Biscayne

Wings of Hope: Painted Tapestries of Florida’s Imperiled Birds opened in Biscayne National Park’s Dante Fascell Visitor Center Gallery and will run daily through February 28, 2021.

The exhibit features paintings by the Palette Knife Artists of Miami paired with photographs by group member Bonnie Masdeu, who is also a wildlife photographer. The exhibit aims to highlight not only the beauty of these animals, but some of the many issues they face as well.

Toward that end, the virtual reception for the exhibit will feature not only an opportunity to meet the artists, but a discussion on birds led by Tropical Audubon’s Brian Rapoza. The virtual event is sponsored by the Florida National Parks Association and can be viewed on the park’s Facebook page starting at 1:00 PM on January 10, 2021.

The Palette Knife Artists of Miami is a group of accomplished artists who paint exclusively with palette knives. They come from different artistic backgrounds, different states and countries, but all call Miami home. Their varied life experiences and customs enrich their styles and form the inspiration for their work. The paintings are characterized by the thick textures achieved by the layering of paint, the richness and veracity of colors in the application of the medium and the depth of feeling each artist conveys in the strokes. This unique technique brings out the soul of every subject depicted, whether abstract or realistic. 

In the hands of these twelve artists, the birds come to life, transformed on canvas in rich colors, dramatic textures, and abstract forms. The paintings and photographs are displayed in pairs so viewers see two interpretations of the same species. “We hope our art serves to highlight and make a difference in the way people view our native bird life, thereby joining us in our efforts to protect them,” said MaiYap, the group’s founder.

Wings of Hope is part of the park’s Community Artists Program, started in 1997 as an outlet for artists inspired by the beauty of Biscayne National Park. The gallery has featured photography, paintings and drawings in a variety of media, fiber, clay, printmaking and sculpture. The program is supported by the South Florida National Parks Trust.

For more details about the exhibit, visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/bisc

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