“Eastern Bluebird of Gotts Island,” oil on panel by Jordan Chalfant, 2018 IMAGE COURTESY OF THE WENDELL GILLEY MUSEUM

Gilley Museum celebrates Year of the Bird

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — A pair of exhibitions are part of the Wendell Gilley Museum’s celebration of the Year of the Bird in honor of the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

More than 100 organizations around the world recognize 2018 as Year of the Bird. Among them are National Geographic, the National Audubon Society, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and BirdLife International. The Gilley highlights stories of migration, protection and diversity, while capturing the unique beauty of birds in two exhibits.

The first, “Drawing from Nature,” features observation and art. Local artists and naturalists Amy Gagnon’s and Jordan Chalfant’s field notebooks, sketches, drawings, paintings and joy of discovery will be on display in this show. The focus of their work ranges from the internal details of a flower to trailside vistas. In addition to viewing completed paintings, visitors can flip through the pages of their sketchbooks and learn ways to make notes, capture colors and observe wildlife behaviors.

A special summer exhibition, “Barbara Ernst Prey: Earth, Sea, Sky,” will open on June 30. Color and light will fill the museum’s west gallery where the artist’s large-scale watercolor paintings of Maine will be on view. New oil paintings, including many of Mount Desert Island, will be exhibited for the first time. The show is a unique opportunity to explore the work of a contemporary artist known for pushing the traditional boundaries of the watercolor medium.

In addition to these two shows, a diverse array of detailed bird carvings by Wendell Gilley and Steven Valleau will “highlight the majesty and wonder of birds as the Gilley Museum joins the celebration of the centennial year of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act,” said organizers.

The Wendell Gilley Museum celebrates the life and work of Wendell Gilley, a pioneer in the field of decorative bird carving. To inspire appreciation of the visual arts, engagement in artistic creativity and respect and care for the natural world, the museum teaches the art of bird carving and presents art exhibitions and educational programs with a special focus on people, nature and art. Visit wendellgilleymuseum.org.

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