Wausau, Wisconsin: New perspectives and artistic insights by more than 100 worldwide artists comprise the 42nd annual, internationally renowned 2017 Birds in Art exhibition, on view September 9 through November 26 at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum.
The 2017 exhibition presents artworks by 114 artists in total: 2017 Master Artist Don Rambadt, 19 who have been named Master Artists during previous “Birds in Art” exhibitions, and 94 artists whose work was selected by three jurors who reviewed more than 800 entries submitted by 524 artists.
Innovative artistic approaches and intriguing mediums – from bronze, wood, and soapstone to watercolor, oil, cut paper, batik on silk, solar etching, and even smoke from a candle’s flame – convey the character, essence, and surroundings of birds. Steven Spazuk uses a candle’s flame as a pencil; his bird perched atop a microphone is created from traces of soot.
Michael Dickter’s cluster of various colorful birds incorporates drips to hint at the fleeting fragility of their lives. Lucrezia Bieler’s hummingbirds visiting a flowering ocotillo are paper cuttings from a single sheet and “reflect the delicacy and fragility,” she said, “of nature.” Paula Waterman’s oil painting features the abstract tracery of footprints left by foraging birds. An array of all-new artwork features dynamic and contemplative interpretations of avian marvels via original paintings, sculptures, and graphics created within the last three years.
The 2017 edition of the Woodson Art Museum’s flagship exhibition continues to delight and engage audiences of wide-ranging interests and also celebrates the artistry and achievements of Milwaukee sculptor and Wisconsin native Don Rambadt as its 2017 Master Artist.
Selected for inclusion in “Birds in Art” sixteen times since 1998, Rambadt participated in exhibition-opening festivities each year. Seeing the excellence, innovation, and new interpretations of avian themes in the galleries and interacting with the dozens of accomplished artists has been crucial, he said, to the continued development of his sculpture and his career.
Throughout each of the last twenty years Rambadt entered artwork for “Birds in Art” jury consideration, he “tried to add to and broaden the breadth of my genre with something new to keep my sculpture fresh and provide thought-provoking experiences for visitors.” “Scarlet,” a vivid stainless steel, great horned owl, included in the 2014 exhibition and last year’s “Birdsong Maquette” are among Don’s “Birds in Art” work that continually elicit enthusiastic praise from exhibition attendees. Seventeen Rambadt sculptures comprise his 2017 “Birds in Art” Master Artist grouping.
“Don embodies a range of attributes that lead to the creation of superb art: he continually experiments, pushing boundaries – aesthetically and technically,” said Woodson Art Museum director Kathy Kelsey Foley. “He’s been influenced by his years as a participating ‘Birds in Art’ artist. Going forward, Don’s work is certain to impact future generations.”
Throughout the exhibition this fall, all are invited to participate in “Magnetic Migration: Find the Flock,” using clues to seek and find seven of Rambadt’s small nuthatch sculptures perching at public Wausau-area locations. Correctly identifying each sculpture’s exact location earns a chance to win one of two Rambadt nuthatch sculptures. Get clues and entry details via clicking this link to a fillable PDF or at the Museum.
This year’s “Birds in Art” exhibition includes 22 international artists, 6 from Wisconsin, and 19 first-time “Birds in Art” artists. The 6 Wisconsin artists are Clarence P. Cameron, Madison; Gary Eigenberger, Green Bay; David Kapszukiewicz, Tomahawk; S.V. Medaris, Mount Horeb; Don Rambadt, Milwaukee; and Jan McAllaster Stommes, Owen.
The three jurors for the 2017 “Birds in Art” exhibition were Geoff Fleming, director of the Huntington Museum of Art, Huntington, West Virginia; Sam Gappmayer, director of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin; and Emily Kapes, art collection curator at Raymond James Financial, St. Petersburg, Florida.
Opening day, Saturday, September 9, provides varied opportunities to interact with more than 60 “Birds in Art” artists visiting from throughout the world for the exhibition’s debut.
Opening-Day Festivities, Saturday, September 9, 9 a.m. – Noon [Note: the Museum remains open until 5 p.m. on Saturday, September 9, and is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday, September 10.] Seize morning opportunities to interact in the galleries and sculpture garden with artists – from first-year participants to Master Artists – flocking to the Museum from throughout the world. Make Birds in Art your first stop of Wausau’s Artrageous Weekend.
- The Museum opens at 9 a.m.; meet and mingle with the artists, 9 a.m.-Noon, and get catalogues and posters signed.
- “Birds in Art” Master Artist Don Rambadt provides insights into his inspiration and sculpture process during his presentation, “Side Roads,” 9:30-10:30 a.m., in the sculpture garden.
- Artists in Action demonstrate various mediums and explain techniques, 10:45 a.m.-Noon, in the sculpture garden.
Programs throughout the fall will bring to life “Birds in Art” themes, artistic styles, and techniques. Three “Birds in Art” artists will lead public programs during artist residencies this fall. Don Rambadt works with Wausau East High School students on September 21 and again on October 12-15 to continue work with those students, lead a workshop for teens and adults, and work with Art Beyond Sight participants. Rachelle and Wes Siegrist illuminate the history and techniques of miniature painting, October 28 through November 3, while working with schoolchildren during class visits to the Museum, leading a workshop for teens and adults, and during Art 101, Hands-on Art, and Sunday-afternoon presentations and demonstrations.
A 134-page full-color, illustrated “Birds in Art” catalogue featuring every artwork along with artists’ statements and an essay about Rambadt will be available for purchase in September. Preorder catalogues now at https://www.lywam.org/exhibitions/catalogues/.
Each year, 60 “Birds in Art” artworks are selected for a subsequent tour to locations throughout the country. The 2017 tour venues are: The Chicago Academy of Sciences, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago, December 16, 2017 – February 4, 2018; Stamford Museum & Nature Center, Stamford, Connecticut, February 24 – May 28, 2018; Cumming Nature Center, Rochester Museum & Science Center, Naples, New York, June 16 – August 13, 2018; Newington-Cropsey Foundation, Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, September 4 – October 26, 2018; Las Cruces Museum of Art, Las Cruces, New Mexico, November 20, 2018 – January 14, 2019.
For a PDF format, see this list of 2017 Birds in Art artists’ names.
2017 Birds in Art Artists
Fran A. H. Alvarado
Clarence P. Cameron
Kathleen E. Dunn
Anne S. Faust
Esther van Hulsen
Elwin van der Kolk
- Allen Lawson
Jhenna Quinn Lewis
Walter T. Matia
Timothy David Mayhew
Jan Martin McGuire
- V. Medaris
Laura Quinn Harris
John T. Sharp
Jan McAllaster Stommes
Kathryn Mapes Turner
Barry Van Dusen
For more information about the Woodson Art Museum, check the events calendar at www.lywam.org, e-mail the Museum at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 715-845-7010, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Woodson Art Museum Hours
First Thurs of each month 9am–7:30pm
Thursdays during Birds in Art 9am–7:30pm
Closed Mon & holidays, including New Year’s Day, Easter, July 4, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas