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Falls Gallery: The Birds I View

  • Wed Apr 25 - Sun May 06

Falls Gallery, Alton Mill Arts Centre

Mayfield Secondary School Presents
The Birds I View

On February 21 and 23rd, Kingsport Environmental came to Mayfield Secondary School with three beautiful raptors. The purpose of the visit was for a two-day drawing session involving grade 9 regional arts students (drawing the birds of prey from life). 

Nicole Morrison, her sisters and her mom were the handlers and experts. They brought Reggie (a saker falcon), Eddie (a great horned owl), and Lady ( a snowy owl) for the kids to draw. We also had guest artist and Alton Mill studio artist CJ Shelton working with the students to produce some fabulous drawings of the birds.

The experience of drawing the live raptors was simply amazing! The kids were thoroughly captivated by Reggie, Eddie and Lady. The Kingsport team was extremely informative and the sessions proved to be very educational for the students. The handlers talked to the kids about the birds' histories, their behavioural and species traits, how they came to be at Kingsport Environmental and their rather unique 'personalities'. They taught the students how to be respectful oft he birds but they also allowed the kids to interact with them (getting close enough to photograph them and to even handle Eddie).

The drawings that the grade 9's created of the birds while the birds were present in the art room were terrific. It's not easy to draw animals while they move! After doing an extensive series of preliminary drawings, the students complete beautiful watercolour and colour pencil illustrations of one of these gorgeous raptors.

They worked hard with CJ Shelton (acquiring new art skills and techniques) to produce a finished watercolour painting of Reggie, Eddie or Lady. The culminating exhibition is scheduled for Wednesday, April 25th - Sunday, May 6th in the Falls Gallery at the Alton Mill. Kingsport has kindly agreed to bring Eddie the Great Horned Owl to the Opening Reception on Thursday, May 3rd (around 5pm) so that guests can meet her! We are so grateful to the staff at Kingsport, Margi Taylor at the Alton Mill for providing the gallery space, and we would especially like to thank CJ for her guidance, skill and inspiration.

- Marie Burnett, Visual Arts Teacher, Mayfield Secondary School