The best bird art isn’t even on the walls

The Brooklyn Paper
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This one’s for the birds.

There’s no better way to further explore the nature imagery of Fred Tomaselli’s Brooklyn Museum work than with a bird-watching tour of nearby Prospect Park.

The Oct. 17 walk will be led by watercolor artist Paul Keim, who’s also known as the “Bat Man of Brooklyn,” thanks to his twilight tours of the park’s upside-down hanging residents.

“Birds have always been my love. It’s the main subject matter when I paint, too,” said Keim.

The day starts at the Brooklyn Museum, with a tour of its new Fred Tomaselli exhibit, which is heavy on bird imagery. Then, Keim will lead visitors to Prospect Park, through the Eastwood Arch entrance and into the Vale of Cashmere to explore that imagery in the natural environment and learn how to identify birds by their silhouettes.

“It’s one of the really beautiful spots to sit in the park,” said Keim. “It’s very quiet, kind of below the street level. It’s great for birds.”

Indeed, once there, you may spot Prospect Park residents, including cardinals, downing woodpeckers, titmouse, and chickadees, as well as winter migrant birds passing through, including brown creepers, white-throated sparrows, and goldfinch. And maybe you’ll even see some art in the everyday, too.

“It’s stress-free, something you can share with someone else or by yourself, allows you to lose sight of the everyday routine,” said Keim. “You can immerse yourself for the whole day — like jumping into a pool, and the pool is nature.”

“Fred Tomaselli” gallery tour and Prospect Park bird-watching field trip at the Brooklyn Museum [200 Eastern Pkwy. at Washington Avenue in Prospect Heights, (212) 594-6100], Oct. 17 at 2 pm. Tickets $10 (suggested). Pre-registration required by e-mailing For info, visit

Posted 12:00 am, October 11, 2010
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