By Kathy L. Collins

Bird lovers and art lovers will come together on Saturday, December 15 as Rich’s Backyard Birds presents an art show featuring the work of renowned artist and Valrico resident, John Costin. The show will take place at Rich’s Backyard Birds located at 5670 FishHawk Crossing Blvd. in Lithia from 2 to 8 p.m.

Both Rich Crete of Rich’s Backyard Birds and Costin have a common interest in birds. However, each expresses their interest in a different way. It is the commonality of the interest, expressed in different ways, that will make this a unique show. This is one that you will not want to miss.

Costin’s love for birds is expressed through his artwork. Costin uses a method that has been around since 1450. He etches (think sculptor) life size images of birds indigenous to Florida and the Southeast onto copper plates. Ink is put on the plate and then rolled onto the paper. Costin then painstakingly hand paints each piece.

Crete expresses his love for birds by providing area residents with a place to purchase high quality bird feed and other accessories every bird lover wants. In addition, Crete leads bird watchers on expeditions in the field to see birds in their natural habitat. Rich’s Backyard Birds will celebrate its fifth anniversary this January.

Costin will show approximately 15 etchings of various sizes at the show. Costin said, “People will be able to see etchings of birds that are very representative of the birds you find in the area.” Costin added, “Rich offers more than just a retail location. I respect what he does. It is not just a job for him, it is a passion.”

In addition to viewing Costin’s art and learning more about birding from Crete, you will be entertained by the soothing sounds of the Eastern Hillsborough County Flute Choir which will perform under the direction of Crete’s sister, Anne Marie Dresser.

For more information on this fabulous show, please contact Crete at 657-BIRD (2473).


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