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Explore Dallas’ Secluded Nature through the Work of Cynthia Mulcahy

 Cynthia Mulcahy, Wood Stork, Trinity River, Dallas from A Field Guide to Flora and Fauna of Southern Dallas public art project, 2018, watercolor, pencil and ink on Arches paper, 10.25 x 8 inches unframed, Photograph by Chad Redmon

Cynthia Mulcahy, Wood Stork, Trinity River, Dallas from A Field Guide to Flora and Fauna of Southern Dallas public art project, 2018, watercolor, pencil and ink on Arches paper, 10.25 x 8 inches unframed, Photograph by Chad Redmon

During the charged political climate of 2016, Cynthia Mulcahy looked to the nature around her as a source of inspiration. Her explorations eventually resulted in a field guide detailing trails off of the beaten path to share not only the beauty of nature in Dallas but also its layered history.

Cynthia Mulcahy, "A Field Guide to Wild Fauna of Dallas, Texas," public art project in the form of a broadsheet publication, 2019, 6-part, 4-color publication, 18 x 24 in
Cynthia Mulcahy, “A Field Guide to Wild Fauna of Dallas, Texas,” public art project in the form of a broadsheet publication, 2019, 6-part, 4-color publication, 18 x 24 in

The artist explains, “My artist version of a field guide, heavy on the history of place, is illustrated with watercolor paintings of discoveries made over four years of getting intentionally lost observing wildlife, scribbling field notes, taking photographs, making audio recordings. Unapologetically, the paintings are intended as singular meditations on beauty: the bright blue eyes of a White Ibis, the magnificent beak of a climate-threatened Wood Stork, a study of tiny-winged insects, all unforeseen beauty encountered in the wild.”

A snapshot of Cynthia Mulcahy's current work in progress inspired by the field guide, Beak Study, 2020, watercolor, pencil and ink on Arches paper, 10.5 x 10.5 inches unframed
A snapshot of Cynthia Mulcahy’s current work in progress inspired by the field guide, Beak Study, 2020, watercolor, pencil and ink on Arches paper, 10.5 x 10.5 inches unframed

Explore the remote trails in Cynthia’s field guide here, and reconnect with art, nature, and history.

Additionally, pickup D Magazine’s March issue to read their 16-page cover story based on the project. View an adapted online version here. Listen to Cynthia discuss the field guide in an episode of Podcast on Natural Dallas here.

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Written by Verónica López

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