2018 Festival Artist: F.P. Tony Bennett
F.P. Tony Bennett has been painting birds professionally for over 50 years, beginning with the illustrations for A Field Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Central America (started in 1967, published in 1972). Nearly 1400 paintings later, his work has been published in many other books, magazines and scientific journals. Tony has been most notably recognized for his work painting hummingbirds, having illustrated nearly two-thirds of this large family of birds for books. Most recently, some two hundred fifty illustrations of his hummingbirds were included in the plates of the Birds of Peru.
Bennett’s paintings have been featured in numerous solo exhibitions, as well as group showings, such as the prestigious Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum’s Birds in Art Exhibit. Many pieces are held in private collections across the country. His painting of the kiskadees that adorns the 2018 poster, brochure and t-shirt was inspired by his original painting for the first festival in 1994, when the Great Kiskadee was named our mascot and first featured bird. Tony also created the artwork for the 10th and 20th anniversary festivals, so it is understandable why he was chosen as this year’s featured artist. His popularity is evident as his previous t-shirt designs continue to be worn by guides, volunteers and attendees to this day.
Tony will have a booth in the Birders Bazaar to showcase his work and share his love of the natural world. Be sure to stop by, say hello and swoon over his majestic paintings. Art posters of this year’s featured painting will also be for sale at the Festival Booth in the main lobby, or perhaps you would like to bid on the original! At least everyone can go home with some wearable art to show their friends.