Spring Fever

By: Jane Weinke, curator of collections/registrar

I don’t like to rush the seasons, but I do admit to longing for spring. I appreciate that the sky is brighter, the lawn greener, and blooming flowers add color to the landscape. These are encouraging sights after a long, snowy winter.

April is a time of change at the Woodson Art Museum, too. The south gallery walls are freshly painted in preparation for the installation of a new exhibition from the Museum’s collection. After spending several months choosing, preparing, and framing artworks, writing label copy, and a didactic panel, it’s time for all of the elements to come together. For me, the most rewarding aspect is placing the works, just right, to tell a story.

Passionate Pursuits: Birds in our Landscapes features bird duos, side-by-side. Visitors can compare how each artist placed the species into a composition. Whether perched atop a tree, taking a turn at the nest, or foraging for food, birds provided the inspiration for the artwork. American crows, snowy owls, rose-breasted grosbeaks, and red-winged blackbirds; these are just four of dozens of birds represented in the exhibition.

Here are images of a few of the pairs included in Passionate Pursuits.

Andrea Rich, Cedar Waxwings, 1992, woodcut on paper

Owen J. Gromme, Cedar Waxwings, 1968, oil on canvas

Barry Van Dusen, Robins and Bittersweet, 2012, watercolor on Richeson cold press paper

 

Ryan D. Jacque, Autumn Chill, 1999, graphite on Strathmore Bristol board

Pete Zaluzec, Raven, 2010, manipulated photography on Gambi paper

Walter T. Matia, The Rebel Angels, 2012, bronze

Artists are drawn to birds for many reasons. Birds add color to the landscape, connect us with nature, and are alluring to watch. I want visitors to not only delight in the presentation of artworks in the galleries, but also be inspired to experience these beautiful and dynamic creatures outdoors.

Passionate Pursuits: Birds in our Landscapes will be on view through February 25, 2018.


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