On July 27 and 28, 2019 the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History (RTPI) and Panama Rocks Scenic Park will host the second annual Wild America Nature Festival, celebrating nature and all things inspired by it, on the grounds of Panama Rocks. The cornerstone of this festival is our Juried Nature Fine Art and Craft Show.
Our goal is nothing less than to grow the event into a nationally prominent festival renowned for the quality of its art and programming. We hope that you will join us in this ambitious and exciting endeavor by applying to become an artist exhibitor in the 2019Juried Nature Fine Art and Craft Show at the Wild America Nature Festival.
BOTH ARTISTS CREATING ART WITH NATURE AS A SUBJECT MATTER (PAINTING, SCULPTURE, PHOTOGRAPHY, ETC.) AND ARTISTS CREATING ART AND/OR FINE CRAFTS USING NATURAL MATERIALS (WOODWORKING, POTTERY, NATURAL FIBERS, ETC.) MAY APPLY.
In addition to the Nature Fine Art and Craft Show, the Wild America Nature Festival features renowned speakers, award-winning chefs in a local food cook-off, live animals, live music, classes, workshops, and more. The mission of the Wild America Nature Festival is to raise awareness of wild America through education and art, encourage sustainable enjoyment of the environment, and promote conservation of our natural world. The Wild America Nature Festival provides a forum to promote conservation efforts.
Additional information is available in our festival prospectus. If you have any questions or require additional information, please contact Jonathan Weston at email@example.com 716-782-2845.
Have a Wild Day!
Dr. Twan Leenders President, RTPI
Jonathan Weston Manager, Panama Rocks Board of Directors, RTPI
Leonard Rusin (Painting)
Len Rusin’s inspiration to paint wildlife and wilderness developed while backing through New York, Florida, Alaska, and several northeast states, as well as Canada. His artwork captures the raw spirit of nature and reflects his concern for the environment and vanishing wildlife. Rusin’s strong sense of design and style create an emotional appeal which force the viewer to pause and experience the painted image.
Rusin's art has won national acclaim. His work has been seen on Duck Stamps, the cover of Conservationist magazine, New York Sportsman magazine, Florida wildlife magazine, and other publications. He was Artist in Residence at Acadia National Park (2007) and Grand Canyon National Park (2008), and has exhibited his art in many prestigious galleries including the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of National History. For a full biography and gallery of his work, please visit www.lenrusinart.com or www.natureartists.com.rusinl.
Matt Patterson (Painting | Wood and Paper Sculpture)
Matt Patterson is an accomplished wildlife and nature artist focusing on painting, illustration, and wood and paper sculpture. He has completed a variety of work ranging from scientific and book illustration to trompe l’oeil murals and wood carving. His 2010 book, Freshwater Fish of the Northeast, won the National Outdoor Book Award for Design and Artistic Merit. Patterson recently finished illustrating a book on Reptiles and Amphibians, The Snake and the Salamander Reptiles and Amphibians from Maine to Virginia, released January 2017.
Audrey has been a professional artist for 30 years and her work is widely collected and is represented in collections throughout the world. She has explored many different art media and has developed a strong collector base and following for her paintings and one of a kind clay art. Although Audrey explores many different mediums, her underlying love of natural form is always present in her work.
For a full biography and gallery of Audrey's work, please visit Portage Hill Art Gallery in person in Westfield, NY or online at www.portagehillgallery.com.
Michael Weishan (Photography)
Michael Weishan is a nature, landscape and fine art photographer. He values the diversity in nature, interpreting the patterns and textures he sees in the chaos of nature, and observes the interplay of wildlife. His interest in nature photography developed in college after reading “In Wilderness is the Preservation of the World (photographs by Eliot Porter accompanied by selected passages from Thoreau’s Walden Pond)” and attending seminars by Leonard Lee Rue, John and Barbara Gerlach, and other nature photographers. His photographs have been selected for the Art Association of Oswego’s Annual Lakeside Statewide Juried Art Exhibition and displayed in the Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University, the Center Gallery at Jamestown Community College, and the Cattaraugus County Arts Council Gallery (solo show). He volunteers at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute as a photo archivist, digitizing Roger’s images. For a full biography and gallery of his work, please visit www.mrweishanphotography.com.
Bill Bale (Woodworking)
Bill Bale is an award-winning woodworker specializing in modern interpretations that respect the fundamental look of 100 year-old Arts & Crafts style originals. His work includes elements such as vertical lines, square motifs, corbels, and broad over-hanging tops familiar in the work of the masters, while keeping modern needs in mind.
