Call to Artists: Pollinate This!

Pollinate This!

art inspiring seeds of conservation

A Call to Artists from the Birds of Vermont Museum

We wander in gardens, foster habitats, explore ecosystems. Life buzzes, entwines, fosters, interacts—one species to another and another and another. Birds and insects and plants thrive together. Can we pause, notice? Can we let the outside in, become as intimately connected to the world around as a pollinated plant is to its pollinators?

We seek artworks that explore, examine, and express pollination—metaphorical and otherwise—for our 2019 art exhibit, Pollinate This!

Continue reading “Call to Artists: Pollinate This!”

Common Grounds: 2018 community art show

Amy Alfieri's -A Hat Is No Home- block print. Copyright © 2018 and used by permission

Common Grounds is our art show in recognition of 100 years of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and its conservation consequences. Experience over 40 bird-focused artworks connecting the themes of commonality, conservation, migration, and coordination among peoples, species, places, and time.

Show is open from May 1 to October 31, 2018 • Included with Museum admission

About the theme “Common Grounds”

Continue reading “Common Grounds: 2018 community art show”

Call to Artists: Common Grounds

 Common Grounds

A Call to Artists from the Birds of Vermont Museum
in recognition of 100 years of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and its conservation consequences

Birds link us.  We need the same things: food, water, air, places to live. We humans have sometimes used laws to protect those needs we have in common. In 1918, the US Congress put into place the Migratory Bird Treaty Act—one of the first laws setting limits on what we could and could not do specifically with respect to migratory birds. Since then, we’ve asked new questions, discovered new ramifications, and come to new understandings about what the work of conservation entails. In order for the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to be successful, people have to work together across geographic, political, socioeconomic, and ecological boundaries. We need to find—or create—common ground. What does that look like? Continue reading “Call to Artists: Common Grounds”

Art Review: ‘Birding by the Numbers,’ Birds of Vermont Museum

Most art shows can be viewed without particular attention to their settings, but ‘Birding by the Numbers’ is inseparable from its locale. The Birds of Vermont Museum in Huntington organized the community art exhibit to celebrate its 30th anniversary. …Numbers are the key to ornithology… The artists’ responses to this intersection of ideas range from literal to literary.

Source: Art Review: ‘Birding by the Numbers,’ Birds of Vermont Museum

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Call to Artists: Birding By the Numbers

Birding by the Numbers

A Call to Artists from the Birds of Vermont Museum in celebration of our 30th Anniversary

We at the Museum like to say we are “where natural history meets art.” But flip through the files of time while birding in the last 30 years… what would ornithology be without math? What new facts and figures about feathered phenomena do you most appreciate? Join us as we play with birds and numbers!

We seek bird-focused art that incorporates a feeling for number with artistic expression. We are open to any media. Let your art—from imaginary to irrational, with birds silly and significant—populate our creative space!

Here is a tiny fraction of funky factoids to tickle your fancy and perhaps illustrate what we mean: Continue reading “Call to Artists: Birding By the Numbers”

The Bird Carver’s Daughter (Part 11: Battlefields)

Guest post by Kari Jo Spear, Photographer, Novelist, and Daughter of Bob Spear
This post appeared first in our Spring 2016  issue of
Chip Notes.

Reprinted by permission. Links added by K Talmage, Museum blog editor.

If birds were my father’s first passion, the Civil War was his second. (Family, he pretty much took for granted.) He could fight every battle from memory, including all the skirmishes leading up to it as well as the aftermath, and discuss the finer points of each battle’s contribution to the overall picture and its enduring legacies. He focused on the Vermonters, especially his great-grand-father and hero, Alonzo Spear. Yet he always held Robert E. Lee in the highest regard. For a long time, I could never understand why my peace-loving, crowd-hating, and squeamish father had such a fascination for battlefields. When I asked him, all he would say was, “Well, they’re kind of interesting.”

One day, my father, Gale, and I visited the Hubbardton Battle Field, where Vermont’s only Revolutionary War battle had taken place. None of us had ever been there before. In the visitor center was a diorama depicting the various movements of the troops during the engagement. I remember standing there, feeling baffled. My father silently contemplated the scenario for a few moments and then launched into a full explanation. He waved his hands over the diorama like a conductor, commenting on the initial positions of both sides, the strategic fallbacks, the flanking attempts, and the outcome. (We lost. But we Vermonters achieved our goal of halting the British in their tracks long enough to allow the main American force to get away. See, I was listening.)

Unbeknownst to us, a member of the staff had been listening, too. “You must be a scholar of this aspect of the Revolution,” he said to my father.

My father shook his head. “Not really. But it’s kind of interesting.”

When we got outside, I said, “I thought you’d never been here before.”

“I haven’t. But these battles are really simple compared to the Civil War.” In other words, he’d figured the whole thing out in about a minute.

My father really was a scholar of the Civil War. I don’t think there is any book, article, or movie he hadn’t memorized. About the only reason he’d leave the museum for a vacation was to tour a battlefield. He visited all the major ones, figuring out exactly where Alonzo would have been standing. Poor Gale would often say with a sigh, “We’re off to fight the Civil War again.” So much for tropical vacations.

This year, one of the high school classes where I assist students did an in-depth study of the Civil War. We read, watched documentaries, and listened to speakers. During class reading time, I found myself researching the 2nd Vermont. When I watched the documentaries, I tried to figure out where my great-great grandfather had been standing. (Yes, he was in the thick of things at Gettysburg, one of the heroic Vermonters who had saved the day and perhaps even turned the tide of the war.) I kept reading more and more. It was addictive. And ancestral.

We spent a lot of time focusing on the military genius of Robert E. Lee. And finally, I began to understand why my father had been so fascinated. Like Lee, my father was a man who planned ahead in a logical way, who studied the lay of the land, who had an instinct for the weather, who knew how to use the sunlight to best advantage, and who had an intuitive sense of how much men and horses could take.

General Spear. It would have been … interesting.

One day, as I headed for my next class with my students, I hesitated for a moment. I almost thought I’d heard my father’s voice echoing down the halls. “Forward, march!”


Kari Jo Spear‘s young adult, urban fantasy novels, Under the Willow, and  Silent One, are available at Phoenix Books (in Essex and Burlington, Vermont), and on-line at Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Previous posts in this series:
Part 1: The Early Years
Part 2: The Pre-teen Years (or, Why I’m Not a Carver)
Part 3: Something’s Going On Here
Part 4: The Summer of Pies
Part 5: My Addiction
Part 6: Habitat Shots
Part 7: Growing Up
Part 8: My Dead Arm
Part 9: Remembrance: Tales of My Father
Part 10: Canoe Lessons

 

“In Layers: The Art of the Egg ”: Call to Artists from the Birds of Vermont Museum

Be part of our 2016 eggs-hibition! Do you create? Do you have a thing for birds, science, or conservation? We do too.

The Birds of Vermont Museum seeks art and craft that focus on the beauty, biology, and essence of eggs for our 2016 season Art Exhibit, In Layers: The Art of the Egg. We’re hoping to hatch feelings of passion, delight, commitment, and discovery with this art (watch for additional activities and displays about oology during the season as well).

The show runs from May 1 to October 31 in the Museum’s multi-purpose room, halls, and foyer. Most art will be hung on the walls. We have shelf space for three-dimensional works and some ceiling space if your work is suitable there. Feel free to visit and scope out the options! We are open to all sorts of media and we strive, in choosing works, for a harmonious variety. Continue reading ““In Layers: The Art of the Egg ”: Call to Artists from the Birds of Vermont Museum”