New visual arts exhibition at the Edward-Dean Museum | Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

“I like to play dead, can you guess my footprint to get ahead?” “He stays after I have dinner. Looks like nuts but it’s not. Want to guess? “I look like a bandit in the night, I hope you guess my footprint and do it right.” “I jumped out of my skin – can you guess who I am?”

Believe it or not, the above paragraph is a conglomeration of puzzle art galleries to generate interest in a new visual arts exhibit at the Cherry Valley, California Edward-Dean Museum and Gardens titled “Wild , Wildlife”.

The exhibit is a feast for the eyes and a delight for the soul for those who love enthusiasm for nature and respect God’s creation of natural habitats and wildlife (not the kind found during rowdy parties).

The exhibit showcases the art of ethical taxidermy – a process of obtaining specimens of animals and other wild animals and arranging real skin or feathers on a fake body replica to give the animal a living aspect as an object of study for the conservation and respect of a species.

It is a way of preserving a body so that scientists or museum visitors can see what the animal looked like when it was alive.

So there’s no fear of the fox biting you or the opossum nibbling your toes as you stroll through the art gallery showcasing wild creatures and nature’s fine-feathered friends.

One should not overlook the awe-inspiring real-life scenario of the California Big Bear, the bald eagle’s nestlings captured on video camera, or the grandeur of nature’s bounty in the most exquisite, gentle and most humanely captured in oil on canvas by artist Fariad Ali.

Ali’s stunning wilderness images draw the viewer into mountain vistas and pristine landscapes to capture the natural wildlife habitats of forest and greenery.

A section in commemoration of John Muir, who was an ecological thinker, political spokesman, naturalist, writer and philosopher known as “John of the Mountains”, cites Muir as the “Father of America’s National Parks” .

As the foremost advocate of wilderness preservation in the United States, Muir’s religiosity and enthusiasm for nature expressed in his writings inspired Congress to pass the 1890 bill establishing Yosemite Park.

The spiritual quality of his letters, essays, and books describing his wilderness adventures, particularly in the Sierra Nevada, inspired and helped preserve the wilderness areas of Sequoia and Yosemite Valley.

A gallery poster of Smokey the Bear (funny, his middle name is “the”) is a reminder to care for, respect and protect natural forestry across America and keep it safe. Smokey invites the public to enjoy this exhibition until June 25.

The museum is a favorite educational arena for educators who bring their students together as bus drivers who travel to the museum through on-site educational programs.

The Friends of the Museum, a group of volunteers, helps support these trips financially through fundraising events and volunteers are always welcome to join the Group of Friends.

Museum membership is also available.

For more information, please visit the Edward-Dean Museum website at

Joan Marie Patsky, Beaumont

Briana R. Cross