Kevin Kohlman says it's an annual tradition to see Birds In Art at the Woodson Art Museum. But this year is different. For the first time, he's been accepted as a featured artist.
"I didn't know if this would ever happen so it's just a tremendous treat" Kohlman told Newsline 9.
The detail in this La Crosse native's entry of a Woodstock is captivating.
"I was fascinated by the fact that this white bird has so many different colors in it. You know? There's these yellows and there's actually pinks and blues in the head" Kohlman said.
But Kohlman says the
greatest honor is that his painting is hanging next to artwork made by Carl Brenders
"He's really, truly one of my idols. As a wildlife artist I look at people like Carl Brenders--painting right next to his, you know? It's kind of surreal! I'm meeting them and talking to them as a peer!" Kohlman said.
Brenders' painting utilizes vibrant colors to depict a bird amid flowers. Something he says would have been impossible when he started drawing as a child.
"It was during world war two. We didn't have colors. My father had pencils. He worked at a bank and brought them home from the bank" Brenders said.
And now that Kohlman is a featured artist, Brenders says his long-time fan should think of him as a fellow colleague.
"It's a very good painting! There's so many very good paintings in this show! You know what's nice when you're an artist? It's nice to be part of a group" Brenders said.
And now, that's something these two artists will forever have in common.