Press

Owls in Art & Nature

Released September 09, 2005

SALEM, Mass.––Owls have long held a fascination for people, whether as symbols of good or evil, of wisdom, or harbingers of doom. Through a selection of works of art and interactive stations, a new exhibition at the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) explores the myriad connections between people and owls and why owls look and behave the way they do. Jane Winchell, Sarah Fraser Robbins Director of PEM’s Art & Nature Center, is the curator of this exhibition. Owls in Art and Nature runs from Oct. 1, 2005, to Nov. 5, 2006, in the museum’s Art & Nature Center.

This multi-faceted exhibition includes paintings, sculptures, prints, photography, video, and decorative art. Works by 16 contemporary Massachusetts artists are included. Among them are Beverly Seamans, whose marble sculpture conveys the grandeur of the snowy owl; Larimer Richards, whose video installation explores an owl’s night vision; and Sachiko Akiyama, whose sculpture Passage evokes owls’ mystery as well as their frequent role as onlookers. In addition, eight new, original works created for this exhibition will be displayed, as well as objects from the museum’s collections of Native American, Contemporary Indian, and American Decorative art, such as a Tlingit owl amulet and an intricately beautiful owl fan.

Complementing the works on display are interactive stations that elaborate on themes such as owls in popular culture, the life cycle, and unique characteristics. These include a “Draw an Owl” art station inspired by the sketches of Clare Walker Leslie, a “Hoot Box” listening station featuring owl hoots and owl-inspired music selections, and an “Owl Survival” ball game by Charbanova.

Related programming will feature activities for children and adults. Events kick off with an Atrium Alive weekend on October 8th and 9th—two days of art workshops, storytelling, gallery tours, and live owls. Watch Native Alaskan artist David Boxley as he creates an owl mask for the exhibition. Discover how owls use their specialized powers of sight, hearing and flight to survive and thrive when Jim Parks and Julie Anne Collier of Wingmasters present a variety of live owls in the museum’s East India Marine Hall. Both Parks and Collier are also artists with works in the exhibition.

Atrium Alive: Owls in Art and Nature

Schedule of Events

Family Workshop: Animal Totem Poles Saturday, October 8, 1-2:30 p.m.

Reservations by October 6

Included with museum admission

Discover different types of totem poles then create your own miniature totem pole to take home. Made possible in part by New Trade Wind/ECHO and by the Lowell Institute.

The World of Owls Saturday, October 8, 2:30–3:30 p.m.

Included with museum admission

Join Julie Anne Collier and Jim Parks of Wingmasters as they present live owls that rely on their keen powers of sight, hearing, and flight to survive and thrive. Listen to stories about these masters of the dark. Made possible by the Lowell Institute.

Gallery Tour Saturday, October 8, 2–2:30 p.m.

Included with museum admission

Ancient civilizations believed that owls were spirits with magical powers. What do you think? Join a special tour of the new interactive exhibition, Owls in Art and Nature and explore how artists perceive owls.

Hands-on activities in the exhibition bring owls to life. Made possible by the Lowell Institute.

Mask Carving Saturday, October 8, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

Included with museum admission

Explore the art of mask carving with Native Alaskan artist David Boxley as he creates an owl mask for the exhibition Owls in Art and Nature. Made possible in part by New Trade Winds/ECHO and the Lowell Institute.

The World of Owls Sunday, October 9, 2:30–3:30 p.m.

Included with museum admission

Join Julie Anne Collier and Jim Parks of Wingmasters as they present live owls that rely on their keen powers of sight, hearing, and flight to survive and thrive. Listen to stories about these masters of the dark. At 4 p.m., the program concludes with the release of a rehabilitated eastern screech-owl back into the wild.

Made possible by the Lowell Institute.

Gallery Tour Sunday, October 9, 2–2:30 p.m.

Included with museum admission

Ancient civilizations believed that owls were spirits with magical powers. What do you think? Join a special tour of the exhibition, Owls in Art and Nature and explore how artists perceive owls.

Hands-on activities in the exhibition bring owls to life.

Made possible by the Lowell Institute.

Mask Carving Sunday, October 9, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

Included with museum admission

Explore the art of mask carving with Native Alaskan artist David Boxley as he creates an owl mask for the new exhibition Owls in Art and Nature. Made possible in part by New Trade Winds/ECHO and the Lowell Institute.

Drop-in Art Activity: Masks Sunday, October 9, 2–4 p.m.

Included with museum admission

Storytellers use masks to help weave their tales. Create your own story and mask to use for Halloween or other occasions. Made possible by the Lowell Institute.

Art & Nature Story Time: Owls! Sunday, October 9, 3-4 p.m.

For accompanied children ages 3–6

Included with museum admission

Listen to The Barn Owls by Tony Johnston and explore the Owls in Art and Nature exhibition.

Made possible by HP Hood LLC.

The Art & Nature Center

The Art & Nature Center is an innovative exhibition space for families and K–6 school groups that features art with dynamic interactive stations that highlight the connections between art and nature. Rotating theme-based installations and an exploration zone celebrate New England’s unique natural heritage while referencing the global influences nature has had on artists, art, and culture.

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PR Contacts:

April Swieconek  -  Director of Public Relations  -  978-745-9500 X3109  -  april@pem.org

Whitney Van Dyke  -  Senior Press Officer  -  978-745-9500 X3228  -  whitney_vandyke@pem.org

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