Visiting Artists and Guest Author to Lead Woodson Art Museum Programs

Wausau, Wisconsin: In October, two Birds in Art artists will lead programs for all ages during separate residencies at the Woodson Art Museum, and a visiting author will convey lessons from the passenger pigeon’s extinction 100 years ago. An array of avian-themed programs animates the 39th annual Birds in Art exhibition, on view through November 16.

Karen Bondarchuk Artist Residency

Birds in Art artist Karen Bondarchuk, whose artwork is distinguished by striking, large-scale charcoal portraits of ravens, crows, and owls, leads programs October 7 – 12. Karen also works in sculpture, video, and bookmaking and is an associate professor and foundation area coordinator in the Gwen Frostic School of Art at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.

She will work with school children during class visits to the museum, lead a teen event, a charcoal workshop for adults, a drop-in family program, demonstrations, and a gallery walk.

  • Art 101: Avian Inspiration, Thursday, October 9, 5:30-7 p.m. – Karen Bondarchuk talks about her artwork and inspiration and then demonstrates various charcoal techniques.
  • Teen Event: Charcoal Creations, Friday, October 10, 6-8 p.m. – Area teens learn how Bondarchuk creates depth and drama in her black-and-white work during an evening of experimentation with charcoal. Teens are invited to bring examples of their artwork for review and guidance from Bondarchuk.
  • Charcoal Workshop, Saturday, October 11, 1-5 p.m. – Adults and art students hone their drawing and design skills during an in-depth exploration of charcoal techniques with Bondarchuk. Fee: $25 for Museum members; $35 for non-members; materials provided. Call the Museum at 715-845-7010 to register.
  • Family Fingerprinting, Sunday, October 12, 12:30-2 p.m. – Join Bondarchuk to try your hand at one of her favorite drawing techniques – fingerprinting – using stencils or simply your imagination during this drop-in intergenerational program.
  • Gallery Walk & Demo, Sunday, October 12, 2:30-3:30 p.m. – Gain insights into Birds in Art from the perspective of Bondarchuk who highlights selected artworks and then demonstrates her drawing techniques.

Programs led by guest author Joel Greenberg, October 17 – 19, and Birds in Art sculptor George Bumann during his artist residency, October 23 – 26, highlight lessons that can be learned from the passenger pigeon’s extinction 100 years ago.

Legacy Lost & Saved: Extinct and Endangered Birds of North America, one of six Woodson Art Museum collection exhibitions that complements Birds in Art, was inspired by Project Passenger Pigeon, a nationwide educational initiative marking the centennial of the species’ extinction. On view through July 2015, Legacy Lost & Saved features artworks from the Woodson Art Museum’s collection as well as loans, including two passenger pigeon paintings by legendary Wisconsin artist and conservation advocate Owen J. Gromme. The exhibition also includes other artists’ portrayals of species such as the Carolina parakeet and the great auk, “Lost Bird Project” maquettes and large-scale work by sculptor Todd McGrain, and historic and contemporary artists’ paintings, drawings, and sculpture depicting extinct and endangered birds, including ivory-billed woodpecker drawings and notes by Don Richard Eckelberry.

Passenger pigeon-related programs at the Woodson Art Museum this fall consider how past lessons – both squandered and learned – can shape the future.

Visiting Author

Joel Greenberg, author of A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight to Extinction, presents programs October 17 – 19 at the Woodson Art Museum during the statewide Wisconsin Science Festival. Greenberg, also an avid birder and environmental advocate, shares lessons from the passenger pigeon’s demise, along with his passions for natural history and conservation during two lectures and book signings and Q&A sessions following two screenings of a documentary film.

  • Lecture, Book Signing, & Gallery Walk: Birds on the Brink, Friday, October 17, 4-6 p.m. – Greenberg’s presentation, “Hope Is the Thing with Feathers: Americans and Three Birds,” examines three case studies: passenger pigeon, Kirtland’s warbler, and whooping crane. Following the lecture, Museum staff members lead Birds in Art and Legacy Lost & Saved gallery walks. Greenberg’s book will be available for purchase.
  • Lecture & Book Signing: Passenger Pigeon Messages, Saturday, October 18, 1-2 p.m. – In “The Echoes of Their Wings: The Life and Legacy of the Passenger Pigeon,” Joel Greenberg examines the historic and environmental circumstances leading to the extinction of the passenger pigeon.
  • From Billions to None Documentary Preview, Sunday, October 19, 2 & 4 p.m. – Co-producer of the film From Billions to None: The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight to Extinction, Greenberg hosts two screenings, followed by audience Q&A sessions.

