Over 150 years ago, John James Audubon documented and illustrated the birds of North America. Today, artists from around the country continue to create their own works of art portraying the many species that Audubon himself was so inspired by. Beginning on May 7th, Woman Made Gallery will be displaying 40 works by artists who share Audubon’s passion for birds.
As a whole, there are many works that caught my eye. One in particular is the work of Kerry Hirth. Her Birds Lost from a Giant Sequoia Forest During Fifty Years, is a painting created from pastel on canvas. Using the plumage of each species of bird to inspire the colors in each section of the painting, the artist creates a unique history of the birds that once lived in the forest. As a response to the destruction of the bird’s natural habitat, Hirth’s work simultaneously informs and educates the viewer, while still evoking the beauty of the natural world, much in the same way that Audubon’s work continues to do.
Another painting I am excited to see is from Vlasta Smola’s series “Fabulous Feathers”, which portrays birds in regal adornments. Her unique subject matter evokes the stereotypical gender roles of men and women and also the vanities that inspire them. The artist’s Victorian Crown is an acrylic painting on canvas that portrays a peacock in royal costume. The artist’s combination of historical references, distinctive subject matter, and rich attention to detail all work together to produce an effect that is both aesthetically pleasing and thought provoking. While creating works that are very different from the style and purpose of Audubon, Smola’s painting connects birds to new and relevant issues.
Beyond Audubon will be displayed at Woman Made Gallery from May 7th until July 1st. Until you can experience each work in person within the gallery, I urge you to check out the works of art for yourself at the gallery’s website.
Opening Reception will be held at WMG Friday, May 7 from 6p – 9p