Keep Looking: Fred Tomaselli’s Birds Exhibition Opens As Region Prepares for Biggest Week in American Birding

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TOMASELLI_After Migrant Fruit Thugs_2008_JCG4339The Toledo Museum of Art is offering a special treat for tourists and area residents alike by presenting another in its series of free exhibitions devoted to bird-related art.

Keep Looking: Fred Tomaselli’s Birds opens April 29 and will continue through Aug. 7, 2016, in Gallery 6. The show’s opening coincides with the Biggest Week in American Birding (May 6–15, 2016), which is expected to bring tens of thousands of birders to see a fantastic array of migrating songbirds on the southern shores of Lake Erie near Toledo.

“We started doing these exhibitions in 2012 in support of and collaboration with the region’s growing ecotourism industry. The biennial exhibitions have proven to be very popular with both local and out-of-town visitors,” said Toledo Museum of Art Director Brian Kennedy.

“Birds are always around, yet when you look closely at them through binoculars, you see unique details that you don’t usually see with the naked eye.”

This year’s exhibition is the first to feature the work of a single artist.

Five painting/collages, a tapestry and four “Field Guide” works by Fred Tomaselli are featured in the Museum’s focus exhibition. Tomaselli began creating bird-related imagery in the 1990s. He uses natural materials, such as leaves and seeds, images of birds, insects and flowers cut from nature guides as well as painted patterns in his signature collages, which are covered in layers of resin. Born in 1956 and himself a birder, the American artist currently lives and works in New York City.

Exhibition curator Paula Reich, interpretive projects and managing editor at the Museum, said Tomaselli is interested in visual perception beyond the immediate.

“Birds are always around, yet when you look closely at them through binoculars, you see unique details that you don’t usually see with the naked eye. As Tomaselli notes, there is this parallel world around you that you don’t necessarily take note of,” Reich said. “Tomaselli constructs his work around the tension between real, photographic and painterly images that invites us to see beyond the ordinary – to ‘look and keep looking.’”

TOMASELLI_Starling_2010_JCG4694In conjunction with the exhibition, Tomaselli will be in Toledo on May 12 to speak at 6 p.m. as part of the Masters Series at the Museum’s Peristyle. The Masters Series features world-renowned artists, scholars, musicians and others who are invited to share their knowledge and talents at the Museum. The free program is sponsored by the TMA Ambassadors and Yark Automotive Group.

Keep Looking: Fred Tomaselli’s Birds is made possible by members of the Toledo Museum of Art and by a sustainability grant from the Ohio Arts Council.

Admission to the exhibition and to the Museum is free. For directions and more information, visit toledomuseum.org.


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