|"Fallbrook Art Center receives gift of nature prints"|
A gift of 63 limited-edition prints by some of the world’s top wildlife artists — and valued at almost $100,000 — has been made to the Fallbrook Art Center by a neuroscientist in upstate New York.
“We’re absolutely delighted and honored to receive this gift and we will certainly use it to further our outreach in the arts and culture throughout Fallbrook and beyond,” said Mary Perhacs, executive director of the Fallbrook Center.
The gift comes from Dr. David Felten, vice president for research and medical director of the Research Institute at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich., and his wife, Dr. Mary E. Maida, CEO of two companies involved in biomedical intellectual property and an adjunct professor of microbiology and anatomy at the University of Rochester School of Medicine.
They chose the Fallbrook gallery as a recipient of their gift after searching the Internet for institutions that were not only a gallery, but were involved in their greater community and had educational components.
The signed, limited-edition prints include 11 by internationally acclaimed artist Robert Bateman of Canada, and others by U.S. artist Guy Coheleach and Terry Isaac.
They come with no conditions, and the gallery is free to use them in any way that will advance their mission, Felten said.
“My main focus has always been wildlife art, and I have been collecting since 1980,” Felten said.
“I have 75 to 80 of them framed and hanging in various places around our home and offices, but I still had a lot of them in print holders stored in drawers. My wife and I agreed one day that we should get them out into the broader world where more people could see them and come to appreciate the world and environment of our wildlife, and the artists who depict it so faithfully,” Felten said.
Felten is a particular fan of Bateman who, he said, is not only a world-class artist but a born educator.
“I was looking for somewhere that combines wildlife appreciation and maintains a strong educational component. With the Internet it was as easy to check out somewhere in California as it was to check out somewhere just five miles down the road, and Fallbrook appeared to be a very good fit,” Felten said.
In addition to an annual wildlife art show, Reflections of Nature, held on the first weekend of May since 1994, the gallery has expanded to include the Fallbrook School of Art, giving classes at all levels in a variety of genres.
Perhacs said a percentage of all profits go to the Fallbrook Land Conservancy, to help preserve and enhance the rural lifestyle and nature of the area, she said. Formed in 1988, the conservancy owns and manages 1,840 acres.
Rose Marie Scott-Blair