Through September 17, the Museum of American Bird Art at Massachusetts Audubon in Canton, Massachusetts, is presenting “In a Natural State: Barry Van Dusen Paints the Nature of Mass Audubon.” Van Dusen, the museum’s artist-in-residence and an illustrator whose works have appeared in variety of nature-related books and publications, has visited nearly all of Massachusetts Audubon’s 56 wildlife refuges over the past two years. The exhibit of his watercolors chronicles the diversity of habitats and wildlife found in the refuges; nearly half of the more than 100 paintings he has created for his residency are on display, as well as some of his field sketches.
Visitors will view virtuoso watercolors depicting a wide variety of flora and fauna, from yellow lady’s slippers at High Ledges Sanctuary in Shelburne to an American Kestrel at Arcadia Sanctuary in Easthampton and diamond terrapin hatchlings at Wellfleet Bay on Cape Cod.
“Field sketching has become my way of exploring and discovering the natural world,” Van Dusen says. “My sketchbooks are my science lab and my art workshop. Through the drawing process, I’m able to uncover the underlying patterns of nature and see how plants and animals interact with their environment and each other.”
About Barry Van Dusen
Van Dusen’s art has received international acclaim. At the invitation of the Artists for Nature Foundation, he has traveled to Spain, England, Ireland, India, Peru, and Israel, working alongside other wildlife artists to raise money for conservation of threatened habitats.
In 2014, he was named Master Artist by the Woodson Art Museum in Wisconsin, joining the ranks of Roger Tory Peterson and Robert Bateman in receiving this highest accolade for bird artists.
As illustrator of many publications, Van Dusen’s long association with Mass Audubon spans nearly 30 years. His work has also appeared in books published by HarperCollins, Princeton University Press, and Cornell University. Periodicals that have featured his paintings include Yankee magazine, Bird Watcher’s Digest, Birder’s World, Birds Illustrated, and Wildlife Art.
For more details, visit www.massaudubon.org/learn/museum-of-american-bird-art/.
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