Press: Arts Council, M-NCPPC create Birds I View exhibit to boost tourism, profile local artists

By Makeba Scott Hunter (View FULL STORY online on The Gazette)

Soon you may spot “Leonard Birdstein” around town, dressed in a spiffy tux and clasping sheet music. If “Leonard” doesn’t move you, then maybe the “Messy Woman with Jewels” just might, decked out in her bright, purple plumes, a spiked mohawk and a crystal necklace. Not to be outdone, the “Military Messenger,” whose camouflaged uniform may keep you from spotting him against the foliage, is also on the prowl. These colorful flock of birds are set to soar into Prince George’s County. And unlike Alfred Hitchcock’s flock, these feathered friends ­ and 108 of their eclectic friends ­ are invited guests. Inspired by the success of the Washington, D.C.’s “Party Animals” and Baltimore’s “Fish out of Water” campaigns, the county launched a similar public arts program earlier this year called “birds i view,” with the goal of promoting tourism here, highlighting local artists and raising funds for youth art programs. The exhibit, sponsored by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission and the Prince George’s Arts Council, will consist of more than 100 five-foot-tall bluebird sculptures, each whimsically designed out of fiberglass. The bluebirds will be perched throughout the county from July through October.

The sculptures will reside in high-traffic areas such as the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland, College Park, along Route 1 and the Gateway Arts District. Less conspicuous places, such as nooks along the Anacostia Heritage Trail, will also be used.

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