Fossil Mysteries Exhibition

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Artists' Bios

Tim Gunther

fossil-mysteriesTim Gunther was born in San Diego, California. In high school, he discovered his affinity for the aquatic sciences as well as an interest in drawing. He received a BS in marine science from the University of California Santa Barbara. As a marine science major, the only art class available was an independent research project. He received a grant from the University to complete a series of botanical illustrations for a field guide to the indigenous plants of the Coast Oil Point Reserve in Santa Barbara. Over the years, he volunteered for the Santa Barbara Sea Center, worked at Hubb's SeaWorld White Seabass Hatchery, and at SeaWorld, San Diego. He was hired to teach marine science at Seacamp San Diego and taught while working with local organizations such as Project Pacific to conduct grunion spawning research, and create graphic panels for public education.

In pursuit of his growing interest in illustration, he applied and was accepted to a Science Communications Masters Program at University of California at Santa Cruz. His graduation from the program led to an internship at the Marine Biological Laboratory Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Boston. Since returning to San Diego in 2004, he has been working full-time as a freelance illustrator/designer. His clients include international scientific institutions, journals, magazines, museums, environmental consulting firms, aquariums, and various galleries. He enjoys the work, and most of all, enjoys the science behind the art.

www.gunthergrahics.biz

Doug Henderson

fossil-mysteriesDoug Henderson was born in Durham, North Carolina. Doug's interest in paleontology stems from his undergraduate minor in Geology from the University of Kentucky. After college, he launched his career as a natural history artist after he hiked the Continental Divide Trail from Mt. Robson Provincial Park in Alberta, Canada, to Yellowstone National Park. He taught himself to draw while sketching landscapes of the Yellowstone region. In 1979, Doug relocated from Kentucky to Montana, to attend art classes, primarily in stone lithography, at Montana State University. Three years later, Doug was commissioned to illustrate a children's book on nesting duckbill dinosaurs. Since then he has been working as an illustrator, producing scientific illustrations for books about Earth history.

Working in pastel, opaque inks, acrylic, oil, water color, pencil and graphite dust, ink, and stone lithography, Henderson's illustrations have been published in numerous magazines including Natural History and National Geographic. His book illustrations appear in: Maia, A Dinosaur Grows Up by John R. Horner and James Gorman; Living with Dinosaurs by Patricia Lauber; Dinosaur Ghosts by J. Lynett Gillette; and his own books Asteroid Impact and Dinosaur Tree.

Henderson's work can be seen at Boston's Museum of Science, the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, The Museum of the Earth, and the Museum of the Rockies. He has also worked on design and story boards for Disney Studios, Phil Tippett Studios, National Geographic TV, and 20th Century Fox.

Henderson's intent is to represent the flora, fauna and landscape of Earth's ancient past in a form akin to how we see the natural world today.

 

Raúl Martín

fossil-mysteriesRaúl Martín was born in Madrid. In the 1980's he began working in an advertisement agency, later becoming an independent illustrator specializing in Paleontology. He has worked for dinosaur theme museums in various Spanish cities under scientific advisory of paleontologists from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, as José Luis Sanz, and has also collaborated with several North American institutions, such as the American Museum of Natural History, the Maryland Science Center, and Fort Peck Paleontology Inc. Recently, he has worked for two temporary exhibitions in Tokyo, Japan. His illustrations have been published in National Geographic Dinosaurs, National Geographic magazine international edition, Science, and Scientific American.

Jim Melli

fossil-mysteriesJim Melli describes himself as "the kid who was always running around with the butterfly net." For Christmas all he wanted was an insect-collecting kit. Born in Madison, Wisconsin, Melli began making small animals out of clay and drawing whatever plant or insect he saw. This love for natural history grew, leading to a BS in zoology from San Diego State University and graduate work in entomology. It was not until graduate school that he enrolled in his first art class. With his background in science, he thought about things in a way that was different from other artists in the class—always experimenting with different printing techniques to make more colors.

Classes such as stone lithography were most interesting for him because of the blend of science and art. This blending brought Melli to the San Diego Natural History Museum in 1976, where he is able to do what he enjoys—studying plants and animals, creating exhibits and dioramas.

Melli has designed many of the interpretive labels and paintings found throughout the Museum, as well as sculpted the original models for both the large armored dinosaur and the megalodon shark seen in Fossil Mysteries. He also takes care of the live exhibit animals within the Museum.

Melli enjoys the daily challenges of trying to piece together what an animal or scene looked like millions of years ago, based on an assemblage of plants and animals he has seen and read about. Many times he comes up with solutions to problems while running. He runs about 25 miles a week and has run on the beaches of New Guinea, through the rain forests of Venezuela, and around the trails of the national parks of Australia.

"[Fossil Mysteries] has given me an opportunity to do what I love the most—to recreate nature and do some things that I have never done before."

 

William Monteleone

fossil-mysteriesWilliam Monteleone was born in Lompoc, California. He graduated with a mechanical engineering degree from University of California and began his career designing photographic equipment for ocean exploration. But even as an engineering student he was sculpting and creating works in bronze.