Nancy and John have been creating fine art from gourds for twenty plus years. The pair have exhibited their work, taught workshops and won awards at state gourd festivals. Both have a deep appreciation for the natural beauty and versatility of this medium.
Heidi Ahmed aims to “bring the outdoors in” with striking paintings that capture the essence of nature through the bold and fluid qualities of watercolor. In addition to painting wildlife, her work focuses on education regarding both watercolor technique and the subject matter itself. She collaborates with various societies including zoos, rescue organizations, and wildlife sanctuaries by using her art for fundraising and promoting conservation efforts. For more information and to view her work, visit www.houseofwatercolor.com
Katie LeVan (Painting)
Katie LeVan is an emerging artist from the Erie, Pennsylvania region. She graduated in 2013 from Mercyhurst University with a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art – Painting. Since graduation, she has become increasingly involved with the local art community, taking part in events such as the Downtown Edinboro Arts and Music Festival, Arts and Drafts, and various Erie Handmade Fairs. Her work has also been represented at the Campbell Pottery Store, Gallery 104, Kelly Run Gallery, and Pointe Foure Vintage Boutique. Recently, she has created a line of pressed flower jewelry. Katie’s artwork represents the beauty of the world we are living in, whether it is in a fairly accurate manner with minimal abstraction, or in a thick, fast paced, impasto style. Her work aims to show us that the true art of the world exists in the beauty of what surrounds us each and every day.
Paul Schonhart (Wood Carvings and Decoys)
Paul, a retired college administrator, started carving in 1990. His many years in the duck blinds provided him with the incentive to start carving. Paul creates a few commissioned pieces are done each year as well as sales at decoy and art shows. Paul specializes in collecting working decoys from Nova Scotia and Maritime Canada and has a small collection of antique working decoys.
Chandler Beatty (Painting)
Chandler Beatty is a professional wildlife artist who takes on a fine detailed perspective using mostly acrylic paint. He is an avid sportsman who enjoys everything that pertains to wildlife. Chandler, who has been painting for over 20 years has won numerous awards and has been a featured artist in several shows. He uses many techniques when developing his paintings. He initially started painting watercolors early in his career and has transitioned to acrylic paint in just the past 10 years. For a three-dimensional effect in some of his work he starts with an out of focus background and works his way forward to the finer detail in the foreground. Chandler's inspiration comes from the glimpse of of nature that are always a treasure to see when enjoying the great outdoors.
Amanda Lewis (Cold Porcelain Flowers)
Amanda Lewis earned her BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design in 2003. Her focus was on hand thrown pottery. She continued her education at Kent State University, earning an MFA in ceramics. In 2008 she and her husband opened a studio/gallery in Clarion Pennsylvania. There she made functional pottery with painted floral designs for retail outlets and craft fairs. Eventually the floral decoration became the focus and the flowers grew progressively more realistic and dimensional but proved to be very fragile. In 2012 Amanda came across a recipe for an air dry clay called cold porcelain using cornstarch and glue. She found this material simple to make and more capable of capturing the detail and delicacy of real flowers. Today she transforms this humble medium into lifelike renditions of the wildflowers that grow near her home in the PA wilds.
Marcia Merrins (Ceramics)
Marcia Merrins' goal is to make unique forms that bring joy and merriment to its owner. "Footed Bowls" are created from stoneware clay slabs and handbuilt. They express attitude without a face. They can be functional, holding practical things, yet quirky. They are created with love and care with glaze applied with careful detail. For Marcia, raku firing is one of the most exciting processes in ceramics. She is attracted to the random action of fire on clay, or what has been termed “the gift of the flame.”
Judy Hodge (Painting)
Judy restarted painting in 2013, was accepted into Burchfield’s Buffalo Society of Artists as an exhibiting member in 2014 and have been showing and selling work since. Her story is a rebirth into this world through imagery that is tactile, energetically emotional and colorful - sometimes “representational” impressionism, sometimes pure abstraction. Her mother once said I have a love affair with nature - she got it right. Judy paints mid to large scale acrylics on canvas that capture the energy of stillness and invite the viewer directly into her world to share in the grand delight of nature. She also paints smaller-scale mixed media pieces and pastels because she is attracted to the high pigment quality and immediate “no-going back” commitment that is a part of the way she uses this medium. Judy has been an agency creative director for 23 years and owns her own advertising company. She holds a BFA in painting from UB where she had the pleasure of working with and being mentored by Seyour Drummlevitch, and Walter Prochownik. She also holds an MA - fine art and computer science, from UB.
