Over the next several weeks, the walls of the Nature Center will be adorned with an exquisite collection of water fowl bird carvings. This stunning array comes on loan from the collection of Tom Johnson, a long-time volunteer and friend.
This collection includes multiple world champion carvings from highly skilled craftsmen. Also among the collection is a Woodcock carved by Mike Wavercak given as a thank you for Tom’s help with a special carving for the King of Saudi Arabia.
Volunteer Spotlight: Tom started his volunteer career 25 years ago on October 1, 1986 after responding to an Ad the museum had run in the Democrat and Chronicle focused on volunteer recruitment. He worked 40 hours a week as a volunteer in his early years helping with the Wildlife Research Center. Tom is now 80 years old and still remains very active at GCV&M. He still likes to assist with the museum’s nest box program and many of the special events. One of his favorite events to assist with is the Antique Show and Sale.
Tom is a Kodak retiree and Kodak is where his photography hobby started. 40 years ago Tom started photographing birds for many carving artists. Tom was involved in the beginning of the Genesee Valley Woodcarvers club in Rochester NY and traveled to photograph birds for the Ward Museum World Championship Wildfowl Carving Competition in Salbury MD for many years. Quickly the word spread in the carving community that there was a great photographer who could take pictures of their carvings and Tom was called on a regular basis to photograph the finished carvings for the artists. Over the years the carvers thanked Tom by sending him a bird carving as a gift. His collection now contains over 300 birds. Many of the birds in his collection were carved by World Championship carvers.