Birds in Art exhibition to open May 4

Natasha Chipangura

Wren’s Larder by Jonathan Sainsbury, charcoal and watercolor

The Wichita Falls Museum of Art will present Birds in Art, a touring exhibition organized by the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum of Wasau, Wisconsin. The exhibition will be on view from May 4 through June 24, and will feature 60 artworks in a variety of media and stylistic approaches.

Danny Bills, curator of collections and exhibitions, said the exhibition is organized annually by the Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, and that it is a competitive exhibition. A jury review of digital images determines which pieces enter the exhibition. According to Bills, the exhibition began in the 1970s.

“Birds in Art is a very competitive exhibition to get into. Some artists [referred to as masters] get automatic entry. The parameters for the artworks is that they need to have something to do with birds,” Bills said.

Free educational programs will accompany the exhibition in collaboration with River Bend Nature Center and Wild Bird Rescue. Docent tours will explore how artists individually respond to nature, and how they express their knowledge of and fascination with birds. The tours and other programs will educate audiences about regional bird populations, habitat and migrations.

Mary Helen Maskill, public programs director, said schools can come in for tours and there will be representatives from River Bend Nature Center and Wild Bird Rescue present to talk about birds.

“Right now, we have about six schools registered to come,”  Maskill said.

Maskill said the artworks on display will be mainly from wildlife artists, and that types of media in this exhibit include sculptures, birds in water color, bronze, and oil. One bronze sculpture is the ”Pelican Repose” by Kristine Taylor.

The Texas Commission on the Arts funded this exhibition.

Francine Carraro, museum director, said, ”We’re grateful for that.”

There will be an opening reception on Thursday, May 4 from 6-8 p.m. at the museum. On May 9 at 5 p.m, Marcy Brown Marsden, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, will give a presentation titled “Birds in Art- Uniting Science, History and Beauty.”

Bills said, “We’re very excited about the exhibition, and we think that a large portion of MSU will enjoy it.”