A Wildlife Festival/Community Day will be held at Big Lake National Wildlife Refuge from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12. The event will be held at the headquarters located two miles east of Manila on Highway 18.
According to Brian Braudis, refuge manager, the day was planned to celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week and in conjunction with the upcoming National Wildlife Refuge System Centennial March 14, 2003.
The Friends of Big Lake National Wildlife Refuge and refuge staff have a full day of activities planned.
The event is free and open to the public. The underlying themes will be wild places, community involvement and environmental education.
Archeology experts will be present with a display of artifacts from the area and those attending may bring artifacts for interpretation.
Artists will be painting on site and displaying their work.
Bird and nature walks will be led by Northeast Arkansas Audubon Society naturalists.
Wildlife rehabilitation experts will be present to assist area residents in spotting and identifying species of wildlife.
A large fish tank will be on display giving a close up look at some of the fish of Big Lake.
A live waterfowl banding demonstration will be held.
Mississippi County Schools will participate in a Wildlife Refuge Week poster contest, judged by the Friends of Big Lake National Wildlife Refuge and other "artists at large" during the day. Prizes will be presented to the top three poster contest winners.
Lunch will be served on the grounds.
The day will give area residents the opportunity to visit Big Lake and get a first hand view of what the refuge has to offer.
For more information persons may call Big Lake National Wildlife Refuge at (870) 564-2429.
Some of the artists that plan to be at Big Lake Refuge festival are:
--Dan Donovan of Manila. Donovan is a mostly self-taught artist. He has always loved to draw and at an early age he won a prize for his drawing of an apple at school. He was introduced to the field of photography when he was in the Air Force. Art and photography were natural allies, the camera soon became a valuable took in his art. After leaving the service, he worked at a Minnesota television station as a photographer and commercial artist.
Living in New Mexico, Donovan gained recognition through the local galleries. He designed logos and brochures for the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, the Parks and Recreation Department and ad agencies.
Since moving to Manila in 1991, with his wife Linda, his subject matters have changed from mountains, Indians and cowboys to fishing, farming, cotton and local people, resulting in commissions for his work.
--Jim Cheadle of Manila. Cheadle is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a BFA. He has won numerous area, regional and national awards for his work. He taught watercolor and drawing at Mississippi County Community College from 1992 to 2000. He is currently working on a series of simplified and abstracted landscape paintings.
--Ola Joyner of Sommemrvile, Tenn. Joyner enjoys painting outside on location. Her small paintings as well as larger ones have enjoyed a good market. She likes birds and animals as subject matter. Her work can be seen both at her home in Sommerville, and at Sandee Sander's classroom and studio in Lakeland, Tenn.
--Ann Enochs, Bartlett, Tenn. Enochs loves painting outdoors and catching the quality of light. Her paintings are in many private and corporate collections. Bold colors characterize her paintings. She displays a masterful command of color, composition and intuitive perception in her paints. A native Mississippian, she received a BA degree in Art from the University of Alabama. She has continued her education since graduation attending workshops throughout the country and coordinating workshops for six years. She has won awards in national juried shows, exhibited locally, nationally and internationally. She is a founding member of the Professional Artists Leaguer of Mississippi, she is also a member of the Degas Pastel Society and the Huntsville Art League. Currently working as a full time professional artist, she also teaches drawing and painting classes and workshops.
--Colleen Newport Stevens of Germantown, Tenn. Stevens is a nationally known artist whose work has been on the cover of several nationally distributed magazines. Her work has been featured in several art publications, books and magazines. She has been an award winner in many National competitions including Arts in the National Parks, and Birds. These are competitions thousands of artists enter.
--Robert Ferrell of Codova, Tenn. Ferrell is an artist who works in watercolor and paints quickly with a minimum of brush strokes. His work is fresh and appealing, landscapes are one of his main subjects. It's fun and entertaining to watch him quickly make a painting appear on paper.