Artist Barry van Dusen is the first speaker in the Wendell Gilley Museum’s 40th anniversary monthly speaker series, starting on March 9. PHOTO COURTESY OF BARRY VAN DUSEN

Gilley celebrates anniversary with monthly speaker series 


SOUTHWEST HARBOR — This year, in honor of the Wendell Gilley Museum’s 40th anniversary, the museum is launching a monthly speaker series that will bring artists, writers, carvers and creative types of all kinds to the Gilley to share how nature impacts their art and their approach to making it, and how their art affects their approach to the natural world. 

First up is wildlife artist Barry van Dusen. Van Dusen is an internationally respected and award-winning wildlife artist who was one of two artists to provide illustrations for the 2020 book “Birds of Maine,” the first comprehensive overview of Maine’s avian inhabitants in more than seven decades. For another book published in 2020, “Finding Sanctuary: An Artist Explores the Nature of Mass Audubon,” he provided all the text as well as the illustrations, based on his visits to all 60 Mass Audubon sites over more than four years. 

Van Dusen prefers to work in the field, even with difficult subjects such as wild birds. Over the years, he has filled sketchbooks with hundreds of drawings done on location. Birds, he says, were his gateway to a passion for nature, which he’s been able to combine with artistic talent to create a career that has taken him all over the world. 

Van Dusen’s work is frequently chosen for Birds in Art, the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum’s annual juried art show; in 2014 he was chosen by that museum as a Master Wildlife Artist. He is a full member of London’s Society of Wildlife Artists, and his work is regularly exhibited worldwide. His articles and paintings have been featured in Bird Watcher’s Digest, Birding and Yankee magazines. 
Van Dusen will share his passion for putting wildlife, especially birds, into his paintings and drawings, and talk about how he approaches his work. He’ll also speak a bit about promoting wildlife conservation with art.  

This talk will be on March 9 at 7 p.mvia Zoom. There is no charge to attendbut participation is limited to 100. To sign up, send an email to Melinda Rice-Schoon at

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