Bird Stories - Flying with Nature

All day, everyday starting 1/13/2019 through 2/13/2019

Barber Library, Rotunda

Artist Statement by Jacob Joseph Norris

Sometimes people ask me, "Why do you paint birds?"

I've never met a person that doesn't have a bird story. When I paint a Junco or a Chickadee, there will always be someone who will say, "I love Chickadee's, I used to see them in the Winter flocking together at my old home in the mountains", or "Junco's remind me of my friend Sean" or something like that. And then we get to talking and sharing stories about them, we find a way to connect and we end up building some community through the experience. When I go out to nature I am filled up when I see my friends, the Towhee, the Scrub Jay, the Townsend's Solitaire or the Varied Thrush. I never get tired of seeing them, it always warms my heart when I see a bird that I haven't seen for a while, or if I see a new bird that I've never seen in my life before, like this year I saw a Snipe for the first time ever. It is an endless discovery. The birds make everyday feel like an adventure in the most simple way.

The birds tell stories too, they tell of harsh winter's to come, they tell of camaraderie and strength of community. It is mostly the way that they bring a sense of community to my life that inspires me to paint them. I get to know their subtleties, and then I go out walking and when I see a Heron, or a Red-tailed Hawk I notice even more details about the way they move in the world, and how their colors shine, and how each one has an authentic power. They teach me how I want to be in the world, self-sustainable, authentic, communal, free and open-hearted. That's why I paint birds.

Opening Reception

Thursday, January 16, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Barber Library Rotunda Gallery

Bird Stories painting by Jacob Joseph Norris