Thursday, July 29, 2010

"100 Starlings"

Christopher Reiger 
"the bird that stands against time's desolation" 
Gouache, acrylic, watercolor and marker on Arches paper 
12 3/4 x 11 3/8 inches
"the bird that stands against time's desolation," a 2009 drawing of mine, is included in The Stockyard Institute's Nomadic Studio Bird Sanctuary, at the DePaul University Museum. The show opens this weekend.

My work is part of the "100 Starlings" installation by artist Nikki Jarecki. From Jarecki's press release:
"I am [...] bringing a collective of artists together under one roof to teach and learn from each other about the potential of a singular invasive species, the European Starling. I observe nature in the urban environment the same way I did in my rural environment. The observations lead to research which made me wonder how others perceive this common creature. I named the project, 100 European Starlings as that is the number that Eugene Schieffelin collectively released in North America in the 19th century."
Personally, I admire the starling, and I'm skeptical of those who villify the species. I wrote here in 2008,
"I have a soft spot for the trophic generalists, those species able to eke out a living - even thrive - across a range of unexploited ecological niches. Prince among the trophic generalists is the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris). Clothed in a white-speckled, iridescent suit of blues, blacks, purples and brown, the starling is dashing, if despised. Like so many American immigrants, the bird made a fresh start in New York just before the turn of the 20th century. According to recent estimates, the approximately 200 million starlings that call North America home all descend, Old Testament-like, from one group of birds (numbering between 60 and 100) released into Central Park in 1890. Shakespeare enthusiast Eugene Schieffelin believed his goal of introducing all bird species mentioned in the works of Shakespeare was a worthy one. Legion biologists disagree.

I'm not sure that their concern is wholly legitimate. The xenophobic couching of the terms - "invasive," "alien," "exotic" - is worrisome, and I also favor the realist's long view. Given the opportunity, all species spread when and where they can, and ecosystems, like climates, are forever in flux."
It will be interesting to learn what the other artists present. Read more about Jarecki's project here.

"100 Starlings"
(in conjunction with The Stockyard Institute's Nomadic Studio)
DePaul University Art Museum
2350 N. Kenmore Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614
August 1 - August 31

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

ESPP Anniversary

Molly Schafer
"Moldavian Meadow Viper"
Archival giclee print (Edition of 2000)
8 x 10 inches

The Endangered Species Print Project recently celebrated their one year anniversary! To mark it, they released three new prints.

I'm especially fond of the two newly available limited editions created by the project's co-founders, Molly Schafer and Jenny Kendler...and I'm most drawn to the Moldavian Meadow Viper (Vipera ursinii ssp. moldavica). This, for three reasons: Molly rendered the animal beautifully; I adore serpents, and Molly evidently does, too; I have an irrational attachment to Hungary, since my paternal great-grandparents hail from the country, and sales of the print benefit the Hungarian Meadow Viper Conservation Center, a conservation organization based there.

Visit the ESPP site to see the other prints.

Image credit: Courtesy the Endangered Species Print Project

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Benefit Auction for Audubon Action Center

Christopher Reiger
Pen and ink, sumi ink and watercolor on Arches paper
16 1/2 x 14 3/4 inches

"Totem:Wolf," one of my 2007 drawings, is included in Heide Hatry's Silent Auction to Benefit Audubon Action Center's Gulf Oil Response. The auction is being held in conjunction with Hatry's benefit exhibition "Imagine It Thick In Your Own Hair," at Pierre Menard Gallery. The Audubon Action Center is doing valuable work assisting in the Gulf region.

The auction takes place this Thursday evening, July 22nd. If you're in the Boston or Cambridge area, check it out!

Pierre Menard Gallery
10 Arrow St.
Cambridge, MA 02138
Auction and reception: July 22, 6 - 9 PM

Monday, July 19, 2010

Denise Bibro "Summer Selections"

I have work included in Denise Bibro Gallery's "Summer Selections," a group exhibition opening this week.

Denise Bibro Fine Art
529 West 20th Street, 4W
NY, NY 10011

"Summer Selections"
July 22 - August 13, 2010
Opening reception: Thursday, July 22, 6 - 8 PM

Monday, July 05, 2010

A California Hello and a New York Hyena

Robyn Winston's spotted hyena cake in progress

This past Thursday, Elizabeth and I safely completed our cross country drive, and with negligible damage to any of the art, furniture, books, tchotchkes, or other objects we loaded into the back of Cheryl, our Penske rental truck. Now that I'm a San Francisco resident, however, I must settle in, find a part-time job, and land happily on my art-making feet in a new and exciting environment. In other words, please understand if HH posts are irregular.

In the coming weeks, I hope to sort through the many drive-by snapshots Elizabeth took from the shotgun seat, including tremendous storms brewing over Kansas, vast wind farms in Colorado, and the stunning salt flats of Utah. In the meantime, I'm posting several photographs of the amazing spotted hyena cake that my friend and talented artist Robyn Winston made for my NYC send-off. I'm delighted to think that I may be one of a very few people who has been presented with a hyena shaped cake! Thank you, Robyn!

Robyn's finished cake

My happy mug with the hyena maw

Photo credits: Robyn Winston, 2010