Friday, August 30, 2019

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary Exhibit Features Decades Of Work By Acclaimed Wildlife Artist Fred Wetzel

As part of its 85th anniversary celebration, Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Berks County will exhibit a collection of 30 pieces of art by acclaimed wildlife artist Fred Wetzel of Albany Township. 
The free exhibit, “Spirit of the Sanctuary” is open to the public from September 1 to 30 in the Visitor Center Gallery. Wetzel created several new originals for the display, which will be for sale.
“Fred met Hawk Mountain founder Rosalie Edge several times, and the first curator Maurice Broun and his wife Irma were like his second parents. He spied on hawk shooters and collected dead and dying hawks that were shot along this ridge,” explains Sanctuary President Sean Grace.
“One weekend Fred collected 847 sharp-shinned hawks,” he adds. This work, Grace says, helped to inspire legislation to outlaw hawk shooting for all but three species of accipiter in 1937, and ultimately all raptors with the passage of the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1972.
“Fred is a living example of Hawk Mountain’s unique history,” Grace adds.
A self-taught artist, Wetzel credits the late Irma Broun as his first agent. “In the 1940s and 50s, Irma sold my work from the front porch of Schaumboch’s [the Sanctuary’s first residence],” he recalls.
By age 18, he had sold two pieces to the Reading Museum. In the 1960s he served four years as the assistant curator to Alex Nagy and used his skills as a naturalist and artist to illustrate The View from Hawk Mountain and The Mountain and the Migration. 
He left the Mountain for a career as a biology teacher, but returned to his “hobby” to enjoy a second life as an independent wildlife artist. 
He received private art instruction under the late Conrad Roland, who was himself a student of Louis Agassiz Fuertes, widely considered second only to John James Audubon as the most prolific American bird artist.
But much of Fred’s art is inspired by his life-changing experiences with the Brouns and his time on Hawk Mountain. 
His striking images of hawks, eagles and falcons resonate with the spirit of the Sanctuary, and so are the ideal artwork to celebrate the Sanctuary’s 85th year as the world’s first refuge for birds of prey and an international center for raptor conservation.
Allentown native Fred Wetzel received his B.S. in Biology from Kutztown University with a major in Ornithology.  He was Natural History Curator for the Lehigh County Cultural Center and an Assistant Curator at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary.
He taught art privately around the country and has run seminars in Pen Aire painting in Maine, Wyoming, Paris and Italy.
For more information on programs, initiatives and upcoming events, visit the Hawk Mountain Sanctuary website or call 610-756-6961.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from the Sanctuary, Like them on Facebook, Follow on Twitter, visit them on Flickr and visit their YouTube ChannelClick Here to support Hawk Mountain.
Related Article:

No comments :

Post a Comment

Subscribe To Receive Updates:

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner