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September 15, 2009

Pigeon Photographs and Videos Wanted for Art Exhibit Focusing on Charles Darwin

Submission deadline for From Scales to Feathers is Oct. 10

Photographs and short videos of pigeons are being sought for an exhibition in the Williams Center Art Gallery. The deadline to submit materials for consideration is Oct. 10. Organizers are hoping to gather images of all types of pigeon breeds, including fancy, racing, other domestics, wild, and urbanized rock doves.

The photographs and videos selected will be included in the exhibit From Scales to Feathers: The Evanescent Presence of Sculpted Wings running Oct. 26-Dec. 10. The exhibit is in honor of Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his work, On the Origin of Species, which is being celebrated in a yearlong series of events. Darwin studied pigeons and the long records of pigeon breeders, bred pigeons himself, and visited pigeon clubs while formulating his theory on natural selection. Lafayette’s exhibit will coincide with a joint exhibition at Shrewsbury Museum in Shropshire, England, Darwin’s birthplace.

The two exhibits feature pieces by international artist Brandon Ballengée, whose work combines biology and art. He has studied amphibians’ decline and abnormalities in America and the United Kingdom. His goal is to use art to involve people in science. For a past project, Ballengée received thousands of images of migratory birds from people all over the world, which were exhibited in 2006 at the Arsenal Gallery in New York’s Central Park. Art major Sydney Peyser ’10 (Livingston, N.J.) and Lew Minter, director of the art department media lab, are printing 39 of Ballengée’s photographs, 21 of which will be on display at the Shewsbury Museum and the rest at Lafayette.

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