Posted by Liam O'Kennedy September 18, 2012 10:00 AM
The following was submitted by Abbot Public Library:
On Tuesday, October 2nd, artist, naturalist and native Marbleheader Jay J. Johnson (left) will present an illustrated talk entitled, “Touch the Earth: Adventures in Nature,” at the Abbot Library. Light refreshments will be served from 6:30 -7:00 pm, with the talk beginning at 7:00 pm. This special event, free and open to the public, is jointly sponsored by the Library and the Marblehead Conservancy.
Jay Johnson, who mapped all of Marblehead’s public nature areas for the classic guidebook, “Discovering Marblehead,” will describe the amazing adventures of his sixteen-month wilderness journey around America, which followed the Appalachians south by foot to the Gulf of Mexico, then by boat along the coast to Texas, then by bicycle across arid Southwestern lands, and, finally, by foot again up the crest of mountains north through California, Oregon, and Washington. The illustrated talk will include photographs and artwork, reflecting Johnson’s deep and lifelong connection with the natural world.
Specializing in the representation of wildlife in his artwork, Johnson is especially drawn to the challenges of capturing the nuances of light and motion in his subjects. His colorful paintings of birds and mammals have been exhibited in more than thirty museums across America and abroad. They also are included in numerous private collections throughout the States.
Bringing the focus closer to home, Johnson will share a selection of his aerial photos of Marblehead and his maps of Marblehead’s public nature areas. Much work has been done in recent years by volunteers to make these remaining areas more accessible to visitors. His talk will recognize their contributions and the work of volunteers in communities across the country, to make the natural environment a more enjoyable and active part of our lives.
Jay Johnson’s knowledge of wildlife comes from traversing thousands of miles of American wilderness. When he was just seventeen years of age, he climbed all forty-eight of the highest peaks in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, becoming the youngest person to do so in one continuous trek. Since then he has walked and paddled through virtually every environment in America, from mountain tops to river valleys to arid deserts.
At Cornell University, Johnson studied both Art and Natural History, gaining an in-depth scientific knowledge of his wild subjects while at the same time learning the fundamentals of traditional and modern art. About his artwork, he writes, “To paint, you must first be an observer. Over the past twenty-five years, as I’ve traveled all over America, I’ve been privileged to witness an abundance of diversity of living things. There is no substitute for being there in the natural environment.”
The Abbot Library and the Marblehead Conservancy are especially pleased to present this program in honor of Jay Johnson, who designed the magnificent bookplate being used for the newly created Marblehead Conservancy Collection, at the Library.
The Abbot Public Library is located at 235 Pleasant Street, Marblehead, MA 01945. For additional information, please call 781-631-1481.