Local Scoop


Asheville, North Carolina News

Celebrate the Art & Science of Birds at The NC Arboretum

NC Arboretum

ASHEVILLE, NC – The North Carolina Arboretum celebrates the art and science of birds with "H. Douglas Pratt and John C. Sill’s BIRDS: The Science of Illustration," a new exhibit currently open at The Baker Exhibit Center.

In conjunction with the Arboretum’s celebration as an official part of the NC Birding Trail Guide, the exhibit explores how art and science work together in Pratt and Sill’s artistic illustrations of birds.

Pratt is an ornithologist, artist, and photographer as well as Research Curator of Birds at the NC State Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. As a widely respected zoological illustrator, author and illustrator, Pratt has contributed to publications such as National Geographic Society’s Field Guide to the Birds of North America and the multi-volume Handbook of Birds of the World.

Sill has worked as a freelance artist and illustrator since 1971 and has been exhibited in highly acclaimed shows and appeared in a number of books and magazines. He has been the illustrator for the Massachusetts Audubon Society’s Bird Identification Calendar since the project began in 1980 and he is an instructor for the Institute for Field Ornithology sponsored by the American Birding Association.

Additional exhibit features include:

  • A bird nest collection, containing nests and egg replicas of local songbirds.
  • An interactive bird song display to test and instruct visitors on recognizing songbirds by vocalizations.
  • A habitat match-up interactive mural designed to teach concepts of animal needs and the distinct habitats of local birds in habitats that occur in WNC.
  • An illustration table with sketch paper, pencils, erasers and colored pencils.
    Discovery Packs containing binoculars for children to check out birds in the gardens are also available for families to enhance their exploration.

"H. Douglas Pratt and John C. Sill’s BIRDS: The Science of Illustration" runs through November 1 and is free for members or with parking admission ($6 per personal vehicle). For more information, call 665-2492 or visit www.ncarboretum.org.

Leave a Reply