Event

Special Exhibition Public Program: Day of the Bird

Sunday, August 12, 2018
8:00am — 4:00pm

Jenny Kendler Birds Watching, 2018, reflective film mounted on aluminum on steel frame, 9 ft. x 40 ft. x 12 in. (274.3 cm x 12.2 m x 30.5 cm). Courtesy the artist.

Celebrate birds with Indicators: Artists on Climate Change artist Jenny Kendler and wildlife conservationist Dr. J Drew Lanham. Spend the day at Storm King enjoying hands-on activities for all ages and learning about how artists play a role in avian advocacy. Arrive at Storm King before opening hours for birdwatching, meet and learn more about raptors, draw live birds in an artist-led workshop, attend readings and talks, and participate in activities presented by local and national partners. Sandbox Percussion will close the afternoon with a performance of songbirdsongs (1974–80) by John Luther Adams.

All programs are free with Storm King admission. While most are open to all visitors, highlighted programs require pre-registration. Please see the schedule of events below for more information on registered programs.

Day of the Bird: Schedule of Events 

8:00AM: Birdwatching
Join Eric Lind, Center Director from Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary for an early morning bird tour.
Registration is required. RSVP to a.chassi@stormkingartcenter.org.

10:00—11:30AM: Draw a Falcon
Avian Encounters: Re-tuning the Eye through the Hand

If you are passionate about birds and drawing, be sure to attend this unique class led by artists George Boorujy and Jenny Kendler. Kendler’s site-specific work, Birds Watching, is on view for Storm King’s special exhibition, Indicators: Artists on Climate Change. You will have the opportunity to work side-by-side with the artists for ninety minutes of instruction and intensive drawing of the electrifyingly beautiful raptors brought by master falconer, Leigh Foster. The class will focus on the development of observational skills—using deep seeing as a gateway to re-tune our senses towards a more intimate relationship with these avian others with whom we share our planet.

Due to the nature of this event, participation is very limited, and open to those who identify as dedicated, focused drawers.
Registration required, space is limited!


12:00-4:30PM


Avian Encounters:
Meet a Falcon
Learn from master falconer Leigh Foster, who brings a unique perspective to the art of falconry and invites you to experience an intimate encounter with raptors.
If you were unable to attend the bird drawing session, sketchbooks will be available. 

Art & Avian Advocacy: A Conversation
With Jenny Kendler, George Boorujy, and Andrew Wetzler, Deputy Chief Program Officer and Managing Director, Nature Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Moderated by Nora Lawrence, Senior Curator at Storm King Art Center.

Dr. J. Drew Lanham – Reading and book signing
Lanham, a birder, naturalist, hunter-conservationist, and professor, has published essays and poetry in publications including Orion, Flycatcher, and Wilderness. He will read selections from his book, The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature. Copies of Lanham’s books will be available for purchase. Pre-order a copy of The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature from our online store.

Sandbox Percussion Performs John Luther Adams’ songbirdsongs (1974-80)
Sandbox Percussion, an ensemble of five percussionists and two piccoloists, perform John Luther Adams’ songbirdsongs. Adams composed songbirdsongs in rural Georgia and based this collection of nine miniature movements on free translation of bird songs.

Participant Biographies

George Boorujy (Draw a Falcon and Art & Avian Advocacy: A Conversation)
Born in New Jersey, George Boorujy’s intense interest in the natural world has led him all over North America – from a marine biology program in Miami to the fishing industry of Alaska to the deserts of the American West. Based on observations of diverse ecosystems Boorujy produces distilled zoological studies and landscapes in the exacting medium of ink on paper. Against white backgrounds, settings without atmosphere, Boorujy’s animals are startlingly confrontational and surprisingly posed. George Boorujy lives and works in Brooklyn.

Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary (Birdwatching and afternoon activities)
Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary is a tidal marsh located in Putnam County, NY, on the east shore of the Hudson River, just south of the village of Cold Spring. It serves as a vital natural habitat in the Hudson River Estuary. The marsh is an Audubon New York Important Bird Area, a New York State Bird Conservation Area, and is designated as a Significant Coastal Fish and Wildlife Habitat. The Marsh teaches nature education programs for visiting groups and the public and conduct invasive species management and habitat restoration efforts within the marsh to maintain its value as wildlife habitat.

Leigh Foster (Draw a Falcon and Avian Encounters: Meet a Falcon)
Leigh Foster is a master falconer, practicing for over 25 years. While practicing falconry, Leigh has served as an executive director of a not-for-profit as well as a project manager for another. Both organizations he co-founded in the late 1990’s primarily focused on protection of the environment, conservation, education, and social justice. Leigh has earned a B.A. from Oberlin College in Environmental Studies and Politics. He is happily married and a proud father of three living in Washington County, New York.

