Archive for March, 2016

I spent a few hours this morning photographing Munsey and Boda at Wildwood Park and Zoo located in Marshfield, Wisconsin.  The Kodiak cubs were catching a blue ball floating in the pond located in the JP Adler Kodiak Bear Exhibit.  A bit later in the morning the cubs decided to climb a few trees and swim in the pond located in the Woodland Habitat area.

I had an opportunity to meet a few new zoo guests and share information about Munsey and Boda.  I will have an updated edition of my 20 page photographic book titled “Munsey and Boda” ( 9 – 13 months) ready for sale in the few weeks.  The book showcases almost 40  full color photographs of Munsey and Boda.  Each photograph is dated and offers information about the Kodiak bear cubs from October 20th, 2015  to March 11th,2016.


The photographs of Munsey and Boda were taken on March 21 and 22nd at Wildwood Park and Zoo in Marshfield, Wisconsin.  The cubs legs are getting longer and the frame of the cubs is more massive at 13 months of age compared to when they were 9 months old. The cubs now weigh 220 lbs. and 230 lbs.

This past weekend I had the pleasure of instructing a visual arts track at Upham Woods to about 60 4-H members that are in grades 3rd-5th grade.  In honor of the 75th Anniversary of Upham Woods and the Upham Sisters that donated the 315 acres of land to the UW Extension to preserve the land as an educational format  so future generations of children  so they could experience nature and learn through the Wisconsin State and County 4-H programs.   The visual art track offered information about Elizabeth and Caroline Upham and explained why the metal sculptures related to Elizabeth Uphams artistic talents creating with metals and the stone slabs that the campers used as a base is connected with Caroline Upham because of her and her fathers expertise in geology.  The photographs I’m posting today depict a fraction of the activities, experiences and artwork created by our guest campers attending the 2016 4-H Art Beat 4-H Camp Program  this past  weekend.

Thank you to the parents and campers that had taken the time to write a thank you letter to the Upham family members for their donation of property and their continued support to Upham Woods.  If you would like to write a thank you letter please contact me.  There is still time to write a thank you letter to the Upham family members.

This coming weekend I’ll have the great pleasure of teaching a visual arts workshop at Upham Woods Educational Center located in Wisconsin Dells.  So here are some photographs of the sample pieces I’ve created for my young artists this weekend.

These sample pieces of artwork are a visual reminder to all the  2016 Wisconsin 4-H Art Beat participants as to how I had arranged my bent silverware. I also want to remind the participants that when creating focal points I suggest that you use an odd number and place the focal points in a triangle, so the viewers eye will travel throughout the composition.  It’s important not to place your creation in the middle of the base.  If the sculpture is placed off center and/or if focal points or parts of a sculpture hang over the side of a base, it will catch the viewers eye.  To create tension in my sculptures I have marbles  that appear to be falling off the spoons and onto another spoon or I have to pieces of silverware almost touching !  I created a spoon that appears to be much longer in length than it’s actual size and forks that appear to be interacting with each other as they move or balance a long orange rod.

I used ceramic tiles, glass and metal as my materials because these materials visually compliment each other.  They are inexpensive materials, yet these materials have richness and polished quality when  they are used together in a composition.

I like to have the base of my compositions lifted off the table surface because it gives the artwork a stronger sense of presence. If you look at the photograph of each sculpture I will give more specific information listed explaining it’s design.

The reason for using the metal silverware as a main material is because of the Upham Sisters (Elizabeth and Caroline  Upham ) that donated the 315 acres of land that makes up Upham Woods. Elizabeth Upham  created artwork using metals. Her metalwork was on exhibit at the Milwaukee Art Museum and jewelry created from metal was on exhibit at the Chicago Art Institution, Chicago Ill. 

So to honor the Upham Sisters on the 75th Anniversary of Upham Woods,  I’ve  chosen metal as a main  material for the 4-H Art Beat Campers to create with this weekend.



