Amy Sawyer's "Audubon Revisited" opens at Museum's Nature Art Gallery First Friday, August 1
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“Audubon Revisited,” an exhibit and art sale by Amy Sawyer, to open at Nature Art Gallery on First Friday, August 1
RALEIGH—Amy Sawyer is a Raleigh native now living in Wake Forest, North Carolina. A lover of art since childhood, she earned BFA degrees in Painting and Drawing and Art Education from East Carolina University, with minors in Commercial Art and Ceramics. Since graduating in the late 1980s, Sawyer has enjoyed creating artwork in a variety of media including watercolor, ink, clay, glass, and copper – and is now exploring forged steel sculpture. She draws her subject matter from nature, including insects, birds, flowers, and landscapes. Her new series of work titled “Audubon Revisited” reflects her growing interest in birds. Beginning as a casual observer, she has steadily become an avid birder. The exhibit opens in the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences’ Nature Art Gallery on First Friday, August 1, with an opening night wine and cheese reception from 6 to 8 p.m., and runs through Monday, September 1.
In 2009, 2011, and 2013, Sawyer was one of twelve local artists whose artwork was selected for the City of Raleigh Art-On-The-Move public art program. This program features artwork reproduced as large-format vinyl wraps applied to CAT buses, circulating throughout the city for a period of six months.
Sawyer has also participated in the locally-based, nationally-competitive Mystery Build sculpture competition, winning the grand prize in 2011, and placing 11th in 2013 with the Audubon-inspired piece on display in the Museum’s show. “My bird paintings began as quick studies of birds done from life, mostly sketched while kayaking at the NC coast over summer vacations,” says Sawyer. “After the bus project, having progressed into increasingly detailed renderings of birds, I began exploring John James Audubon's work. Admiring his masterful compositions and highly animated birds, I created this series of paintings by borrowing from his compositions and replacing the settings with household objects that reflect some aspect of the original work.”
In addition to creating art, Sawyer has worked for the past twenty years as a full-time exhibit designer and builder specializing in history dioramas. She is currently the curator of design for the North Carolina Division of State Historic Sites and over the past nine years she has designed and produced numerous history displays for the division's museums and visitor centers.
The Nature Art Gallery is located on the top floor of the Museum Store, Nature Exploration Center (main building). Hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.; and open until 9 p.m. on First Fridays. All exhibited art is for sale. For more information about the Nature Art Gallery, call 919.707.9854.