Having featured artists for more than 20 years, the Wildlife Art Exposition at the Montour Preserve is one of the longest-running wildlife art shows in the region.

From wood carvings to pen and ink, to acrylics to photographs, the work represented at the show will be from some of the area’s top wildlife artists.

According to Jon Beam, assistant director of the Montour Area Recreation Commission, the show will feature a dozen artists this year, most from the northcentral Pennsylvania area, and one from Schuylkill County.

The event, open to the public, gives attendees the opportunity to visit with the artists, view their work, and even purchase original artwork.

One of those artists will be Ron Beach, of Montoursville. Beach, now 72, had a growing passion for nature as a boy, and began an art career in 1984 when his fiancée gifted him with an acrylic paint set, as well as introduced him to artwork by Robert Bateman, whom he considers a mentor.

Beach said his experience as a draftsman for the Pennsylvania Department of Highways and a deputy game protector with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, combined to give him a unique foundation for his artwork.

Twenty years ago, Beach could be found exhibiting work at 16 shows a year in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He has participated in Montour Preserve’s show for at least the last 15 years. Now that he’s older, he has slowed down.

“But I haven’t stopped painting,” he said. In fact, last week he released a brand-new art print, which he titled, “Morning Sun – Snowy Owl.”

The Wildlife Art Exposition celebrates artists like Beach who have a passion for depicting the essence of their wildlife subjects.

“For a wildlife artist to capture the spirit of an animal in any medium,” Beam said, “he or she must spend time outdoors observing that animal, getting familiar with its habitat, its habits, its behavior. It takes time and patience to gather that information before transforming those observations into a work of art that portrays a moment in time and can be appreciated by anyone viewing it.”

And MARC, through Montour Preserve, makes efforts to offer opportunities for people of all ages to “experience the wonders of the outdoors,” Beam said.

“The Wildlife Art Expo is just another way to attract people to the preserve and hopefully help add to their appreciation for nature and prompt them to spend time outdoors to have their own experiences to share with family and friends.”  

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