Come join us for an evening event where art meets science at the Silent Skies mural in downtown Kingsport. World-renowned ornithologist Dr. Fred Alsop will join one of the mural’s artists, Suzanne Justis, to explain the significance of the mural, the birds from our region that are a part of it, and the productive collaboration of species conservation and visual art.
The interactive talk will take place during the next Sip & Stroll on September 5 at 6:00 p.m. Attendees can gather at the Silent Skies mural, which is on the side of the State Theater located at the intersection of Market and Broad Street.
Be sure to see this beautiful testament to our vanishing bird species one last time before the mural takes flight!
About the Event Speakers
World-class Ornithologist Fred J. Alsop III, Ph.D.
A professor in the ETSU Department of Biological Sciences, Alsop likes to tell students who take one of his classes on birds, “this class will change your life,” and it does. “From then on,” he points out, “those students won’t notice just ‘birds,’ but individual species. They will hear birdsong and know who is singing. The students may go on to careers that have nothing to do with my class, but they will have knowledge and a possible hobby to carry with them throughout their lives.”
Alsop has been a faculty member at ETSU for 46 years where he has served as the Chairman of the Department of Biological Sciences, a Professor and member of the Graduate Faculty, and President of the Faculty Senate. He as the first elected faculty member of ETSU’s governing Board of Trustees. He is the Director of ETSU’s George L. Carter Railroad Museum. An ornithologist who has authored 18 books on birds including eight published by The Smithsonian Institution, he has conducted bird identification workshops in eight states for industrial, state and federal agencies. An avid birder, he has lead international birding trips and has recorded more than 4,700 species on his “life list.” He has been recognized in Tennessee with several conservation and environmental awards. He holds a B.S. degree from Austin Peay State University in fine arts and biology, and the M.S. and Ph.D. in zoology from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He is married to Dr. Catherine Cummins.
Artist Suzanne Barrett Justis
Upon viewing her work, you will quickly be able to see the enthusiasm she feels for the subjects she paints. Suzanne’s inspiration for her paintings and sculptures come from nature and her surroundings.
When Suzanne is not out in the field or at a zoo taking photo references for her next piece, she can be found in her downtown Kingsport art gallery and studio where she paints and works with her many aspiring art students.
“Breathing life into an idea or image and seeing it develop on canvas brings me so much joy. It is this joy that motivates me and spurs me on to create and learn more. Learning, growing and evolving are all words that best describe me as an artist and as a person. Being an artist is who I am, not just what I do. The sheer joy and abundance the natural world holds has ensured me many more subjects to create with my art and therefore, more joy for me to capture and share.”
About the Silent Skies mural