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Natural Habitats

Wildlife Artists’ Show opens at Athens Arts

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Visitors to Athens Arts will have the rare opportunity, beginning this week, to see several of Indiana’s best, award-winning wildlife artists’ work on display in the local gallery. The show opens Wednesday and continues through Sept. 18.

Artists from across the state, including Al Salfoff, Carol Hemdahl, Char Hulse, Bob Meyers and Shari Gardina, have selected pieces that arrest viewers’ eye with their skill and also bring attention to the wild creatures that share our ecosystem. Athens Arts’ own distinguished wildlife artist, Marianne Ballenger, is a member of Indiana Wildlife Artists and can be credited for bringing this special show to Montgomery County.

Indiana Wildlife Artists, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that supports the advancement of wildlife art as a fine art, providing wildlife artist an opportunity to meet, to learn and to exhibit. 

With their artwork, these talented people encourage the appreciation and understanding of wildlife among the general public and assist conservation groups with education for its benefit. In addition to sharing their skilled art with the public, many artists volunteer in our state parks and serve on boards of organizations that promote the health of our wild animal populations. Their mission also includes reaching out to youth so future generations will be able to see, appreciate and conserve our Hoosier treasure of fauna within their natural habitats.

The Indiana Wildlife Artists’ exhibition is on display in the Fishero Gallery from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. On Friday, the public is invited to a free reception for the artists from 6-8 p.m. Visitors will be able to meet several of the artists who will be glad to speak informally about their work. Light refreshments will be served.

The Alcove Gallery at Athens Arts also will feature the work of first time exhibitor, Kathy West, whose “The Beauty of It All” provides a handsome complement to the wildlife art. West is a photographer whose show displays arresting photographs on canvas to haunting effect. She has turned her artful eye and camera toward the moon, the sun, local landmarks and landscape scenes. 

This Montgomery County native reminds us what the origin point of her art is when she notes, “Stop and take in the beauty of your surroundings at every chance. The littlest of experiences can be everlasting with a simple click of a button.”

Athens Arts is located at 114 N. Washington St., across from the Montgomery County Courthouse and admission is always free. Various works by local artists are also on display and available for sale.

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