Ornithology exhibit reflects art, biology

Matthew Moss

Staff Writer

The Ornithology Art Exhibit will bring a captivation with birds to Parkland through both art and science.

The exhibit, put on by the Giertz Gallery in cooperation with the Anita Purves Nature Center, looks to explore the aesthetics of birds through an artistic and physiological lens and promote additional outlets for learning and creativity in the Parkland community.

The exhibit will feature pieces from two artists, Barbara Kendrick and Monique Luchetti, who have brought their fascination with birds to life through their artwork.

Lisa Costello, director of the Giertz Gallery, says that art students can gain new perspectives on art and design by visiting the exhibit. She said it can be a valuable resource for aspiring artists.

“Both of these artists are really masterful at how they make their work,” Costello said. “It’s always really inspiring for our art students specifically to see.”

Costello says that it is not only art students that can benefit from the exhibit. She says that all students can learn and enrich themselves by visiting not only the Ornithology exhibit, but all of the Giertz Gallery’s exhibits.

“We really use these shows as a teaching tool,” Costello said. She also said the shows are intended to “create dialogue with our students.”

In addition to the art portion of the exhibit, part of the program will discuss the biology and physiology of birds and their adaptability. Costello says even the art pieces themselves are influenced by the resilience of avian species.

Savannah Donovan, environmental public program coordinator at the Anita Purves Nature Center, says that birds have a particular knack for adapting to different habitats.

“Birds are extremely well adapted to the habitat in which they live,” Donovan said. “Their beaks, their feet, their color are all going to give indications of what they do in nature.”

The Ornithology exhibit will also address the impact humans have on the habitats of birds. Birds have been forced to adapt or face the threat of extinction.

Donovan says that birds and other native creatures have continued to adapt and even thrive in the wake of human expansion and development. She says people often do not realize the diversity of wildlife that exists in the local area.

“There’s a lot more than people might think,” Donovan said. “Even in your backyard, you can see some really amazing animals.”

The Anita Purves Nature Center will bring a live screech owl to the exhibit on Oct. 20. In addition to the owl, preserved specimens of birds will also be showcased.

The nature center hopes that, by contributing to the Ornithology exhibit, they can spread the word about the educational resources available there. Donovan says the college student demographic does not use the Anita Purves Nature Center very often.

“College-aged kids don’t always know that we’re here and that we’re a resource,” Donovan said. “We do want to be a resource for the community.”

The exhibit coincides with Sustainability Month on campus, which runs through October. Parkland’s Sustainability Committee is helping to put on the exhibit, particularly with the Anita Purves Nature Center’s contribution on Oct. 20.

The Ornithology exhibit begins on Sept. 28 and runs through Nov. 7, with the reception on Oct. 1 from 5-7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Anyone seeking more information can go to the Parkland College website and click on “News and Events.”