Wisconsin is well represented in the 2011 presentation of the Woodson Art Museum's Birds in Art exhibit.
Only 112 artists were honored with a place in the prestigious display this year. But there's something that sets two Wisconsin artists apart from the rest of the flock that has nothing to do with art.
The annual, free exhibit at the Woodson Art Museum, 700 North 12th St., Wausau, is hailed by artists not only for showcasing artistic talent, but for shining the spotlight on issues related to the survival of these animals.
"It raises people's awareness of two things: art and nature at once, which is really nice" Madison, Wis., artist Marla Brenner told Newsline 9.
Brenner lives near Cherokee Marsh in Southern Wisconsin. To best capture the beauty of the animals she strives to paint, Brenner spent time immersing herself in the fragile environment her bird subjects inhabit. The final result now hangs in the galleries of the Woodson Art Museum.
"A big part of the marsh are birds" she said smiling, standing in front of her painting. "I got really connected with these guys as well as others. Their habits, the problem solving, their colors, the whole bird culture is very interesting to me."
That love of the environment and birds is echoed by artist Sue Medaris. On her Mount Horeb, Wis., farm she helped nurse the Eastern Wild Turkey population back into Southeast Wisconsin.
"They're very illusive in the wild" Medaris said. "As they grew, they'd start hopping around and flying and then all of a sudden one took off, so I let their wings grow out and started taking pictures and doing sketches like crazy and then one by one they flew off and repopulated the valley."
The bird species she helped return to the wild is depicted in her reduction wood carving design now on display.
Birds in Art is a free exhibit open to the public at the Woodson Art Museum until Nov. 13.