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The Art of Bird-Carving, its History and Transition from Decoy to an Art-Form

Ralph Treathway

7:00 PM Room 157 - Olin Hall - Whitman College Campus January 15th, 2015
Note the Room Change
Room 157 Olin Hall is in the next building (east) of the Hall of Science

Artist/Sculptor Ralph Tretheway will talk about the art of bird-carving and his journey as an artist in this medium and describe some of the techniques involved in bird sculpture.

A member of Blue Mountain Audubon Society, Ralph was born in Globe, Arizona. His childhood was spent in California's Mojave Desert where he became enamored with lizards, the Desert Tortoise, insects and other living things found in his wanderings. The family then moved to Salt Lake City where Utah's Wasatch Mountains and wildlife inspired his early sculptures.

He studied sculpture under Angelo Caravaglia at the University of Utah in 1972-73. Angelo's affirmation prompted him to carve and sculpt full-time. Seeing this gift as God-given he worked independently, developing techniques and styles of sculpture that have been a livelihood since 1973.

In addition to original works and 47 limited editions he has done commissions for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife and National Park Services. These include Hawaii's extinct and endangered Honeycreepers, Bald Eagles in Alaska, Whooping Cranes for the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Texas and the endangered birds of Guam. He has done models of endangered bats, insects, rodents and other animals.

His work is in select galleries, museums and the collections of Bev Doolittle, "Ripley's Believe It or Not!" Barbara Roberts, (Governor of Oregon) and Hank Williams Jr. Awards include "First Place", "People's Choice" and "Best in Show". His "Thinker", a frog like Rodin's Thinker is a public art sculpture in Walla Walla, Washington. He is well known for the "World Record Antlers" series, "Pecan Shell Antlers", and "Vegetarian Antlers". A fascination with astronomy is conveyed in 2 and 3-D works of galaxies, comets and the intangible; (black holes, anti-matter). Recently landscapes, aerial photography and patterns in jasper and agate give added inspiration for abstract paintings.

Blessed with an understanding and supportive wife, Susanne, he is grateful to live the artist's dream, pursuing these mediums with a superfluity of ideas.

Also on Jan 15th - Blue Mountain Audubon Auction

Famous BMAS Auctioneer Tom Scribner will enthrall and entertain attendees with his humor and stealth. Watch out! Don't scratch your head - you may have just purchased a book, a coffee mug or a print from a local artist. All proceeds from the BMAS Auction go to support our speakers' series, donations to like-minded organizations or help pay for the printing of The Magpiper. Don't leave your checkbook at home!

Also on Jan 15th - Blue Mountain Audubon Book Exchange

Is your bookshelf full of books you have read? Are you willing to share your books with other BMAS members? The BMAS Book Exchange is designed to be a system facilitating the sharing of books about birds, conservation or related topics. Bring your books to the January meeting. Please be sure to write your name and phone number on the inside cover of each book. Books are loaned on the honor system and expected to be returned to their owner within a reasonable time.


Come join us as we walk around Bennington Lake on Tuesday mornings. It's fun to see what birds are present at different times of the year and to enjoy the changes of the seasons at the lake. The walks last 2-3 hours. We do not walk in inclement weather.

The start time for the walks will change with the seasons. For more information E-mail Ginger Shoemake

Yellow-headed Blackbird