New Jersey Audubon Displays Work of Artist Dramatizing the Beauty of NJ’s Bird Species
BERNARDSVILLE, NJ, April 2, 2010 -- New Jersey Audubon is proud to be showcasing the work of artist Pat Brentano Bramnick of Westfield, New Jersey beginning April 30 and continuing through May Days, the May 1st and 2nd grand opening of its Hoffman Center for Conservation and Environmental Education at the Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary in Bernardsville (Somerset County).
Brentano’s work uniquely dramatizes the beauty and fragility of many of New Jersey’s bird species. Her outdoor installation shows large aluminum inverse-silhouettes of approximately 40 endangered and threatened species, and species of special concern. Brentano has cut the shape of each bird from the material, and that void is filled by sunlight, reflection and the background natural environment. Wind, light and shadow create a delicate drama before the viewer’s eyes.
Many of her works are hung from tree limbs, and ground-foraging species are displayed in the brush. A great egret stands near a vernal pool. Visitors are urged to wander the paths in search of discoveries. Several of Brentano’s works in paper are displayed inside, against windows and hanging as mobiles.
“These works display the grace of many precious species that we are working to protect,” said Michael Pollock, New Jersey Audubon Naturalist. “The art appears here in the birds’ natural habitats, although some species have not been seen in a number of years owing to numerous pressures on their populations. The open silhouettes in the artwork relate some of the sadness of their absence, yet also the beauty of their presence.”
An accomplished artist, Brentano continues to emerge as a New Jersey artist with a deep environmental consciousness. “I wanted my work to call attention to the plight of the many species of resident and migratory birds that are endangered, threatened or of special concern due to loss of habitat, exploitation, disease, and contamination,” she said. “The more we can bring these beautiful species into people’s awareness, the more likely we are to save them.”
Shortly after the installation opens in April, it will be seen by several hundreds of visitors to the May Days event. The public is invited to attend, and there will be a packed schedule of activities and attractions for people of all ages. Brentano will give a talk about her work, and New Jersey Audubon naturalists will be available for additional discussion. Don Freiday, Director of Birding Programs at NJ Audubon’s Cape May Bird Observatory will follow with a presentation on the missing birds of the Ghost Forest at Scherman Hoffman with an explanation of the environmental pressures that have led to their absence. The display will continue through May. For directions and details, please visit www.njaudubon.org.
New Jersey Audubon is grateful for the partnership with Brentano, said Joe Basralian, a Conservation Advocate at New Jersey Audubon. “Pat cares deeply about our native wildlife, and her work as an artist and educator brings those feelings to life,” he said. “New Jersey Audubon is grateful that visitors to Sherman Hoffman Sanctuary will experience her work.”
Most recently, Brentano installed 52 works of birds in aluminum at I-Park, an artist residency in East Haddam, Connecticut to call attention to the endangered birds of the state, and she was the recipient of the Lillian Heller Curators Award at the Chesterwood Museum for her installation about the endangered birds of Massachusetts.
In 2008 Brentano received a Puffin Grant to install her “Missing Trees” in Highland Park, NJ. The site had been a landfill, which the borough is transforming into an international garden in collaboration with The Edison Wetlands Association.
In an upcoming exhibit, Brentano will show her works in paper of the endangered birds of Indiana, at the Evansville Museum in Indiana, where she will be the Merritt and Martha DeJong Visiting Artist in Residence.
Online, some of her work can be seen at: www.patbrentano.com.
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- Conservation Advocate
- New Jersey Audubon
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