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Come celebrate the Tennessee Triennial for Contemporary Art with half-price admission to view the stunning new Elizabeth Turk installation in person on the Ann & Monroe Carell Jr. Family Sculpture Trail.

Elizabeth Turk
American, b. 1961

Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Golden-winged Warbler, and King Rail, 2023
Museum purchase

Drawing inspiration from the songs of three endangered Tennessee birds: the Red-cockaded Woodpecker, the Golden-winged Warbler, and the King Rail, this sculptural grouping represents the birds through elegant, totemic sound columns. Turk frequently commemorates the calls of endangered and extinct birds in her work by using printouts of the sound waves they generate(d) during song. Working with recordings archived by the Macaulay Library of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Turk enlarges the sound wave images, reorients them from horizontal to vertical, and then painstakingly reproduces them in a variety of materials to manufacture her totems.


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