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Kentucky Wild; Wildlife; Fishing
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 13, 2022) — A collection of 53 original works of art by Rick Hill will be exhibited from Sept. 16 - Nov. 13 at the Lexington Public Library's Central Library. The exhibition will showcase nature scenes produced by Hill for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources over more than a quarter century.
A fish and wildlife artist whose work is known beyond Kentucky, Hill's meticulous depictions of outdoor scenes, animals and fish have graced the covers of the department's quarterly magazine, Kentucky Afield, since 2000.
Additional commissions for the department include the creation of five aquatic ecosystems posters, used by educators across the country since 1995, four “Restoring our Wildlife Heritage" prints, the “Kentucky Fish" poster and illustrations for five specialty license plates currently seen across the state.
“This exhibition will be the largest and most complete showing of Rick's paintings exhibited for public viewing to date," Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Rich Storm said. “As the preeminent nature artist of Kentucky today, Rick has brought to life the rich natural heritage found in the commonwealth, instilling a profound respect and appreciation for its conservation and protection."
The exhibition will feature Hill's newest painting, a bull elk produced for the upcoming fall 2022 issue of Kentucky Afield, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the department's efforts to reintroduce elk in Kentucky. Other subjects presented include a variety of wild animals, migratory birds and waterfowl, songbirds, native fishes, various outdoor recreation scenes and more. Also featured will be all five of the educational aquatic ecosystem paintings exhibited together for the first time outside of department property.
“This is work people are familiar with seeing one piece at a time in Kentucky Afield," said Doug Tattershall, Community Arts Coordinator for the Lexington Public Library. “To have so many of Rick's paintings in one gallery gives the public a chance to see it in another context and see how his great art adds up as a collection."
Hill is a self-taught artist and naturalist. His works rely on the interplay of light with the subjects. As a naturalist, his accuracy of Kentucky's fish and wildlife subjects in their natural environments is unmatched.
His career with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife started as a Fisheries Division creel clerk in 1986, in which he surveyed anglers about their daily catch to support fisheries research and management efforts. In 1994, he became the department's full-time artist.
An opening reception for “Kentucky Afield Illustrated" will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. (EDT) on Friday, Sept. 16 during Lexington's monthly Gallery Hop. The public is invited to meet Hill and see native wildlife from the Salato Wildlife Education Center, as well as purchase prints of some of Hill's works to raise money for the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
The Central Branch library is located at 140 East Main Street in Lexington. It is open from 9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Fridays, 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturdays and from 1 – 5 p.m. on Sundays. Information is available at 859-231-5500 or online at lexpublib.org. More information about Rick Hill and Kentucky Afield magazine is available online at fw.ky.gov.
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