Each year, the Waterfowl Festival presents the work of some of the world’s most renowned wildlife artists. For the 2008 show, even more of these nationally recognized artists will be featured with this year’s new Guest Artist Gallery. This gallery, as well as the Masters Gallery, will be found during the Festival, November 14 through 16, at the Academy Art Museum.
The Masters Gallery offers visitors an opportunity to view and purchase sculptures and paintings from the best of the best. These are artists, living or deceased, who are acclaimed in the art world as masters in their medium. Work will be presented this year from Robert Abbett, Robert Bateman, Richard Bishop, Raymond Harris-Ching, Lanford Monroe, Manfred Schatz, Brett Smith and more.
In addition, John Sharp has been chosen to be the 2008 Featured Artist at the Masters Gallery. Robert J. Koenke, co-chairman of the Festival’s Masters Gallery Committee, described Sharp as being in a class by himself. Sharp is not simply a carver, but a wood sculptor, creating masterpieces of stylized realism primarily in black walnut and cherry.
His work has won ten “Best in World” titles at the Ward World Championship Wildfowl Carving Competition. Koenke expects to present eight to ten of his pieces at the Festival. Sharp will be on hand to meet visitors and answer questions.
Also attending will be Russell A. Fink, whose gallery has specialized in wildlife and sporting art for more than 30 years. He will autograph copies of his new book, Richard E. Bishop: Etchings, Dry Points, and Aquatints.
While many of the finest artists have been featured over the years at the Masters Gallery, Koenke noted that there has been concern in the organization that a number of excellent wildlife and sporting artists are not being represented. Some may have exhibited at the Festival in previous years, but due to other demands or lack of time rarely do shows anymore.
“We are presenting the Guest Artist Gallery this year,” said Koenke, “because we want to continue to bring to the public the finest in wildlife art. Having the work of these special artists strengthens our reputation for offering the highest quality wildlife and sporting art being shown on the East Coast.”
The Guest Artist Gallery will feature work with a wide range of subject matter from artists including Edward Aldrich, Peter Corbin, Rod Crossman, Phillip Crowe, Terry Isaac, Jim Killen, Bruce Miller, Jerry Raedeke, John Ruthven, and Lindsay Scott.
Altogether, Koenke hopes to present 60 to 70 paintings and sculptures at the Masters and Guest Artist Galleries. All the artwork will be for sale, with a wide range of pricing “to suit every taste and budget,” he said.
“Some people consider the Masters Gallery the highlight of Festival weekend,” said Koenke. “With the addition of the Guest Artist Gallery, we are very pleased to be able to present the work of even more extraordinary artists to our visitors this year.”
The 2008 Waterfowl Festival will be held in Easton November 14, 15 & 16. For more information, to volunteer or to make a donation, contact the Waterfowl Festival office at 410-822-4567 or visit its website,www.waterfowlfestival.org.