Wednesday, December 29, 2010

January Lobby Exhibit - SONG OF WINTER & THE SNOWBIRD

Public Library, January 5 though 31, 2010
A total winter experience of songbirds and nature

Carol Lowbeer’s whimsical “Song of the Snowbird” exhibit (featuring Connecticut’s winter birds in action) is joined by more photographs of local winter delights in her new exhibit at the Farmington Library January 5 through 31.

A colorful series of winter songbirds flying, cavorting and singing are accompanied by other scenes of snow and ice, creating a total “winter experience” for the visitor. The best part is that the Farmington Library’s cozy lobby boasts a fireplace and comfortable environment so you can experience all that winter weather without getting cold or wet. Among the “non-avian” photographs are “White Tree Spreading Its Branches,” a 16 x 20 photograph printed on canvas featuring a huge tree glistening immediately after a snowfall with branches so heavy they nearly touch the ground. “Blue Peaceful Pond” another large photograph on canvas is so vividly colored one wonders if it’s real. And the backyard winter birds are back – featuring colorful cardinals and blue jays, playful Gold finches, flying Woodpeckers, Carolina wrens showing off and Dark eyed Juncos taking “snow showers.”

A favorite part of the exhibit is that these winter birds are doing far more than sitting on snowy branches looking pretty. They are dining, flying, showing off and landing right before the camera’s eyes! One photo sequence entitled “Shall I try it? features a white-throated sparrow contemplating a flight from a snowy deck—and then actually lifting off into the air. It is almost suspended for a moment, then lands on an adjacent perch near to its next “dinner.” “Finches with Attitude” another sequence, features bright coral house finches who, curious about Carol’s camera, watch her intently with “haughty demeanor.”

The “snowbirds” or “Dark-eyed juncos” for which the show is named, herald the beginning of winter. They are the earliest of our small visitors, regularly arriving at dawn to break the silence of long winter nights. “They are survivors,” says Carol, and quite inventive about getting their food. They “dive” into snowy drifts, tumble about in groups and find nourishment even when their “breakfast” becomes submerged.

“I was fortunate (and sometimes amazed) I was able to get so close to these birds,” remarks Carol. ”The best opportunities to watch them are really during the stormiest days of the year. When birds find it most difficult to find their own food in the snow, they are most grateful of the seeds and other treats we give them and lose much of their shyness. And I love the way the camera captures images and positions we never see in real life because the birds are moving so fast. And most of the photos taken over the past two years show the birds becoming more and more and more accustomed to a human presence.”

Still more winter exhibit photos include several local historical houses in Farmington such as the Samuel Cowles and Lewis-Deming House and the Village Store on the snowiest days of the season. Carol has exhibited photos frequently in the Farmington Valley over the past three years Her exhibits have included Hartford and St Francis Hospitals, Elizabeth Park’s Pond House Gallery, UConn Medical Center, and most recently, the Stanley Whitman House. She is a member of the Professional Photographers of America and several other arts and nature organizations. She lectures often at civic organizations and teaches a beginner’s course entitled “The Art of Photography” at Farmington Continuing Education.

The Farmington Library is located at 6 Monteith Drive, Farmington, CT . Please call for hours and directions, 860-673-6791. More samples of the exhibit and Carol’s photos can be seen on her website,