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Children exhibit wildlife depictions in Peeps show

Posted: Thursday, May 20, 2010

Budding artists and perhaps freshly-hatched birders will have their art on display at the Blazy Mall this week for the Peeps Art and Photo Exhibit.

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"Black Capped Chickadee at Feeder" by Gemma Burke, 9

The exhibit showcases pieces from local artists ages 2 to 14 all on the topic on birding and wildlife and is the kick off to the Kenai Birding Festival this weekend.

"It's a way to engage children in wildlife viewing and a fun way to do it, and the opportunity for them to see their art hung," said Josselyn O'Connor of the Kenai Watershed Forum.

An opening reception for the young artists will be tonight at 4:30 p.m. with a number of awards, including a people's choice honor, given out around 5 p.m.

"As far as the entries this year I think there's more creativity," said Brain Erwin, manager of Frames and Things, which helps hang the show.

All different types of birds and wildlife are gracing the walls of the exhibit space including penguins, mallards, eagles, robins and even a musk ox; all in a variety of different media: watercolor, colored pencil, photographs and colorful clay.

Erwin said one of his favorites pieces this year is a rubbing of a flounder and a trout tail. The rubbing is sort of like the show's Rorschach test, leaving a different impressions on viewers.

"One guy saw a cow, the other saw a person's face," he said.

Another piece that caught his eye, Erwin said, is the depiction of a kingfisher using blue glitter, twigs, dirt and actual feathers.

"I think there's a lot more imagination this year," he said.

This is the fourth year the Kenai Birding Festival has included the Peeps Art Show as part of its program, and the artists who submitted for the first show and continue to submit have matured in their abilities, O'Connor said.

"It's been growing and the sophistication of art is changing a bit," she said.

The Kenai Birding Festival has a whole children's birding program included in the schedule, with birding crafts and educational songs on Saturday morning as well activities for all ages on the wildlife-viewing platform.

"The whole festival is really geared to different levels of birders," said Natasha Ala of the Kenai Visitors and Cultural Center. "The Peninsula is really a hot spot for birding."

Brielle Schaeffer can be reached at brielle.schaeffer@peninsulaclarion.com.



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