Discover Art in Nature at Free Clark Family Day October 5

For Immediate Release

September 08, 2008

Explore nature during the Art in Nature Family Day at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute on Sunday, October 5, from 12 to 4 pm. Bird-watching, nature-inspired art projects, creative movement workshops, family gallery talks, and an exotic and native bird display will have all ages enjoying the great outdoors. Gallery admission and activities are free on this day.

Hike up Stone Hill for bird-watching expeditions with naturalist Stacey Chilcoat of the Nashua River Watershed Association. Inhabiting the area are pileated woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees, red tailed hawks, tufted titmice, and cedar waxwings. Bird identification sheets to use and take home will be provided. Participants are encouraged to bring binoculars and wear sturdy shoes. Expeditions will be held at 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30 pm.

Peter Dubacher of the Berkshire Bird Paradise Sanctuary will bring his fine, feathered friends to the Clark for the afternoon. Located in nearby Grafton, NY, the sanctuary provides a home to injured and unwanted birds, including some endangered species. Be captivated by the educational and beautiful display of exotic and native birds including a bald eagle, golden eagle, osprey, red tailed hawk, great horned wwl, and African crowned cranes. Cranes are a symbol of peace in Japan. The birds will be on view near Stone Hill Center, designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando.

Drawing inspiration from the Clark’s 140-acre campus, create nature-inspired art projects. Make your own nature journal and rock masterpieces. Recycled-paper-making workshops, led by local artist Cynthia Lewis, will be held on the half hour, 12:30 through 3:30 pm.

At 1 and 3 pm, Caldecott Medal winner Mordicai Gerstein will lead a visual imagination presentation based on his illustrations for the book How to Paint the Portrait of a Bird, followed by a book signing. Along with writing and illustrating books for children, Gerstein is a painter, sculptor, and prize-winning designer and director of animated films.

Isabelle Holmes, local dance instructor, will lead kids in movement games and dances inspired by wild animals and elements in nature. These “Flight in Nature” creative movement workshops will be held 12:30 and 2:30 pm for ages four to seven, and 1:30 and 3:30 pm for ages eight and up.

The recycled-paper-making workshops will take place in the Hunter Studio at Stone Hill Center. Designed to blend gracefully into the hillside on the Clark’s campus, Stone Hill Center is integrated into the surrounding landscape through a network of scenic trails and walking paths. Visitors can enjoy generous vistas of the countryside and the Green Mountains and Taconic Range. The building’s architect, Tadao Ando, was selected because of his contemplative style and ability to weave architecture seamlessly into a natural environment. Reed Hilderbrand Associates, landscape architects, set the building within a meadow of tall grasses and rejuvenated the woodland edge with red and white oaks, American beech and birch, sugar maples, and quaking aspen.

A visit to the Clark is a rewarding family experience year-round, with 140 acres of scenic meadows and trails providing ample opportunities to run and play, hike, and spot the many birds inhabiting the area. In addition to the new walking paths leading to Stone Hill Center, two trails explore the far reaches of the Clark’s campus. The Pasture Loop and longer Stone Bench Loop both have wonderful views of Williamstown and the surrounding mountains. The Clark’s grounds are open to the public free of charge. Free admission to the galleries is always offered to children 18 and under and to students with valid ID.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm (daily in July and August). Admission June 1 through October 31 is $12.50 for adults, free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. Admission is free November through May. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit www.clarkart.edu.

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