Birds of a Feather
● By Haylee Uptergrove
Words by: Haylee Uptergrove Photos: Courtesy of Rockport Center for the Arts
For years, artists, poets, writers, and everyday people have connected with birds in nature. We see the way our winged companions fly through the air, how they seemingly rise above our human problems, and we feel empowered by them. We are strengthened by their flight. We are amazed by their grace. We are inspired by their beauty.
In Rockport Center for the Arts’ most recent exhibit, Birds in Art, the unique relationship between humans and birds is explored and celebrated by a wide array of artists in their beautifully-detailed creations.
Since 1976, this prestigious, internationally-curated exhibit has presented the best contemporary art interpretations with avian subject matter. Now in its fifth decade, Birds in Art is recognized around the world as the golden standard for avian art, and has for years showcased the talents of more than 1,000artists from around the globe.
Luis Puron, the Executive Director for the Rockport Center for the Arts, praised the exhibit, saying it is an honor for the Coastal Bend to be able to feature this unique showcase.“This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for people in Texas, its four bordering states, and NorthernMexico to experience the best avian art in the world,” Puron said. “I am very excited about the possibilities for Birds in Art as an educational resource, a major economic driver, and a source for tourism for our city.”
Birds in Art will have a two-month run in Rockport, opening to the general public on September 17, and will go until November 18. Admission is free, and guests are encouraged to come enjoy this special exhibit, which not only showcases international artists, but will also feature a little Lone Star flair.
Three artists who live and work in Texas will be featured in the exhibit: James Offeman of Missouri City, Debbie Stevens of Cypress, and Kent Ullberg of Corpus Christi. Offeman was selected as the poster artist for Rockport’s Art Festival in 2001, and Stevens will fill the roll in 2018. Ullberg, Puronsays, needs no introduction.Originally from Sweden, Ullberg now calls the Coastal Bend home. With 18 different works featured around Corpus and the surrounding areas, he has certainly left his unique mark on the Sparkling City by the Sea.
Jean Giesey, the 2017 President of the Board of Directors for the Center, said this exhibit’s unique works of art are well anticipated after the success of its previous run in 2013. “The upcoming Birds in Art promises to be equally impressive, encompassing many different mediums both whimsical and enigmatic,” she said. “I am so looking forward to Rockport’s opportunity to share in this experience.”
Perhaps one of the best parts of this exhibit is its versatility in both showcasing the beauty of nature and transfixing the human mind.
According to Puron, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this exhibit, from art lovers, to nature enthusiasts, to bird watchers alike. “Mankind’s fascination with birds, bird symbols, and avian art is universal,” Puron said. “To be captivated by the harmony and serenity of the natural world is part of the human condition. As a promoter of arts and culture, I hope Birds in Art answers questions and creates new ones.”