The Tyler Museum of Art ushers in the summer season with a visual celebration of the avian species that fly the skies over the Lone Star State in the new exhibition "Texas Birds: Works by Frank X. Tolbert 2."

Organized by the Tyler Museum of Art and curated by the museum's Caleb Bell, "Texas Birds" spotlights works from Tolbert’s ongoing Texas Bird Project – including a recently finished piece that never has been seen by the public.

The show opens Sunday and continues through Aug. 4 at the museum, 1300 S. Mahon Ave., on the Tyler Junior College Campus. Admission is free.

Started in 2014, this body of work includes drawings, paintings and prints that highlight a wide variety of the bird species that inhabit the state. The series largely was inspired by early childhood experiences with the vast array of flora and fauna on trips the artist took with his father, Frank X Tolbert Sr., as the elder Tolbert was writing his column “Tolbert’s Texas” for the Dallas Morning News.

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Frank X Tolbert 2's "Blue Jay/Peanut," oil on canvas, 32"X60,” 2017. 

Work on the Texas Bird Project began when the artist was commissioned by Austin’s Flatbed Press & Gallery to create eight bird etchings. After the initial exhibition at Flatbed, Tolbert decided to continue the project indefinitely.

Texas Birds marks the first time works from the Texas Bird Project have been organized into a major museum exhibition. Tolbert’s work has been widely exhibited and is featured in numerous public collections, including the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Dallas Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

He and his wife, artist Ann Stautberg, live and work in Houston.

Support for "Texas Birds" is provided by Collectors’ Circle-Gold Sponsors June and Steve Hillis and Myrtis D. Smith.

Special events in connection with the exhibition include free First Friday tours at 11 a.m. on June 7, July 5 and Aug. 2; and Family Days from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 11, June 8 and July 13.

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Frank X. Tolbert 2's, "Black Necked Stilt," color etching, 37" x 28", 2014

The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. For information, call  903-595-1001, or visit tylermuseum.org or follow the museum on Facebook.

Jon Perry is the communications coordinator for Tyler Museum of Art.  

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