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Birds flock to Rolling Road Gallery

Alexander Francis Lydon’s “Eclectus Parrot, Papua New Guinea” color wood engraving on paper.
This Saturday, Jan. 17, the exhibition “For the Birds: Historical and Contemporary Works of Art” opens at the Rolling Road Gallery in Urbanna.

Interpretations of birds as a theme in the visual arts has a long and interesting history, and the exhibition features mostly prints, but will also include drawings, paintings, and sculpture, ranging from the late 1700s to the present. The exhibition is on view through March 22.

The historical prints in the exhibition include handcolored engravings, circa 1770-1786, by Francois Nicholas Martinet (French, 1731-1792), color wood engravings of parrots from the 1880s by Alexander Francis Lydon (British, 1836-1917), and a 1917 woodblock print by Gesso Yoshimoto (Japanese, 1881-1936) of a Japanese wagtail.

Contemporary works include a narrative painting of familiar poultry that suggests both stories and symbolic relationships by Mark Sprinkle, a Richmond artist; collages and ink and colored pencil drawings by William Rowe, a Massachusetts artist, with repetitions of birds creating rich kaleidoscopic patterns; a larger-than-life etching of a snowy owl by Christine McGinnis, a Philadelphia artist; and a lithograph of a bird in flight by the surrealist artists Daniel Serra-Badue (American, born Cuba, 1914-1996), who studied in Barcelona with Salvador Dali.

A newly-released print of a heron by Boston artist Richard Ryan also will be featured, his stunning monumental woodcut is almost 6 feet in height. Prints by Inuit artists from the Canadian Arctic include an imaginary bird by Eliyakota and a shoreline bird by Kenojouak Ashevak, and she is considered one of today’s most important Inuit artists.

The public is invited to the opening reception this Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m. at Rolling Road Gallery, 171 Virginia Street, Urbanna. The event is free and open to the public. Specializing in fine art and antiques, the Rolling Road Gallery is open Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.; and by appointment (804-758-4204).

posted 01.14.2009

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