George Bumann Artist Residency

Birds in Art sculptor, naturalist, and environmental educator George Bumann demonstrates techniques and leads programs for all ages, during his residency, October 23 – 26. Believing the visual arts can aid in advocacy for environmental stewardship and conservation, Bumann shares his keen understanding of birds, love of nature, and artistic talents during presentations, demonstrations, and workshops. Support for the Karen Bondarchuk and George Bumann artist residencies is provided by the B.A. & Esther Greenheck Foundation.

  • Passenger Pigeon “Reborn” Open Studio – Bumann celebrates and memorializes the passenger pigeon. During open-studio hours, watch Bumann sculpt in clay, while discussing the process of capturing a subject he’s never seen. Open Studio Hours: Thursday, October 23, 10 a.m.-Noon & 1-3 p.m. and Saturday, October 25, Noon-2 p.m. & 3:30-5 p.m.
  • Little Masters & Young Artists: Clay Day, Thursday, October 23, 4:30-6 p.m. – Youngsters, 5-12 years, mold clay and learn the basics from Bumann whose sculptures begin with careful observation of bird and animal subjects. Fee: $5; call the Museum at 715-845-7010 to register.
  • Understanding the Bird, Thursday, October 23, 6:30-7:30 p.m. – How does a sculptor manipulate a subject to achieve a desired aesthetic? Join Bumann as he discusses his process, using the observation skills of a scientist and the lens of an artist.
  • Adult Workshop: Sketching Excursion, Friday, October 24, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. – Adult participants join Bumann for a day of observing and sketching birds at the Raptor Education Group in Antigo. Learn how to effectively observe and document nature through drawing, en plein air, too, weather permitting. Fee: $35 for Museum members; $50 for non-members; materials and lunch provided. Call the Museum at 715-845-7010 to register.
  • Family Program: The Science of Sculpting, Saturday, October 25, 2-3:30 p.m. – Closely observe birds from Minocqua’s Northwoods Wildlife Center and then create simple, small-scale, avian-inspired sculptures with guidance from Bumann. Call the Museum at 715-845-7010 to register.
  • The Art of Conservation, Sunday, October 26, 1-2 p.m. – Bumann begins with acute field observations to develop a deep understanding of birds and animals. Discover how he uses his love of nature and his artistic abilities to sculpt and teach.
  • Gallery Walk: Legacy Lost & Saved, Sunday, October 26, 2:30-3:30 p.m. – Extinct birds “live on” in artworks. Join Bumann for a Legacy Lost & Saved gallery walk and insights into the demise of species featured and the powerful statements they make today.

A fully illustrated Birds in Art 2014 catalogue featuring every work along with artists’ statements and an essay by artist and writer Darren Rees about 2014 Master Artist Barry Van Dusen is available for purchase at the Museum and at

For more information, visit, call 715-845-7010, follow the Woodson Art Museum on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to the Museum’s weekly blog, Woodson Wanderings.

URL links to images of 2014 Birds in Art artwork, visiting artists, and guest author, along with caption information:

Karen Bondarchuk interacts with Woodson Art Museum visitors during Artists in Action during “Birds in Art” 2014 opening day festivities.

George Bumann, The Critic, 2014, bronze

George Bumann

George Bumann at work

Joel Greenberg

URL links to Legacy Lost & Saved artwork image and caption information

Todd McGrain, Passenger Pigeon, 2012, bronze

Woodson Art Museum

Tues–Fri 9am–4pm
First Thurs each month 9am–7:30pm
Thurs during Birds in Art 9am–7:30pm
Sat–Sun Noon–5pm
Closed Mon & holidays, including New Year’s Day, Easter, July 4, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas

Admission: Always Free Admission
Phone: 715.845.7010
After hours press inquiries: 715.298.2901

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



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