Show Preview | Rare Wildlife Revealed

Oradell, NJ
Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum, through July

James Fiorentino, Eastern Box Turtle, watercolor, 22 x 30.

James Fiorentino, Eastern Box Turtle, watercolor, 22 x 30.

This story was featured in the May 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  May 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

Renowned portrait artist James Fiorentino has recently focused his talents on a new endeavor: depicting threatened and endangered wildlife. In his current show, titled Rare Wildlife Revealed: The James Fiorentino Traveling Art Exhibition, the artist partners with the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey. The show opens with an artist’s reception on Friday, May 19, at the Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum.

The exhibition, which has been traveling since last fall, features 25 watercolor paintings of threatened species, including bald eagles, humpback whales, and Eastern box turtles. The intimate portraits are designed to raise awareness about the ecosystems existing throughout the state, as well as the efforts to save them. “Hopefully what you see in my portraits, you see in nature and you feel the spirit of the animal,” Fiorentino says.

The artist garnered notoriety through his portraits of sports icons, political figures, and celebrities, but he was always fascinated with animals. He became involved in several local wildlife organizations where he was able to interact with various animals, including many featured in this show. Capturing them in watercolor allowed the artist to use a tight, photorealistic style while also conveying the lives of the animals in a personal way. “I know it’s one of the more difficult mediums, but I’ve always felt I had a knack for it,” the artist says. “There’s something unique about how you can get so much detail despite how it flows on the surface.”

Fiorentino says the biggest factor in helping to ease the struggles of these threatened species is simply making people aware of them. “People can make such a difference in so many ways,” he says. “In many cases, these species offer irreplaceable and valuable benefits to people. I’m hoping to illuminate the challenges these species face, and the many things we can do to help them recover.” Part of the proceeds from the show, including the sale of books and prints, benefit the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey. —Mackenzie McCreary

contact information
201.261.0012
www.blauveltartmuseum.com 

This story was featured in the May 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  May 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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