Jenny Kendler (Draw a Falcon and Art & Avian Advocacy: A Conversation)
Chicago-based artist and current artist-in-residence with the Natural Resources Defense Council, Kendler’s site-specific commission, Birds Watching, is included in Storm King’s current exhibition Indicators: Artists on Climate Change. Kendler drew inspiration for this work from researching local species of birds present in the Hudson Valley. It is an installation of reflective aluminum signs, each depicting a massively scaled, realistic bird’s eye. 100 eyes are included, each representing a species of native bird facing the threat of extinction due to climate change. Kendler emphasizes ideas of reflectivity and reciprocal vision, reminding us that birds are also sentient beings capable of looking back at us.

Dr. J. Drew Lanham (Reading and Book Signing)
Dr. J. Drew Lanham is a professor of wildlife at Clemson University, where he holds an endowed chair as an Alumni Distinguished Professor and was named an Alumni Master Teacher in 2012. His research focuses on songbird ecology, as well as the African-American role in natural-resources conservation. A South Carolina native, Drew is active on a number of conservation boards, including the South Carolina Wildlife Federation, Audubon South Carolina, the Aldo Leopold Foundation, BirdNote, and the American Birding Association, and he is a member of the advisory board for the North American Association of Environmental Education. He was most recently named a 2016 Brandwein Fellow for his work in environmental education, and he has also been a fellow of Toyota TogetherGreen and the Clemson University Institute for Parks. Drew is also an author and award-nominated poet; his first solo work, The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature, was published by Milkweed Editions in 2016. Drew received his B.A. and M.S. in Zoology and his Ph.D. in Forest Resources from Clemson.

Nora Lawrence (Art & Avian Advocacy: A Conversation)
Nora Lawrence is Senior Curator at Storm King Art Center, and co-curator of the exhibition Indicators: Artists on Climate Change.

Eric Lind (Birdwatching Tour)
As the Center Director for Constitution Marsh Audubon Center, Lind is responsible for all aspects of planning, developing, operating and managing the Marsh. Lind has worked at the sanctuary since 1993, and as a life-long resident of the Hudson River Valley he has a deep personal connection to the Hudson River and its wild inhabitants. Lind is an accomplished wildlife photographer and his work is frequently included in Audubon New York publications.

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) (Art & Avian Advocacy: A Conversation)
The NRDC works to safeguard the earth—its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends. We combine the power of more than three million members and online activists with the expertise of some 500 scientists, lawyers, and policy advocates across the globe to ensure the rights of all people to the air, the water, and the wild.

Sandbox Percussion (Sandbox Percussion Performs John Luther Adams’ songbirdsongs, 1974-80)
Lauded by The Washington Post as “revitalizing the world of contemporary music” with “jaw-dropping virtuosity,” Sandbox Percussion has established themselves as a leading proponent in this generation of contemporary percussion chamber music. Brought together by their love of chamber music and the simple joy of playing together, Sandbox Percussion captivates audiences with performances that are both visually and aurally stunning. Through compelling collaborations with composers and performers, Jonathan Allen, Victor Caccese, Ian Rosenbaum and Terry Sweeney seek to engage a wider audience for classical music.

songbirdsongs by John Luther Adams, 1974-80 (Sandbox Percussion Performs John Luther Adams’ songbirdsongs, 1974-80)
Composed for an ensemble of percussionists and piccoloists, John Luther Adams’ songbirdsongs was written in rural Georgia. Adams based this collection of nine miniature movements on free translation of bird songs.

“In nine movements lasting just under an hour it places the listener in the middle of the natural world, the controlled chaos of birds, water and wind… Mr. Adams was influenced by Minimalism, and individual players in songbirdsongs often have a small riff, or cell — a birdcall, a rustle of leaves — that they repeat throughout a movement. But there is never a sense of stasis; the relationship among the different cells is constantly changing. Even in his earliest work Mr. Adams had an instinctive sense of the way music builds and breathes.” Zachary Woolfe, NYT

Andrew Wetzler (Art & Avian Advocacy: A Conversation)
In his more than 15 years at NRDC, Andrew Wetzler has been deeply involved in congressional and administrative efforts to defend and strengthen the U.S. Endangered Species Act and has fought to preserve a wide variety of species, including the gray wolf, the coastal California gnatcatcher, and the whitebark pine. Other initiatives Wetzler has worked on include NRDC’s campaign to protect California condors from lead poisoning and its ongoing work to protect whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals from the impacts of U.S. Navy sonar systems. Currently, Wetzler leads NRDC’s Land & Wildlife program and helps to guide the organization’s work on protecting polar-bears, elephants, and other animals from wildlife trafficking. Wetzler is a graduate of Brown University and the University of Virginia School of Law. He is based in Chicago.

This special program is presented in partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), with generous support from the Sidney E. Frank Foundation. Education-related programming and outreach is made possible by generous lead support from Agnes Gund and the Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts. Support is also provided by the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation, the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation, Inc., and the Sidney E. Frank Foundation. Artist talks are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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