Woodson Art Museum Exhibition Relays Messages from Passenger Pigeon Extinction

Wausau, Wisconsin: A Woodson Art Museum exhibition and fall programs led by an artist in residence and a guest author highlight lessons that can be learned from the passenger pigeon’s extinction 100 years ago.

Project Passenger Pigeon, a nationwide educational initiative marking the centennial of the species’ extinction was the impetus for the Woodson Art Museum exhibition Legacy Lost & Saved: Extinct and Endangered Birds of North America, 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. Legacy Lost & Saved 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. These programs join others for all ages that enliven and complement the Woodson Art Museum’s annual, internationally renowned Birds in Art exhibition, on view September 6 through November 16.

Visting Author Joel Greenberg

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. – Joel 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 Joel’s 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, Joel Greenberg hosts two screenings, followed by audience Q&A sessions.

Artist in Residence

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 George Bumann’s artist residency is provided by the B.A. & Esther Greenheck Foundation.

Passenger Pigeon “Reborn” Open Studio – George Bumann celebrates and memorializes the passenger pigeon. During open-studio hours, watch George 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 George 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 George 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 George 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 George Bumann. Call the museum at 715-845-7010 to register.

The Art of Conservation, Sunday, October 26, 1-2 p.m. – George 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 George Bumann for a Legacy Lost & Saved gallery walk and insights into the demise of species featured and the powerful statements they make today.

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

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

Email: museum@lywam.org
Location: Franklin and 12th Streets, Wausau, Wisconsin 54403-5007
(700 N. Twelfth Street)
Online: www.lywam.org

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