Smithsonian taxidermist and nationally recognized competition judge, Paul offers pointers and demonstrates his skills.

Taxidermy Contest
Sunday, October 27, 1 – 2:30 p.m.
Calling all area taxidermists: bring your most artistic representation of bird taxidermy from your home or showroom for the Museum’s version of the AMC TV series “Immortalized.” Paul serves as judge and awards the winner an original Rhymer small-scale sculpture and a Museum membership. Call 715-845-7010 for details and to register.

Bronze Casting: Live!
Sunday, October 27, 3 – 5 p.m.
Paul demonstrates the lost-wax bronze-casting process under the big top in the Museum’s parking lot.

“Casting Call” funding comes from a Community Arts Grant from the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin, with funds from the Wisconsin Arts Board, Community Foundation, and the B.A. & Esther Greenheck Foundation.

An array of avian-themed programs for all ages animates the nine-week exhibition, including sketching live raptors from an area wildlife center and programs about renowned cartoonist and conservationist Jay N. “Ding” Darling. Northwoods Wildlife Center educator Bart Kotarba brings live raptors to the Museum for visitors to sketch during, Avian Anatomy & Artistry, Saturday, November 2, 1 – 3 pm. The beauty of the birds is complemented by Kotarba’s knowledge of anatomy and biology, inspiring participants as they capture subjects from life – just like “Birds in Art” artists.

Trivia, sketching in the galleries, and more are now part of Night Out @ the Woodson: First Thursday Sampler, November 7, 5:30 – 7 pm. Here’s the lineup:

  • Art History 101: Educator Catie Anderson talks about artist, renowned cartoonist, and conservationist Jay N. “Ding” Darling, 5:30 – 6 pm
  • Hands-on art making: bird caricatures, 5:30 – 7 p.m.
  • Drawing in the galleries with provided supplies, 5:30 – 7 p.m.
  • Trivia: bring friends for a team trivia challenge, 6 – 6:30 p.m.
  • 5 on 5: spend five minutes on five artworks with a Museum educator in the galleries, 6:30 – 7 p.m.

Two screenings of a documentary film chronicling the life of artist, renowned cartoonist, and conservationist Jay N. “Ding” Darling, will be held on Saturday and Sunday, November 9 and 10, 1-2:30 p.m. “America’s Darling: The Story of Jay N. ‘Ding’ Darling” explores the career of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Des Moines Register cartoonist and pioneering conservationist, credited as the Father of the Federal Duck Stamp Program. For a detailed calendar of events, visit

“Birds in Art,” a perennial fall favorite, presents 125 all-new paintings, graphics, and sculptures created by artists who bring a global perspective to their passion for birds. Browse galleries to see fresh artistic takes on birds by some of the world’s most talented artists, portraying unexpected perspectives, amusing poses, and majestic bearing. The exhibition features fourteen artworks by Master Artist Terry Miller, who works solely with graphite, yielding stunning shades of black, white, and gray.

What can you expect when viewing the 2013 “Birds in Art” exhibition? Here’s a sampling. The lustrous, abstract sophistication of Simon Gudgeon’s bronze “Lyrebird.” Chris Bacon’s cropped perspective of red kites gracefully soaring in “Ascension.” Cindy House’s depiction of a Northern harrier in midflight in a pastel landscape.

The 2013 exhibition includes artwork by seven Wisconsin artists, thirty international artists, fourteen first-time “Birds in Art” artists, and eighteen artists who previously have been named Master Artists, as well as 2013 Master Terry Miller. “Birds in Art” remains on view through November 10.

The seven Wisconsin artists, followed by where they reside and the number of years their artwork has been selected for “Birds in Art” (though not necessarily consecutive), are: Mike Anderson, Stevens Point, three years; Clarence P. Cameron, Madison, eleven years; Gary Eigenberger, Green Bay, eighth year; David J. Kapszukiewicz, Tomahawk, first year; Don Rambadt, Milwaukee, thirteen years; Gene Reineking, Almond, four years; Jan McAllaster Stommes, Owen, seven years.

A 132-page full-color, illustrated “Birds in Art” catalogue featuring every work along with artists’ statements is available for purchase, as are two posters. For more information, visit, e-mail the Museum at, or call 715-845-7010.

Each fall, the “Birds in Art” exhibition presents original paintings, sculptures, and graphics created within the last two years by artists from the world over. More than 600 artists annually – 605 in 2013 – submit their work for consideration by a jury of three different professionals who winnow the field to about ninety-five artworks. The 2013 jurors were Tom Davis, author and editor, Green Bay, Wisconsin; Duane H. King, executive director, Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Cameron M. Shay, director, Graham Gallery, New York City. More than 16,000 visitors flock to the Woodson Art Museum during the exhibition each fall.

A subsequent “Birds in Art” touring exhibition includes sixty artworks and travels to locations throughout the country. The 2013 “Birds in Art” tour: March 1 through June 30, 2014, Heritage Center, State Historical Society of North Dakota, Bismarck, North Dakota; July 19 through September 13, 2014, Steamboat Art Museum, Steamboat Springs, Colorado; and November 4 through December 31, 2014, Michelson Museum of Art, Marshall, Texas.

Woodson Art Museum
 Tuesday – Friday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Thursdays during Birds in Art, 9:00 am – 7:30 pm
Saturday – Sunday, Noon – 5:00 pm
Closed Monday and holidays

Admission: Always Free Admission
Phone: 715.845.7010
Fax: 715.845.7103

Location: Franklin and 12th Streets, Wausau, Wisconsin 54403-5007
(700 N. 12th Street)

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