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Chris McClellandChris David McClelland   AFC, SAA, WASA, QWASI, AGRA Chris McClelland
Wildlife drawings African/Australian animals with intricate detail
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Chris McCeland receives a Jury Award at the in the New York State Museum's Focus on Nature XI: Natural History Illustration exhibition.
FAX: 518/486-3696

FOR RELEASE: Immediately Media Contact:
Joanne Guilmette
Phone: (518) 474-8730

(ALBANY, NY) Thirteen illustrators have been selected to receive Jury Awards for their artwork on display in the New York State Museum's Focus on Nature XI: Natural History Illustration exhibition.
The exhibition, open through October 31 in the Photography Gallery, is an international juried biennial exhibition of scientific, natural and cultural history that began in 1990. It showcases world-class, juried artwork by top illustrators from 13 countries. It features 93 natural history illustrations, representing the work of 73 illustrators from the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa and Spain.
Jury Award winners in the U.S. include David Russell Wheeler of Mechanicville, N.Y.; Monika deVries Gohlke of Brooklyn, N.Y.; Adelaide Tyrol of Plainfield, VT.; Bobbi Angell of Marlboro, VT. and Linda M. Feltner of Hereford, AZ. Other winners are: Emily S. Damstra of Kitchener, Canada; Linda Hampson of Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal, Republic of South Africa; Alan Male of Cornwall, Truro, United Kingdom; Chris McClelland of Hay, Australia; Maria da Penha Passos Sant'Anna of Curitiba, Brazil; Dino PulerÓ of Maple, Canada; Marcos Antonio dos Santos-Silvaof Brasilia, Brazil and Mim Wells of Carlisle, Australia.
An online catalog, with images and statements by the artists, as well as additional information on Focus on Nature, can be found at: http://www.nysm.nysed.gov/exhibits/special/fonXI.cfm.
A five-member jury of artists and scientists selected the award winners, as well as the pieces on
display, based on the illustration's educational value and artistic quality. Specifically, the jury was looking for a high degree of technical skill; scientific accuracy including taxonomic definition and aesthetic qualities, including composition; a unique scientific and/or artistic viewpoint, technique, media, or format (organic depiction, schematics, diagrams, etc.) including traditional, mixed and multimedia, and computer-generated images.

The exhibition's goal is to demonstrate the important role illustration has in natural science
research and education, to stimulate curiosity about the world, and bring clearly into focus images of nature that people might not otherwise be able to visualize. Jury Awards recognize the outstanding achievement of these artists.
The subjects represented are diverse, ranging from those only found in the artists' home country to those that have a worldwide distribution. They include the Short-beaked Echidna, the Platypus, and the Leadbeater's Possum, all mammals found only in Australia, and the Red Andreaea, a plant found in the Agulhas Negras Mountains of Brazil. Also represented are many birds familiar in the northeastern U.S. such as the Peregrine Falcon, Barred Owl, Connecticut Warbler, House Sparrow, and one of the world's most widespread -- the Barn Owl. There also are illustrations of an African Dung Beetle, along with the producer of its nourishment -- an African elephant. Also included are recreations of extinct organisms such as the Deinosuchus (an ancient crocodile), Odontochelys (the ancestor of turtles) and Apatosaurus (a dinosaur). The lead image for the exhibition is an illustration of a Titanoboa, a fossil snake from Columbia, that is the largest snake yet discovered. To illustrate its large size, James Gurney of Rhineback, N.Y. showed the snake wrapping itself around a crocodile and lifting it partially out of the water..
"Natural history illustration is both useful to science and appealing to the general public and yet it is an art form that is not often exhibited." said Patricia Kernan, exhibition curator and scientific illustrator at the Museum. "Most people do not realize that illustrations are still often the primary means used to record science and give explanations of the natural world. While very useful, photography cannot
completely replace the accuracy, clarity, and flexibility of good illustrations. For instance, special
diagnostic features can be highlighted, the juxtapositioning of important information can be accomplished, abstract concepts can be diagramed, and extinct organisms can be brought to life. There are examples of all of these in this exhibition."
Many of the illustrations are created for field guides, textbooks, science articles and presentations. Some of these publications are included in exhibition cases. An online catalog with images and statements by the artists, as well as the names of Jury Award winners, will be available on this website after April 13. An interactive with this information also will be in the exhibition gallery.
The State Museum, a cultural program of the New York State Education Department's Office of Cultural Education, was founded on a tradition of scientific inquiry. Started in 1836, the Museum has the longest continuously operating state natural history research and collection survey in the United States. The Museum is located on Madison Avenue in Albany, N.Y. Further information is available by calling 474-5877 or visiting the museum website at www.nysm.nysed.gov.
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EDITORS NOTE: To set up an interview with the illustrator or to obtain a high-resolution digital photo of the illustrator's work contact Joanne Guilmette at (518) 474-8730 or Albert Gnidica at (518) 474-0068.


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