In 1997 Monteleone stepped away from engineering to sculpt full time. One of his first projects as an artist was to recreate models of Steller’s sea cows, much like the giant sea cow he created for the San Diego Natural History Museum. You will find his works in museums around the world, including a series of dinosaur embryos in eggs on display as touch pieces in children’s museums. He has shown his sculpture in various art shows including Sculpture in the Park in Loveland Colorado, The Natural History Art Expo in Sedona and the Laguna Festival of the Arts.

His work is characterized by careful attention to texture and detail, as well as capturing the relaxed, intimate moments in the lives of the animals he sculpts. This is especially telling in his works reconstructing extinct animals. “Ancient creatures were so long regarded as monstrous freaks; ill adapted, and selected for extinction.” he notes. “But this is completely wrong. They were just animals, as adapted to their environments as modern animals are today.”

Not satisfied to sculpt only static figures which can’t move, Monteleone’s recent projects include creating computer animations on the physiology and behavior of Weddell seals in Antarctica. “My work is always about the science. It’s about discovery and understanding, and most of all it’s about teaching what we know”.

Monteleone lives in Aliso Viejo, California with his wife, two sons, and their small menagerie of newts, axolotls, and an iguana.

 

William Stout

fossil-mysteriesWilliam Stout was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and grew up in southern California's San Fernando Valley. He won a full California State Scholarship to the Chouinard Art Institute (California Institute of the Arts) where he obtained his BA. Stout began his art career as an illustrator, earning several Gold and Silver Medals from the Society of Illustrators as well as a recent Ben Franklin Award.

Themed entertainment design for Walt Disney, Universal, LucasFilm and DreamWorks earned Stout a reputation as the top conceptualist and designer in that field. He has worked as a designer on over 30 feature films. A 1989 polar journey led to a one-man exhibition of 45 oil paintings that toured the world for seven years and reflected his efforts to make Antarctica the first World Park. Stout is the National Science Foundation's 1992/93 Antarctic Artists and Writers Program Grant recipient.

He has had over 80 international museum exhibitions, including the British Museum, the Royal Ontario Museum, the Smithsonian, and the American Museum of Natural History, with permanent displays at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Walt Disney's Animal Kingdom, and the Museum of the Rockies. Stout resides in Pasadena, California, with his perfect wife and their two brilliant sons.

www.williamstout.com

 

Richard Webber

Richard Webber is a sculptor who utilizes blacksmithing, welding, repousse, and patination techniques to create sculpture and custom designed metal pieces.

Originally from Washington DC, Webber studied sculpture at the Corcoran School of Art, and opened his first studio in Georgetown, selling fiberglass sculptures and carvings of wood and stone to private collectors. Webber relocated to New York to pursue a career in sculpture. While studying portrait and figure modeling at the New York Academy of Art, he was employed in several art foundries, where he had the opportunity to work with Frank Stella and Nancy Graves. Developing his own clientele of New York City artists, Webber opened his second studio in Brooklyn, New York in 1988.

In 1992 Webber joined a team of sculptors hired by the American Museum of Natural History to re-articulate and mount their fossil collections. Collaborating with museum curators and Ralph Appelbaum & Associates, he created sculptural renderings combining fossil material and forged metal, showcasing specimens with incomplete skeletal fossil remains. This process of using real fossilized material, integrated in three dimensional steel sculptures continues to influence his body of work.

Webber opened his third studio in 1995 in New York's East Village. He created pieces for fashion designer, Elie Tahari, collaborated on props with The Blue Man Group, and sold his original sculptures to private collectors.

With the addition of science-based art to his repertoire, Webber also received commissions from the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Connecticut Historical Society, and created sculptural mounts for the American Museum of Natural History. In 2004, Richard moved his studio to Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY. His recent projects include a series of sculptural mounts for the American Museum of Natural History's traveling exhibits Darwin and Dinosaurs.

 

Duke Windsor

fossil-mysteriesDuke Windsor was born and raised in Texarkana, Texas. In 1979, he joined the US Marine Corps, serving as marine combat illustrator and drill instructor. In 1986, he opened his first art studio in San Diego's Gaslamp District. In addition to painting, he worked as a technical and graphic illustrator, architectural draftsman, cartoonist, martial arts instructor, and art teacher.

Windsor’s award winning urban scenes as well as plein-air paintings are in collections from San Diego to Europe. Windsor's paintings have been exhibited at numerous juried and solo exhibitions in San Diego and Southern California.

As an art teacher, Windsor has taught drawing, portraiture, and cartoon art to children and youth at the San Diego Museum of Art School and is an adult instructor at the Atheneum in La Jolla.

Windsor was formerly Exhibit Designer for Traveling Exhibits at the Museum. Prior to that, he was Exhibit Preparator for Mingei International Museum. Today, he is the Director of Exhibitions at the USS Midway Museum on San Diego Navy Pier.

"[Fossil Mysteries] was great for me because being an illustrator was my first job when I was... in the Marines. I've always loved bringing stories or ideas to life on paper."