Upcoming Events at Summer?Star?


Music in the Woods


Parker Quartet

Tree Room at Summer Star
Sunday, April 30th, 2017, 4pm
Quartet No. 1 in E flat Major, Op. 12, ? ? ?Felix Mendelssohn
Quartet No. 2 in C Major, ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Benjamin Britten
Daniel Chong, violin
Ying Xue, violin
Jessica Bodner, viola
Kee-Hyun Kim, Cello
Free event,?but registration is required. Email us at?info@SummerStarWildlife.org??Space is limited.

Summer Star Wildlife Sanctuary Presents

Mark Pokras Lecture Series

Creature Conserve: Art, Science, and Saving SpeciesDr. Lucy Spelman


Conservation Medicine in EcuadorNikki Becich, V’18

Saturday, April 29th, 2017 11am

Lucy SpelmanNicole Becich

Saturday, April 29th?lecture “Art, Science and Saving Species” will also include five art works on exhibition with three larger size paintings of wild animals. This lecture event will be taking place in the Tree Room, the doors will be opened to welcome fresh air and bird sound streaming in. ?

Creature Conserve: Art, Science, and Saving Species?Bringing artists and scientists together to foster sustained and informed support for animal conservation?
The world of animals as we know it is disappearing. Science tells us the animal kingdom cannot survive our massive presence on earth—unless we intervene. It also predicts a ripple effect on human health and society: we rely on animals for food, trade, shelter, sport, companionship, medicine, and spirituality. Art deepens our understanding of this interdependency; it helps us explore how we feel about animals and our relationships with them. Yet our response to the problem of species loss has fallen short. Scientific data and artistic expression, presented separately, have not had their intended impact. One solution is to combine these age-old practices. Together, art and science reach a wider audience. Science provides the road map; art motivates people to follow it. In this presentation, Dr. Spelman shares examples of artwork made by her RISD students and describes projects currently supported by Creature Conserve, including a traveling exhibition on the global wildlife trade. She shows us that artists have always been interpreters of our time. Through their eyes, the science of saving species and the importance of taking a one-health approach to conservation becomes accessible, meaningful, and relevant— and, the source of positive change.
Conservation Medicine in Ecuador:?Protecting Species in One of the Most Diverse Countries on Earth
Through the National Aviary, Nikki has been afforded several unique job opportunities in zoo medicine and wildlife rehabilitation across Latin America. She will be speaking about efforts to protect native species in Ecuador, such as the Andean Condor, endangered amphibian and reptile conservation, as well as international species protection laws and the impact and scope of habitat destruction and wildlife trafficking abroad.


Dr. Lucy Spelman is a board-certified zoo and wildlife veterinarian working to bring artists and scientists together to save species. Animals have always been part of her life. Her patients have included giant pandas in China, giant otters in Guyana, and mountain gorillas in central Africa. She has been exploring the interface between art, science, and one-health medicine since 2010 when she began teaching biology to students at the Rhode Island School of Design. In 2015, she founded the non-profit,?Creature Conserve?and gave a TEDx Talk “Art Can Save a Panda” in which she makes a case for greater public engagement in conservation through visual art. She is the author of various scientific articles and two popular books: the?National Geographic Animal Encyclopedia?and?The Rhino with Glue-on Shoes. Dr. Spelman currently practices at Ocean State Veterinary Specialists and teaches at RISD. She has an undergraduate degree in biology from Brown University and a doctoral degree in veterinary medicine from the University of California at Davis. In 1994, she became the 43rdmember of the American College of Zoological Medicine, the first to achieve this milestone right out of residency training. Her work experience includes zoo, wildlife, and small animal medicine; public speaking; writing; teaching; zoo administration—she served as the first female Director of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo from 2000-2005; and, conservation—she was the Field Manager for the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project from 2006-2009.
In addition to her work with Creature Conserve, she serves on the boards of three other non-profits,?Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of Rhode Island,?Foster Parrots, and?Karanambu Trust.


Nikki Becich is a third year vet student at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. She is a graduate of Pomona College in Claremont, CA, where she first began studying tropical ecology and?conservation biology. Nikki, who loves birds, has been fortunate enough to work closely with the Association of Zoos and Aquarium accredited National?Aviary in her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. They have ongoing?efforts to find, partner with, and support organizations doing in-situ habitat conservation in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Peru, Brazil, and Ecuador, among other countries.
Free event,?but registration is required. Email us at?info@SummerStarWildlife.org??Space is limited.

Summer Star? Linden Street Gallery presents:


\bre-ko-lazh, bri-\
Construction (as of art or literature) achieved by using whatever comes to hand


March 4 through June 27, 2017

“Blue Door”
Artist statement:?My art stems from growing up on a dead end dirt road surrounded by woods. There I experienced a deep connection with the natural world. Through mixed media painting I explore the tension between nature and the elements, destruction and regeneration, exuberance and impermanence. My art speaks about power, grace and transformation in a world of uncertainty.
The found materials in my paintings are a way to feed into this cycle of renewal. These bits of paper, wrappers, fabric, and various oddments allow me to give new life to trash that would otherwise be in a landfill. As in life, with each scrap I use – when it’s gone it’s gone.
My method of layering and juxtaposing disparate materials draws attention to the multiplicities and mysteries of nature and life.

“Old Tree”

Biography:?Brenda Cirioni’s childhood shaped her worldview and her art. She came to understand the world by exploring the woods surrounding her home which was located at the end of a dirt road. Landscape is her subject matter, not to represent it but rather explore the feelings and emotions that come from being part of the natural world.
In 2012 an event triggered a memory of her home being destroyed by fire. A structure emerged in her paintings, sometimes licked by flames others engulfed in a raging fire.Viewing Cirioni’s barn paintings leaves one with a tug of incertitude–how can something so tragic also be seen as beautiful and breathtaking? Perhaps this is the exact emotion she is trying to convey. Cirioni wants us to see both the destruction and the regeneration, a celebration of nature’s insurmountable capabilities that will forever trump those of our own.
Cirioni has exhibited throughout the US. She currently has work in a traveling BYU exhibition Beyond Structure: Representations of the American Barn. She’s exhibited in Boston and Metro West galleries, Attleboro Arts Museum, Danforth Museum, deCordova Museum, Fitchburg Museum and the Berkshire Museum. Her work can be seen at Renjeau Gallery, Natick, MA, Three Stones Gallery in Concord, MA, Fountain Street Fine Art, Framingham, MA Gallery North Star in Grafton, Vermont and Portland Art Gallery, Portland ME.
Her work is in corporate collections at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Fidelity Investments and Carroon and Black Insurance Co. in Boston, as well as other institutions and private collections across the country, including the Wrigley family collection. Cirioni’s painting Dickinson’s Hope hung in the office of Governor Deval Patrick. And now resides in his collection.
Cirioni graduated from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.


  1. I represent the Senior Group at Christ Lutheran Church in West Boylston. We have visited your beautiful site in 2015 and would like very much to come and visit again in May, 2017. Can you advise what would be the best time for our group of approximately 14 to come when you have an art exhibit. Not all of our group would be able to walk the trails but last time they sat on the deck and enjoyed the surroundings. I would appreciate hearing from you. Thank you in advance. Carol Jorgensen

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