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“Rare Wildlife Revealed” Exhibit by James Fiorentino The exhibit “Rare Wildlife Revealed: The James Fiorentino Traveling Art Exhibition” is on display at Hiram Blauvelt Museum
“Rare Wildlife Revealed” Exhibit by James Fiorentino

The exhibit “Rare Wildlife Revealed: The James Fiorentino Traveling Art Exhibition” is on display at Hiram Blauvelt Museum through July 30. A free reception will be held on May 19 from 6-8 PM.

Offered by the nonprofit Conserve Wildlife Foundation, the exhibit is part of a three-year traveling exhibition around the northeastern United States that kicked off this past fall.

“We hope this exhibit will not only inspire but educate everyone who comes through our doors,” says Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum President James Bellis Jr. “You will see our very own Jersey artist pay tribute to some of New Jersey’s vulnerable wildlife species.”

The Blauvelt-Demarest Foundation established the museum in 1957 through the contribution of his private wildlife art and big game collections. The well-received three-year exhibition, launched this past fall, fittingly builds on the legacy of the late Hiram Blauvelt, philanthropist, conservationist and collector.

According to the museum’s website, “Hiram hoped to educate the coming generations to the diversity and beauty of the wildlife kingdom. He especially wanted to enlighten the public to the challenges we face to preserve the marvels of wildlife and their natural environments.”

Sales of the original paintings, limited edition digital prints, the exhibition book, and wildlife merchandise will benefit Conserve Wildlife Foundation.

“James Fiorentino’s stunning watercolor portraits bring rare wildlife to life right on the canvas,” said David Wheeler, CWF Executive Director and wildlife author. “From the bobcat and the bald eagle to the humpback whale and sea horse, these creatures great and small have managed to survive in densely populated New Jersey. But they need our help, and these gorgeous paintings illustrate what is at stake.”

A member of the Society of Animal Artists, James Fiorentino has had some of his works selected to their prestigious “Art and The Animal” shows at the San Diego Natural History Museum and the Bennington Museum in Vermont. His wildlife works have been displayed and sold at galleries nationwide.

At 15, Fiorentino became the youngest artist to be featured in the National Baseball Hall of Fame with paintings of baseball legends like Reggie Jackson, Cal Ripken Jr. and Ted Williams; his sports art has since graced national magazines and landed him in interviews with ABC World News Tonight and countless other news studios. Now 39, Fiorentino is pursuing another lifelong passion with a three-year traveling wildlife art exhibition in New Jersey and New York.

Former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean is expected to attend the reception. He wrote the foreword for the hardcover art book accompanying the exhibition.

“Renowned as one of the best sports artists in the country, Jim’s works hang in major museums,” says Governor Kean. “In recent years he has turned to wildlife. Jim has created an amazing body of work. Many of the creatures he paints are endangered, and Jim celebrates their uniqueness and beauty.”

Fiorentino started painting animals when he was 10, and he later became a trustee for the Raptor Trust in Millington, N.J. “We rehabilitate 4,000 wild birds a year and release about half that number,” says Fiorentino. “These wild birds have had a tremendous influence on me. I enjoy getting close to birds of prey, and it brought me back to nature art.” Before going back to his studio to paint the details, Fiorentino sketches the animals up close, sometimes holding them, taking in their details.

His two young sons enjoy being in nature, the oldest son joining his father to draw wildlife, especially butterflies—proving that humans, too, benefit from having wildlife in their midst. “I am awed by what we see in our own backyard: the endangered Eastern box turtle, great horned owl, pileated woodpeckers, foxes, hawks and butterflies,” says Fiorentino. “It’s an amazing backyard ecosystem.”

Rare Wildlife Revealed: The James Fiorentino Traveling Art Exhibition is sponsored by Omni Distribution, LLC, Flying Fish Brewing Company, Merrill G. & Emita Hastings Foundation, Studio 7 Fine Art Gallery, and Somerset Patriots.


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