Monday, November 13, 2017

Western Where

Western Wear.. at The John L. Whele Gallery
Genesee Country Village & Museum

On my way out of town to deliver a painting that I had borrowed from the John L. Whele Gallery in Mumford, New York.  I had a very fine chat with Patricia Tice who works as the curator and we talked about blue hands and dogs in art among other things.  Patricia was interested in 3D Printed hands that could be used on the models like this one in front of the stage coach - here to show off  antique clothing like this travel ensemble.  The Whele Gallery has one of the finest collections of sporting and wildlife art in the country, and my father's painting of a Lion on the Serengeti has a place in their catalog.  I encourage people to make the trip out to see this museum and I was pleased that they would loan their painting for our show at R.I.T.'s University Gallery.

Bill White and his new gallery in Caledonia, New York

Bill White has recently moved into the area to open his gallery on Main Street in Caledonia called The Village Gallery.  There is a show on now of artwork from the community and I want to support this kind of grass-roots effort to have a cultural outpost for arts and crafts.  I plan to go and take a long look at what is happening there, and if you are nearby - you could stop in to say hello.

I was on the way down the Thruway going towards Niagara Falls to take part in a conference that brought together exhibitors and ornithologists from across New York State and beyond.  My plan was to promote my new book and meet people who stopped in to say hello.  Since our new book on my father's art has been published, we have had large crowds and many sales.  I look forward to a number of presentations I will be giving, like the one that we held last week at Cornell University and the Laboratory of Ornithology.  If you couldn't be there I have  a link to the presentation that my brother, Paul, and I made to the folks in the auditorium, here is the link:

Alan and Anna at our table
Niagara Falls, NY
The NYSOA Conference

Not only were there many birders at the conference but there were some handlers that brought their birds with them.  These are birds that are being rehabilitated, and sometimes returned to the wild. I saw a beautiful owl and a young red-tailed hawk - reminding me of the great book I read this summer: H is for HAWK, by Helen MacDonald.

Barred Owl on the glove

I was pleased to see one of my former graduate students from Rochester Institute of Technology setting up her paintings right at the entrance to the conference meeting room.  Melissa Mance is an active birder and bird-bander, and she has been painting birds for many years and has some of her large portraits out for examination.  She has some finely detailed renderings like snow buntings, but the real eye-catcher are the portraits of hawks she has banded and her new pair of ravens.

Melissa Mance and her paintings...

At Rochester Institute of Technology ( where I have been teaching  for almost 30 years ) we have some really talented students, and some of them take my class in Zoological and Botanical Art.
This is a class that is based on first hand observation and lots of drawing.  Since I am now on a sabbatical I have to begin to formulate my plan for the class I will teach in the spring.  It is really a pleasure to meet students like Melissa, who give their art the time and effort to make something for themselves and for us to enjoy and marvel at.  And it makes teaching very worthwhile!