Conserve Wildlife Blog

James Fiorentino returns to NYC with wildlife art exhibition at Salmagundi Club on April 4

March 28th, 2017

His sports art long celebrated at Baseball Hall of Fame and other venues, Fiorentino’s wildlife watercolor exhibition arrives in NYC with free reception

Nationally celebrated artist James Fiorentino has been celebrated for his iconic paintings of New York sports icons like Derek Jeter, Yogi Berra, and Odell Beckham, Jr. Now Mr. Fiorentino returns to New York City with a new muse for his prodigious talents – the vulnerable, oft-overlooked wildlife of the metropolitan area.

“Rare Wildlife Revealed: The James Fiorentino Traveling Art Exhibition” will make its New York City debut at the historic Salmagundi Club during the week of April 2-8, 2017. A free reception will be held on Tuesday, April 4 from 6-8 PM at the Salmagundi Art Club Patrons’ Gallery, located at 47 Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10003.

Offered by the nonprofit Conserve Wildlife Foundation, the exhibit is part of a three-year traveling exhibition around the northeastern United States that kicked off this past fall.

“In this bustling metropolitan area, it is all too easy to overlook the wildlife that shares our cities and suburbs – yet New York City is blessed with an inspiring ‘Noah’s Ark’ of rare wildlife,” says Conserve Wildlife Foundation Executive Director and wildlife author David Wheeler. “From peregrine falcons and bald eagles to diamondback terrapins and sea horses, New York is home to extraordinary wildlife that has found a way to adapt to life in the city. We are so grateful that James Fiorentino has placed his artistic focus on these species. His evocative watercolor portraits bring the wildlife to life on the canvas.”

Peregrine Falcon illustrated by James Fiorentino.

Mr. Fiorentino’s watercolor paintings depict some of the New York metropolitan area’s most endangered and vulnerable species. The April 4 reception will feature a number of wildlife biologists joining the artist in engaging visitors to the show about the diverse wildlife species that call New York City and surrounding areas home – many of which are featured in Mr. Fiorentino’s realistic portraits.

  • Little brown bats can be found in Central Park, while peregrine falcons and ospreys can be seen soaring over Jamaica Bay.
  • Piping plovers migrate to Rockaway Beach, while harbor seals sunbathe on Orchard Beach.
  • Humpback whales are spotted along the shoreline in Brooklyn and Queens, while box turtles can be found at Clay Pit Ponds on Staten Island.

Sales of the original paintings, limited edition digital prints, the exhibition book, and wildlife merchandise will benefit Conserve Wildlife Foundation.

“James Fiorentino’s artwork shows a mastery of technique with a creative flair to engage every viewer with an intimate perspective of wildlife,” says Salmagundi Club President Robert Pillsbury. “In addition, this artwork helps to further the progress in educating the public to the necessary conservation of our environment and its inhabitants. We are pleased to have him as a member of Salmagundi and to celebrate his exhibit Rare Wildlife Revealed.”

At 15, famed artist James Fiorentino became the youngest artist to be featured in the National Baseball Hall of Fame with paintings of baseball legends like Reggie Jackson, Cal Ripken Jr. and Ted Williams; his sports art has since graced national magazines and landed him in interviews with ABC World News Tonight and countless other news studios. Now 39, Fiorentino is pursuing another lifelong passion with a three-year traveling wildlife art exhibition in New Jersey and New York.

Former New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean wrote the foreword for the hardcover art book accompanying the exhibition.

“Renowned as one of the best sports artists in the country, Jim’s works hang in major museums,” says Governor Kean. “In recent years he has turned to wildlife. Jim has created an amazing body of work. Many of the creatures he paints are endangered, and Jim celebrates their uniqueness and beauty.”

Fiorentino started painting animals when he was 10, and he later became a trustee for the Raptor Trust in Millington, N.J. “We rehabilitate 4,000 wild birds a year and release about half that number,” says Fiorentino. “These wild birds have had a tremendous influence on me. I enjoy getting close to birds of prey, and it brought me back to nature art.” Before going back to his studio to paint the details, Fiorentino sketches the animals up close, sometimes holding them, taking in their details.

His two young sons enjoy being in nature, the oldest son joining his father to draw wildlife, especially butterflies—proving that humans, too, benefit from having wildlife in their midst. “I am awed by what we see in our own backyard: the (endangered) Eastern box turtle, great horned owl, pileated woodpeckers, foxes, hawks and butterflies,” says Fiorentino. “It’s an amazing backyard ecosystem.”

Outside view of the Salmagundi Club – the last surviving brownstone on lower Fifth Avenue and a historic landmark.

 

The Salmagundi Art Club Patrons’ Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 1 pm – 6 pm and Saturday, Sunday from 1 pm – 5 pm. For more information about the gallery, call 212-255-7740.

“James Fiorentino’s art helps to educate and engage viewers about the precipitous declines that many of these species have suffered and helps us bring attention to the very tangible steps that people can take to save and strengthen these wildlife populations,” says Wheeler.

Rare Wildlife Revealed: The James Fiorentino Traveling Art Exhibition is sponsored by Omni Distribution, LLC, Flying Fish Brewing Company, Merrill G. & Emita Hastings Foundation, Studio 7 Fine Art Gallery, and Somerset Patriots.


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