Friday Night’s Birds, Brews & Bites:
Fifty Nests & the Birds that Built Them
with Keynote Speaker Sharon Beals

Friday, April 26, 2019
Cocktail Hour: 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Keynote: 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Location: Dance Palace Community & Cultural Center, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
Tickets: $TBA | 100 Participants

Join us for an evening with Sharon Beals, an award-winning San Francisco Bay photographer and author who is passionate about the survival issues facing so many avian species today. Our evening will start with an outdoor social gathering with food, drink and music. This is one of the only opportunities to gather as a group, meet Sharon, our guides, staff and other attendees. Following the social, we will gather in our seating area to hear Sharon’s keynote.

The keynote will focus on Sharon's book, Nests, Fifty Nests and the Birds that Built Them, which was designed to invite viewers who might never pick up a pair of binoculars to learn about the challenges they face. Her gorgeous photographs of nests offer a new window onto the life and beauty of birds. Drawn from the collections of the California Academy of Sciences, the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at UC Berkeley, and the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology, these birds' nests from around the world offer astonishing insight into the intricate detail wrought by nature's most fastidious architects.

But survival for so many birds is tenuous in a modern world where habitat loss is as common as the next housing development, and even subtle changes in climate can affect food supply.  Besides showing her photographs of nests, she will lead a discussion on what we can do in our own lives to help the survival of birds, both near and far, and how art can bring awareness and appreciation for birds and inspire their protection. She will also share a bit about her upcoming book focusing on nests of extinct and endangered species.

 
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“It was only after making the first photograph of a nest, drawn to its palette and messy, yet graceful and functional form, that I knew I had found my medium—or at least a way that I could be a medium for the birds.”
— Sharon Beals
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Bird nests, even without knowing which birds constructed them, seem hardly possible. Creations of spider’s web, caterpillar cocoon, plant down, mud, found modern objects, human and animal hair, mosses, lichen, feathers and down, sticks and twigs-all are woven with beak and claw into a bird’s best effort to protect their next generation.
— Sharon Beals

Bio
Sharon Beals, a San Francisco-based artist who has photographed nests of various species, all collected sometime in the past two centuries and preserved in the collections of the California Academy of Sciences, the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at Berkeley, the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology and the Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates, which are highlighted in her book, Nests: Fifty Nests and the Birds That Built Them. Much of Beals’ work has an environmental bent. For a past project, she photographed still lifes made from plastic trash floating in lakes and the ocean. Beal became interested in birds when reading Living on the Wind: Across the Hemisphere with Migratory Birds, a 1999 book by naturalist Scott Weidensaul. She learned about the incredible migrations of Arctic terns and blackpoll warblers and also about the habitat and food supply loss along many of the species’ routes. Much of Beals’ work has an environmental bent. For a past project, she photographed still lifes made from plastic trash floating in lakes and the ocean. Beals explains in an artist statement. See her full bio.

My inspiration for this book was Scott Weidensaul’s Living on the Wind, Across the Hemisphere’s with Migrating Birds. Besides covering the feat of migration, he also talks about the challenges they face along the way. I was galvanized, and spent ten years learning about our local habitats and other conservation issues, but had no way to say this in photographs. That is until I had some nest photos in my studio and people who might never pick up binocular’s wanted to know about the birds that built them. That’s when the book idea was hatched, as they say.
— Sharon Beals