Paula Coats (Ceramics)
Paula came to pottery later in life after a career in teaching and has been making pottery for nine years. Her pottery is fairly eclectic as she experiments with different techniques whether it be functional ware fired to cone 6 in an electric kiln, porcelain pieces fired to cone 10 in a gas kiln, earthy pots fired in a wood or soda fired kiln, or decorative low fired pottery done using a Raku or a Saggar firing method. Every day offers a new opportunity to learn, experiment and create.
Kim Keller (Copper Metalwork)
After retiring from the Aerospace industry in Southern California, this native Pittsburgher found herself relocated to rural north west Pennsylvania. It was quite a difference from the Palos Verdes peninsula to 47 acres of woods and nature. Kim had dabbled in art her whole life but now a new direction was about to unfold. Leafing through a magazine she came across a piece of stamped metal art for sale which reminded her of a junior high school art project involving copper. She thought it would be fun to give it a try again. Kim has learned a lot over these last few years and is inspired by the nature around her.
Toni Kelly (Painting)
Artist Toni Kelly has always lived in North Western Pennsylvania along the shores of Lake Erie. As a child, Toni was inclined to draw and paint, but her love of drawing and painting nature subjects didn’t come until later in life. After moving into her current home and studio, Toni became an avid gardener and backyard birder, often sketching her flowers and yard birds in journals. This was the beginning of her interest in nature art. Toni’s art education has been self-directed with independent study, classes and workshops. She learned to paint with watercolor by prominent local instructors with additional study in botanical painting at the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh, PA. Toni now portrays nature related images on canvas. Birds and flowers are her main subjects and at times she places the birds in a still life setting along with books and pottery. You can see more of Toni's work at http://www.tonikellystudio.com.
Wendy Bale (Painting & Charcoal)
Wendy Bale documents nature and wildlife using oil painting and charcoal drawing techniques. “For me, art is like elaborate journaling. I am inspired to capture and record the essence of the outdoors – the sight, movement and emotion of my experiences.” An avid birder, Wendy’s subjects include birds, forests, landscapes and rivers often by merging different perspectives, angles and elements. Represented by Portage Hill Gallery in Westfield, NY, Wendy is also an exhibiting member of the North Shore Arts Alliance. Her recent shows include Women Create, in Jamestown, NY and a retrospective at the Wetmore Gallery in Warren, PA. Wendy shares life with her husband “Sandhill Bill,” a custom furniture designer and woodworker and two standard poodles, Jack and Victor.
Donna Sallade (Paper Flowers)
Donna Sallade of Mill Creek Floral Designs lives in the foothills of Potter County (Coudersport) and has been makings making paper flowers for 3 years. For many years Donna grew flowers in her greenhouse, but now she has the only greenhouse in Potter County that is full of paper flowers.
Jody Neugebauer (Gourd Art)
Jody loves making art with gourds! Each one is a natural, original, canvas that can be transformed with an almost endless array of methods, into amazing art! Her gourds have won awards at juried art shows from Texas to Pennsylvania. The artwork’s main subject is usually wildlife, and nature, with a desire to raise awareness about the need to preserve our environment and all the beautiful creatures of earth. Jody takes her own reference photos and this has led to some wonderful photos of the wildlife she loves! To learn more visit her website, http://dream-queststudio.blogspot.com or her Facebook page Jody Neugebauer Gourds and Dream Quest Studio @Jodynegebauergourds.
Kimberly Nicole (Painting)
Kim Voigt is watercolor artist from Buffalo, NY. She started painting different birds in her backyard and started doing shows in the region/ Kim loves sharing her work with other people and hearing their stories and experiences with birds and other wildlife.
Mike Crandall (Woodworking)
Denise Williams-Stebbins (Glasswork | Painting)
Bruce Robinson (Photography)
Ellen Paquette (Painting | Sewn Creations)
Don and Harriet Partch (Jewelry)
John Muka and David Wayne (Pottery)
Nancy Nixon Ensign (Painting)
Gregg Kristophel (Woodwork)
Catherine Walsh (Ceramics)
Diane Sypniewski (Painting on Canvas & Terra Cotta Pots)