Jim Blackburn & Isabelle Chapman - HILL COUNTRY BIRDS & WATERS: ART & POEMS

Saturday, June 29, 2019 - 7:00pm
2421 Bissonnet St
Houston, TX 77005

GOBirding Ecotours and Houston Audubon will be cosponsoring this event

Hill Country Birds and Waters is a collaborative collection of art and poetry that celebrates the beauty of the birds that make their home between Austin and San Antonio. Jim Blackburn’s heartfelt poems praising cedar waxwing, tufted titmouse, red-tailed hawk, green heron, golden-cheeked warbler, hepatic tanager, and other species—32 birds in all—are superbly paired with Isabelle Scurry Chapman’s tenderly rendered bird paintings. A paean to the peace of the Hill Country and the grace of its wildlife, this book also warns readers and calls out modern threats to spring-fed waterways and the birds that depend on them.

Blackburn is known for his accomplishments as an environmental lawyer and visionary. Through these poems, readers have the opportunity to glimpse the brilliant inner life of the man who has devoted himself to protecting the water, land, wildlife, and people of Texas. What we see is passionate reverence for avian life; Isabelle Scurry Chapman’s charming paintings express this reverence, too. Both the poems and paintings tell the truth like it is—without frills, but with a simple elegance and pure-hearted love rarely found in today’s books and media.

At the Hill Country Birds and Waters book launch, Blackburn will read several of his poems, and Chapman will show her paintings via PowerPoint and share a bit about her artistic process. The joint reading and art talk will be followed by a Q&A.

The Artist: Isabelle Scurry Chapman (a.k.a. Princie) makes art and looks for magic in life. Isabelle resides in Houston where she scours the landscape and old books for inspiration and spiritual connections. She has received a Mid-America National Endowment for the Arts individual grant and has shown her work across Texas, the US, and Mexico. Her art is visceral, from the heart and of the spirit. She is the co-author with Jim Blackburn of Birds: A Collection of Verse and Vision, 2009.

The Poet: Jim Blackburn is an environmental lawyer and planner who teaches and researches at Rice University in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. He has published two books – The Book of Texas Bays and A Texan Plan for the Texas Coast – along with co-authoring Birds: A Book of Verse and Vision with Isabelle Scurry Chapman. He is also President of the Trinity Edwards Springs Protection Association (TESPA) and founder of Galveston Bay Foundation, Texas Coastal Exchange, Bayou City Initiative, and several other successful nonprofits. He was designated a Rice University distinguished alumni laureate in 2018 and won the International Crane Foundation Good Egg Award in 2015.