W I N G E D  V O I C E S

Across millennia, wings have spoken of many things: spirituality, imagination, protection, freedom, and hope. For Earth Day 2024, five artists working throughout the United States and internationally chose a winged theme within a circular format to give voice to the promptings of nature, examine issues impacting the Earth, share beauty, and inspire hope in the viewer. Each artist committed to some way in which their art is more eco-friendly as a result of this exhibition: for example, they chose biodegradable materials or otherwise addressed this goal in their pieces. All have sought to raise awareness of and respect for their subjects, the winged creatures we share our home with.


Weaver’s Folly
UV print photograph on glass, 7.2 x 9.6”


Tonya Britton is a lover of the outdoors, and as an economic development consultant specializing in sustainability, she is interested in photography that highlights the world’s extraordinary creatures in their dwindling natural habitats. She has transitioned from the worlds of military and tourism photojournalism to a new journey of self-expression that honours those with whom we share space on this earth.

Considered the builder of the most elaborate nest of all bird species, the African Weaver constructs a dwelling that hangs precariously, one in a village of orbs tied and knotted to the tips of limbs by hopeful males who clutch upside-down while fluttering wildly in a bid to garner attention from potential mates. In a five-day period, this Southern Masked Weaver has created and then threaded, knotted, and plaited over a sturdy hoop to form a rounded dome. He will now begin the hard work of attempting to attract a mate. Tonya created this image to raise awareness of the beauty and fragility of the natural world and to inspire others to become involved in conservation efforts. 

AVAILABLE WORK  Why a ‘folly’? The nests appear to be architectural follies – purely ornamental and precarious – but their construction at the tips of the branches with the entrance from the bottom is designed to protect the nest from predators. If, after all his hard work, the male is unable to find an approving female, then the nest becomes a true folly. The featured full color image was photographed in Kenya and produced as organic ink sprayed on durable glass, cut and hand-prepared, then UV cured with carbon-neutral sustainability throughout the manufacturing process. The work is accompanied by a stand. For more information, please read here

Joy in the Garden
food scraps + spices on burlap, 15 x 18”


Emily Putman is a mother, gardener, traveler, and painter. She loves exploring nature and learning about languages and cultures around the world. After several years of upheaval, unwanted change, and lots of grief, Emily is learning to find hope and peace through time spent with the people, plants, and creatures God has put in her life. With this art creation, Emily hopes to gently remind us that even in times of stress and tight finances, we can and should find ways to care for and appreciate our Earth.

For her piece (Joy in the Garden), Emily wanted to represent the beloved flowers, birds, and insects that bring smiles to her and the neighbors who pass by the small yard of her rental home. She used only food scraps and spices that are regularly found in her kitchen to construct this view of a Carolina chickadee, swallowtail butterfly, and green darner dragonfly enjoying sunflowers and zinnias. Emily chose to use bits of food as a low-cost, biodegradable artistic medium that is usable by all ages and skill levels. She is excited to watch this work decompose in the garden and she encourages everyone to compost whenever they can! Composting is magic!

AVAILABLE WORK  The artist enjoyed the visitors to her artwork outdoors, including ants, the beauty of the rainfall, a butterfly drifting by, children, mosquito hawk, roly polies, snails, and additional creatures unrecorded by camera. Please inquire for reproductions of this work in notecard and print formats.

A True Friend Is Someone Who Makes You Laugh Until A Thousand Bees Fly Out Of Your Mouth
bronze clay + ceramic, 14.5” diameter


Kerin Rose is an artist and educator currently living in Vermont. As a classically trained metalsmith and jewelry artist, the impact of the industry on our environment conflicted with her reverence for the natural world. In response, she is one of the earliest adopters of recycled precious metal casting, and carves her models from the beeswax produced by the bees she and her sister keep. She received her BFA from the Pratt Institute, and her MFA from the Instituto Allende in San Miguel, MX, with additional graduate studies at the University of New Mexico.

Given the theme of ‘winged things’ for this exhibition, honoring the bees seemed the perfect expression of the deep symbiotic relationship that we as humans have with bees. For the most part, we do not seem to give them much thought. Bees are the species struggling with climate change and environmental damage whose disappearance will most affect our lives: no bees, no food. And they are already relatively rare in the wild. Kerin wanted to honor our relationship with them as we honor our relationships with friends we love.

AVAILABLE WORK  Intended for wall display, this original relief sculpture has a French cleat on the reverse that is accompanied by the other half of the mechanism that necessitates wall mounting with a level. The relief was sculpted in mid-range cone 5 stoneware and fired in oxidation. Underglaze has been used to create additional shadows and texture. The bee family was hand-sculpted of bronze precious metal clay and also kiln-fired, then permanently affixed to the relief.

clay + pine + beeswaxed thread, 8.25” diameter


Amanda J. Sisk is the founder of Atelier Sisk. She earned her BFA from Indiana University Bloomington and continued her study of figurative sculpture in Greece, Italy, and New England. In 2023, she developed the Eco Arts Collective, which acknowledges the link between how we treat the Earth and how we treat one another – and through contemplative art, counters the roots of genocide. Amanda continues to restructure how she creates in regards to the health of the planet. With WINGED VOICES, she has been gifted the experience of doing so alongside some of the artists she has met on her nomadic journey through life.

On a walk, Amanda saw a prayerful sculpture of Mary near an empty bird nest. The presence of the patron of the eco-conscious Franciscan Order, who is said to keep the Order under her wings, was hopeful. The absent birds suggested the risk of human-induced extinction. Looking up, Amanda saw birds in flight, and in these not only birds but the figure of Mary, ancestors, angels, and trees. It’s semplice, she thought, all of us one, woven together. The resultant piece is completely biodegradable and was a new technical experience for the artist, from creating the incised relief to weaving it into her first official pine needle basket.

AVAILABLE WORK  The primary stitches are the Beautiful Stitch and the Wing Stitch; the artist also modified stitches to create what she calls the Blossom Stitch. The pine needles were gifts from individuals in NY and TX. They will fade to brown. While this work is considered a prototype, it is possible to commission a plain coiled basket or one woven around an original artwork or other object. In addition, watch for an upcoming workshop on eco-friendly coiled vessels.

ink on paper, 9” diameter


Siana Smith currently lives and works in California. She received her MFA from California College of the Arts and is a California Arts Council (CAC) 2023 Individual Artist Fellow. In part influenced by her upbringing in China, her diverse body of work offers commentary on American consumer culture and the complexities of relationships with oneself, others, and the environment. A keen awareness of beauty and of the dualities found all around and within us are consistently glimpsed in her art.

Winged creatures have been present in Siana’s work from her time creating as a bird photographer to her painting career, including painted collaborations with her grandfather’s traditional work in ink. We now find them in Siana’s recent immersion in the discipline of printmaking. Depicted whole and broken, presented as both celebrations of beauty and as warnings about our stewardship of Earth, and printed in black and white and in colour, some of her models were first encountered while walking in nature with another artist. These and the conversation of the artists contained the seeds of this exhibition.

AVAILABLE WORK  Lino printing is a printmaking technique with origins in the early 20th century. A linocut is produced by cutting away portions of a sheet of linoleum. Softer than wood and without grain, it may yield fewer prints in an edition (a printmaking matrix eventually wears down in the printing process) but offer an extensive range in mark-making. A number of Siana’s original prints are available.

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