Monthly archives "February"

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Raptor Art Spotlight: Claudia Hahn

Birds of prey inspire awe in us, and that awe often finds expression in works of art. Indiana Raptor Center’s Nashville headquarters are a virtual art gallery! To celebrate our appreciation of and respect for artists who create inspiring raptor art of all sorts – from felting to mixed media to comics to illustration – we’re beginning a regular series of artist spotlights here at our new website. Illustrator Claudia Hahn has agreed to be our first subject.

Claudia is a native of Germany, but now calls England home. She describes herself as “an enthusiastic fossil hunter and birdwatcher, a lover of owls,” and can even boast that she once “was the brief owner of a pet magpie.” She is especially interested in working on conservation projects, stemming from her deep appreciation of natural history. This love of the natural world comes through loud and clear in her work, as you will see in the selected pieces below.

First, we’ll start with a couple of owl species we’re well-acquainted with in the midwestern United States: the Barn Owl and Barred Owl.

'Twilight in the Highlands', original oil painting by Claudia Hahn

‘Twilight in the Highlands,’ original oil painting by Claudia Hahn

'Barred Owl,' reproduction of a painting by Claudia Hahn

‘Barred Owl,’ reproduction of a painting by Claudia Hahn

Claudia’s anatomical studies are as enchanting as her illustrations of live birds, as in this study of a wing.

Reproduction of 'Bones', anatomical study by Claudia Hahn

Reproduction of ‘Bones,’ anatomical study by Claudia Hahn

Naturally, she also focused on raptors exotic to us, as in this incredible portrait of a Red Kite.

'The Red Kite,' original painting by Claudia Hahn

‘The Red Kite,’ original painting by Claudia Hahn

We hope you’ve enjoyed Claudia’s work and will follow her on social media: follow her at her artist website and portfolio, as well as on Twitter, Facebook, DeviantArt, and Tumblr. Even better, check out Claudia’s Etsy Shop where you can purchase originals and/ or prints of the works I’ve shared here and many more works that explore other facets of the natural world.

All images in this post © Claudia Hahn and used with her permission.

A new year and a new van!

Side view of the Indiana Raptor Center van

A side view of the new Indiana Raptor Center van.

Indiana Raptor Center recently acquired a new van specifically for use by our organization. Until now, all transport for rescue, programming, and other business was carried out using the private vehicles of volunteers and board members. Some “vehicle volunteering” will continue especially in the case of rescues, as we have volunteers living all over southern and central Indiana who pick up birds for us in their local areas and bring them to the center. The new van will be used for program transportation, rescues within a 1 hour range, and other official business such as classes, meetings, and supply runs.

The van was purchased through a very generous $18,000 grant donation from the Brown County Community Foundation plus a gift from a private donor, and a small amount from the Indiana Raptor Center’s operating funds. The van was purchased in October 2014 from Terry Lee Honda, and was a 2012 Honda Odyssey LX with 44,000 miles on it. Thanks to all donors, including Terry Lee Honda for giving us a good discount on the vehicle!

Bird decals on the InRC van

A host of raptors looks out from the window of our new van.

Indiana Raptor Center logo decal

A decal of the InRC logo on the side of the new van.

Once we had the van, it needed to be branded, not only for identification purposes, but also to let people know that we exist and how to contact us, plus to raise some awareness and get people thinking about the value of birds of prey as we go around the state, and even out of state on occasion. The photos show the work donated by one of our donor/supporter companies, Cardinal Visual Solutions/Cardinal Manufacturing located in the Broad Ripple district of Indianapolis. The van displays our name, location and phone number; logos of our supporting groups that made the van possible, and photos of some of our resident birds.

Brown County Community fund decal

A generous grant from the Brown County Community fund made this van possible.

InRC URL decal

Follow our van to our new website!

Cardinal Manufacturing logo decal

Cardinal Visual Solutions was a huge help in branding our van.

We think that Cardinal did a great job, and thank them, along with Brown County Community Foundation and our other sponsors, for their generosity!

Words of Welcome

Indiana Raptor Center website grand opening
Welcome to the new website for the Indiana Raptor Center! I’m so happy to be sharing it with the world, and I’d like to share a bit about its creation. My name is David Orr, and I worked with my wife Jennie to build this new site for the people and the birds of InRC.

The process that brought us to this day took months, beginning with research and rethinking of the site’s structure, a phase largely guided by Jennie’s intuitive feel for usability and navigability and her sharp critical eye. We looked at dozens and dozens of other sites in the field of wildlife care to see what they did well and not so well. We seriously evaluated what improvements we could make to InRC’s old site to make it work with today’s rapidly evolving web.

Our first goal was to craft a site that worked perfectly on smartphones and other mobile devices. Not only are smartphones becoming more popular in browsing the web, it’s likely that someone who is in immediate need of a wildlife rescue organization would be using a phone to find help: standing on the side of the road near an injured bird, unsure of what to do, the path to speaking to a wildlife rehabilitator should be quick and free of obstruction. Second, InRC needed the site to more prominently serve as a way to seek donations. Contrary to popular belief, they receive no public money to do their work and depend on the generosity of donors. Finally, the site needed an aesthetic makeover focusing on fulfilling the first two goals.

Since the first two goals hopefully speak for themselves through the functioning of the site, I’d like to write a bit about my aesthetic choices. The work InRC does is hands-on, intimate, and personal. I decided to take a similar approach with the site’s visual design. A hand-made, somewhat rustic, personal look inspired by printmaking seemed like a promising way forward.

To that end, the new header graphic incorporates the InRC “eagle and cabin” logo in the style of a woodblock stamp. The fonts I picked out for the header and other headlines on the site also fit this printmaking-inspired direction. All of these fonts are digital translations of vintage wood type from the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum, who have a local connection in their relationship with Indiana University School of Fine Arts and its famous typeshop. In expressing the unique personality and the heart and soul that makes InRC special, this collection of fonts seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

The color scheme, nicknamed “Kestrel” for the little falcon that inspired it, was similarly thought out. Its palette of teal, steely blue, orange, yellow, and tan isn’t too serious, and is flexible enough to allow a variety of color combinations on a spectrum from more to less playful.

The "kestrel" color scheme and headline fonts chosen for the new InRC  website design.

The “kestrel” color scheme and headline fonts chosen for the new website design.

While the work of InRC is often heartbreaking, I am continually impressed by the playful, joyous personality that persists among the staff. I’ll never forget my very first meeting with Laura Edmunds, in the fall of 2011. Jennie and I were visiting InRC as I hoped to take photographs for my first project as a graphic design MFA candidate at IU. We drove out to the hills of Nashville, knocked on the door, and were greeted by a woman who said were were just on time for our tour of the pickle factory.

The sharper of the two of us, Jennie still thinks it’s hilarious that Laura duped me into a bashful apology. While I don’t have the particular skills and knowledge to directly rehabilitate injured birds, I have tried to express the personality of the organization, guided by my own love of raptors, with this site.

Thank you for reading and here’s to many more years of success to InRC!