February 12, 2020

D&R Greenway Hosts “Avian Art” Event

“LONG-EARED OWL”: This painting by James Fiorentino is featured in “Portaits of Preservation,” now on view at D&R Greenway’s Johnson Education Center, One Preservation Place. D&R Greenway and The Raptor Trust will host an “Avian Art” celebration at the center on Friday, February 28 from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

Paintings of powerful animals and birds, as well as scenes of New Jersey habitats, are the focus of an “Avian Art” celebration at D&R Greenway on Friday, February 28, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. The event is held in cooperation with The Raptor Trust, renowned for bird rehabilitation.

February 28 also marks the final day of wildlife artist James Fiorentino’s “Portraits of Preservation,” now on view at the Johnson Education Center, One Preservation Place. The public is welcome to view the exhibition Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A closing reception for the exhibit will coincide with the “Avian Art” event, after which the watercolors will move to Bernardsville’s Studio 7. The event is free, but Rsvp@drgreenway.org to attend or call (609) 924-4646.

Raptor Trust educator Shari Stern will bring a live screech owl to the event, emphasizing the importance of preserving wildlife habitats for both migrating and nesting birds. According to D&R Greenway, “Avian Art” was catalyzed by a major study by the Cornell Ornithology Lab revealing that nearly a quarter of all birds have disappeared from North America within 50 years. Particularly impacted are “everyday” birds, conspicuously missing from regional feeders. Habitat loss was named as the leading culprit in this loss of some 2.9 billion birds.

Fiorentino is a member of the Salmagundi Club in Manhattan, the New Jersey Watercolor Society, American Watercolor Society, Society of Animal Artists, and Artists for Conservation. His artwork has been displayed in numerous museums including the San Diego Museum of Natural History, the Bennington Museum, the Hiram Blauvelt Museum, the Arizona Sonora-Desert Museum, Muhammed Ali Learning Center, the Negro League Museum, and Ted Williams Museum.

“In our 31 years, we have preserved and provided stewardship for nearly 21,000 acres of New Jersey land. We seek out natural sites, because they play such a crucial role in protecting birds and other wildlife,” said D&R Greenway CEO and President Linda Mead. “James Fiorentino’s exquisite paintings are accompanied by information panels, connecting visitors to the importance of these lands and our work.”

Mead continued, “Just last year, The Raptor Trust chose our Cedar Ridge Preserve in which to release two rehabilitated screech owls. It is a privilege to offer the presence of these small, significant creatures at our ‘Avian Art’ event.”

Fiorentino will speak about his work with these two nonprofits. Each strives to ensure healthy habitats in which birds can feed, court, nest, raise young, and migrate twice each year. Birds he has chosen to paint, which remind viewers of their scarcity, include an American bald eagle, a kestrel, a purple martin, a great blue heron, a long-eared owl, a screech owl, a red-tailed hawk, and a hummingbird. The show also includes “Forever Landscapes” on D&R Greenway’s popular preserves. Among them are Cedar Ridge Preserve, St. Michaels Farm Preserve, the Sourland Mountain Preserve, Goat Hill Overlook, and the Abbott Marshlands.

All art is for sale, a percentage supporting the land trust’s preservation and stewardship.

To learn more, visit www.drgreenway.org.