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This pheasant will be among the displays today in Chiloquin by master bird carvers Mark Holland and Cindy Lewis.

Carvers' art on display in Chiloquin today

CHILOQUIN — Two Rivers Gallery in Chiloquin will host a special exhibit of the work of master bird and floral carvers Mark Holland and Cindy Lewis from 1 to 4 p.m. today at 140 S. First St., Chiloquin. The event will include live music and refreshments. Admission is $5.

Holland and Lewis are nationally renowned sculptors. Roaming North America in a nomadic, RV life for the past 30 years, they probably spent almost as much time getting to know their subjects through binoculars and in blinds and canoes as they did carving them.

"Our wandering lifestyle changed last summer after 30 years as full-time RVers," Lewis says. "We have now settled into a home across the water (from Rocky Point Resort)."

The couple visited Southern Oregon frequently in the summers during the years they spent roaming and exhibiting their work at such venues as the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition and the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Museum. They studied bald eagles at Howard Prairie lake and rufous hummingbirds at Upper Klamath Lake.

Holland began carving in 1959, and Lewis learned from Holland. Together they have more than 70 years of experience.

In the field, they have studied and closely observed birds from the tiny calliope hummingbird to the strapping whooping crane. They have had reclusive Virginia rails walk between their feet in a blind, and shorebirds calmly take walking detours around the bow of their canoe at the Cape Cod National Seashore. They cultivated the patience to feed sand fleas to sanderlings and ruddy turnstones in Florida.

When carving birds, they like to put the carving in progress out with live birds to check for accuracy in such details as the width of the head or the proportion of the bill. Once while carving a quail in Arizona they put the freshly painted figure out with a covey that scratched dirt all over the fresh oil paint.

One of their specialties is a series of extinct birds such as the Carolina parakeet and the passenger pigeon. They carved a pair of ivory-billed woodpeckers with poison ivy titled "The Untouchables."

Two Rivers Gallery is in Chiloquin off Highway 97 near the Williamson River. For more, visit the Web site at: www.lewisandhollandsculptures.com.

Reach Bill Varble at 776-4478 or bvarble@mailtribune.com.

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