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Argus Pheasant tail support feather
MESA Gallery,Toni Hall Orientation Gallery
March 11 - June 04, 2017
Ocellated turkey feathers and impeyan pheasant feathers
Impeyan pheasant tail feathers
Rose-breasted cockatoo wing feathers
Blue & gold macaw wing feather
Chris Maynard, from Olympia, WA, creates exquisite artwork using hand-cut feathers as his medium. His inspirations include a background in biology and devotion to the natural world. Maynard's work has been included in numerous group shows in museums, and solo and group shows in galleries and festivals nationally and in Canada and China since 2011. His work is in several international collections. The upcoming exhibition at BIMA will be his first solo art museum show. Both framed compositions of varying scales and site-specific installations will be included, and promise to delight viewers of all ages.
Maynard has worked with feathers since he was twelve years old. He was inspired by his mother who was an artist, and his father who was an eye surgeon. His work is also influenced by his background in biology and love for the natural world. He combines these artistic inspirations and experimentation with composition, light, and shadow to create his unique feather art. His favorite tools are the tiny eye surgery scissors, forceps, and magnifying glasses passed down through his family.
Feathers mark nature’s pinnacle of achievement: the intersection of function and beauty. They make flight possible; insulate against water, sun and wind; and their colors and patterns help them hide and attract mates.
To Chris Maynard, each feather is a small bit of perfection. When birds shed or discard their feathers every year, he recycles them in his art.
Feather legalities: The feathers Maynard uses are from private aviaries and zoos. Most feathers used are from birds not native to North America—even the crow feathers. The exception to using feathers from North America are those from turkeys and grouse. All feathers used in Maynard's artwork are legal to have and sell.
In this interview, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art Chief Curator Greg Robinson has an illuminating and delightful conversation with Chris Maynard, a Olympia artist whose medium is (legally sourced) bird feathers. His exhibition is called Featherfolio. Produced by Bainbridge Community Broadcasting.
"...Maynard’s shadowboxes of intricately cut feathers — all harvested responsibly and legally — have won him admirers in the Northwest and around the world.
"Chris Maynard believes that beauty lies in the eyes of beholder, but at the same time makes sure that the beauty of the pieces is conformed by the shape and form of the feather itself. He would like to preserve the feather’s original beauty to its maximum extent, but at the same time would like to mend it according to the design and message that it is trying to be put forward.
He is an artist who predominantly works with feathers in an attempt to be a part of this bigger world through a specific object that can convey a lot. Growing up in Seattle, Chris was always surrounded by huge trees and natural sceneries. Therefore, we would like to believe that he draws most of his inspiration from the world around him. With a keen interest in both the natural sciences and the arts, Chris has always tried to bridge the gap between the worlds, so as to improve his quality of art and gather a bigger audience, that his works would invoke a sense of peace and happiness in. He tries to find similarities between man and bird, which he then incorporates into his work so as to connect mankind and make them feel like one entity."
Read more here