The Kodiak cubs  were enjoying the woodland habitat but could smell Steve Burns (Wildwood Zoo’s Zookeeper) hiding a snack for them on the opposite side of the Floyd & Pat Hamus Bridge. Steve and his assistant cleaned up the JP Adler Kodiak Exhibit area and after hiding some food, the bears were allowed  to come into the area and find their food.

Before I was leaving the Zoo on Saturday afternoon on March 12th,  Munsey and Boda decided to go over to the woodland exhibit area and climb the same tree together.  This is the first time I’ve seen the cubs climb up a large tree together.

The photographs were taken around March 11th,2016  the Kodiak cubs are enjoying the opening of their waterfall and pool area.  Earlier in the day the cubs had been mud wrestling and digging up turtle shells and playing with ice chunks from their woodland habitat area.  So I image that clean pool water was something they really enjoyed that day.


Yesterday as I spent almost three hours photographing the two Kodiak bear cubs at the  Wilwood Zoo in Marshfield Wisconsin.  I had an opportunity to meet and talk with over 20 zoo guests and share my knowledge of the rescue story of the three Kodiak bear cubs.  I was unexpectedly surprised by a specific zoo guest and his family that are from Alaska and discovered he had a direct connect connection with the three cubs.  We exchanged some information and stories about the cubs and I look forward to receiving more information about the rescue mission and his  direct experiences with these cubs.  So Steve, it was a pleasure meeting you and your family yesterday.  I can’t wait to hear from you and safe travels back to Alaska!

cDSC_7513 2015 11 10Munsey and Boda are now about 200 pounds each.  The picture directly above depicts how the cubs looked on 11/10/2015  when they  were they weighed about 120 and 130 pounds.  Since I’m able to see the cubs multiple times during the week, it’s often difficult to see the changes in their growth.  While reviewing photographs from October greatest changes that I’ve observed are how mush larger they are compared to when they first arrived.  They no longer can walk through their exhibit door together because they’ve grown so much.

The photograph below was taken on 3/7/2016 and the cubs each weigh about 200 pounds..DSC_0760_3078

Today I spent three hours observing and photographing Munsey and Boda.  The sunny day made it difficult to photograph through the fence but I still managed to obtain a number of very nice photographs. The images attached to this post are from a few close up photographs that I’d taken this afternoon, which I enlarged to help me develop the markings and the contour of the bears face as I continue to work on the  drawings of the bears.aDSC_0497_2828 copyaDSC_0449_2783 copy

This video was taken on March 4, 2016 12 noon at Wildwood Park and Zoo. Munsey and Boda’s weight is about 200 lbs.

I’ve been documenting the growth and activities of Munsey and Boda since they arrived in late October 2015. I’ve taken over 3,000 photographs of the Kodiak cubs since they arrived at Wildwood Park and Zoo in Marshfield, Wisconsin. I’m in the process of creating charcoal drawings, etchings and collages inspired by the Kodiak cubs . The cubs were rescued by members of Mike Munsey’s hunting party after their mother had been illegally killed. Once Munsey received permission to rescue the cubs from their den. When the three cubs were rescued they were hungry, dehydrated , wet and dirty. The following day Nate Svoboda a wildlife biologist in Alaska retrieved the cubs and brought them to the Alaska Zoo. But he real story is that Brandon Stokes (a hunter) gave up a day of his hunting trip to climb a mountain with Harry Dodge while Brigid Dodge was keeping in communication with the guys at the home camp to go rescue the three cubs. If not for Brandon sacrificing a day which he paid to go hunting, the bears would of never been recovered and would of died the following day.

Munsey and Boda are named after Mike Munsey and Nate Svoboda. The Kodiak cubs were donated by the Alaska Zoo to Wildwood Park and Zoo located in Marshfield, Wisconsin in October 2015. The third male cub was flown to the Toledo Ohio Zoo.



I’ve often wondered how the third  rescued Kodiak bear cubs was doing and where he was located to after he left the Zoo in Alaska.  I recently found a news article written about the third Kodiak cub.  The third cub is named Dodge and is living at the Toledo Zoo and has bonded with two female grizzlies.  The link to the news article is attached below.