WAUSAU — New avian-themed artworks by 114 worldwide artists comprise the 44th annual “Birds in Art” exhibition, on view Sept. 7 through Dec. 1, at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum.

This year’s exhibition includes artwork by 2019 master Alan Woollett, 22 who were named master artists during previous “Birds in Art” exhibitions, and 91 artists whose work was selected by the jury. In addition to 33 international artists, the 2019 exhibition includes artwork created by nine Wisconsin artists and 17 new to “Birds in Art.”

All-new artwork features original paintings, sculptures and graphics created within the last three years. Whether through colored pencil, oil, charcoal, bronze or stone, artists depict the character, spirit and habitats of birds. From Parker McDonald’s bronze songbirds perched atop a flute to Laurence Saunois’ oil painting featuring white peacock pigeons’ plumage fanned like Flamenco dancers, the range is vast.

Woodson Art Museum’s flagship exhibition also celebrates the artistry and achievements of Woollett, a British colored-pencil artist, the first international master artist since 2009. He will receive the Master Wildlife Artist Medal during the “Birds in Art” opening festivities.

About Alan Woollett

Woollett’s artwork is characterized by eye-catching and elegant compositions featuring birds in striking poses. His detailed avian-themed artworks – depicting birds’ delicacy and poise – convey the joys of observing, drawing and appreciating nature.

“Alan’s mastery of the colored-pencil medium expands the high standards that define the museum’s master artists,” said Director Kathy Kelsey Foley in a news release. “His artwork is distinct and distinctly his own.”

Woollett said his work has evolved over the years.

“I’m passionate about conveying the beauty of birds and the complexities and simplicity of these amazing creatures,” he said. “Seeing my work in the ‘Birds in Art’ exhibition alongside that of so many great artists never ceases to make me smile. It is really such an honor.”

Born in 1964 in Chatham, Kent, England, Woollett’s interest in birds was sparked during winter backyard birdwatching as a young boy. His childhood drawing pursuits and an “i-SPY Birds” book given to him by his mother ingrained an interest that was to lie dormant until many years later.

Woollett’s first colored-pencil work to be exhibited in “Birds in Art,” “Northern Mockingbird,” was acquired by the Woodson Art Museum in 2013

Woollett’s artwork has been featured in exhibitions throughout England, including at the “National Exhibition of Wildlife Art” at the Gordale Garden Centre, Burton, South Wirral; seasonal exhibitions at Francis Iles Galleries in Rochester, Kent; and the “United Kingdom Colored Pencil Society” at Menier Gallery in London. His awards include Earth’s Beautiful Creatures Award, 2016, “Wildlife Artist of the Year,” from Mall Galleries in London, and Bird Artist of the Year, 2000, by “Birdwatch Magazine.”

He lives and works in Maidstone, Kent, England, with his wife, two children, two springer spaniels and a recently adopted border collie.

Wisconsin artists

For “Birds in Art” 2019, more than 500 artists submitted over 800 artworks for consideration in May by a three-person jury. The Wisconsin artists are Gary Eigenberger, Green Bay; Terrill A. Knaack, Beaver Dam; Rebecca Korth, Marshfield; S.V. Medaris, Mount Horeb; John S. Miller, Madison; Katie Ann Musolff, Fredonia; Don Rambadt, Milwaukee; Michael James Riddet, Gays Mill; and Sandra Wiesman Weiler, Marshfield.

Birds in Art: Opening Day Overview

The museum opens at 9 a.m. on Sept. 7 with opportunities to interact with more than 70 “Birds in Art” artists from throughout the world. The museum remains open until 5 p.m. on Sept. 7, and is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sept. 8.

Sept. 7

9 a.m. – Noon, arrive when the museum opens at 9 a.m. to be among the first to mingle with and get catalogues and posters signed by dozens of worldwide artists.

9:30 – 10:30 a.m., “The Finer Points,” Alan Woollett, the Museum’s 2019 master artist, shares his journey from coloring outside the lines to defining them. Learn about his creative process and the paths from his studio in England to his participation in “Birds in Art.”

10:45 a.m. – Noon, During Artists in Action, artists demonstrate their work in various mediums in the sculpture garden.

Upcoming artist residency programs

For program details, check the events calendar in late August at lywam.org/events-calendar/.

Avian-themed programs for all ages

For more information and registration details, check the online events calendar in late August.

See this list of 2019 “Birds in Art” artists’ names whose work will be included in the 2019 exhibition.

For more information, visit lywam.org, e-mail the museum at info@lywam.org or call 715-845-7010.