PLAINVILLE - Pete Lincavicksâ€™ wood-carved birds, on display at the Plainville Public Library, appear so realistic that many passers-by assume they are stuffed mountings.
â€śI have had craft shows try to refuse me because they thought these were real birds,â€ť said Plainville resident Lincavicks, an avid birdwatcher who sculpting birds in wood for more than 35 years.
Since 1985, when he won best in class at a regional art show, Lincavicks has been bringing his pieces to competitions large and small throughout Connecticut. He has had his works on display at the local senior center as well.
A display of more than a dozen of his pieces, including songbirds, ducks and loons, will remain on display at the library, at 56 E. Main St., through Labor Day, along with the carving, burning and texturing tools he uses to create them.
All of the carvings are realistically painted in acrylic paint and use taxidermy-quality glass eyes and metal mountings for feet.
â€śI like sculpting birds because it eliminates the need for taxidermy,â€ť he said. â€śIt presents the beauty of the birds in a positive light without harming them. I moved to Plainville a year ago, before which I lived in Southington. At that time, I lived on a farm land with birdfeeders that attracted all kinds of birds. Now, I go to the Farmington River, where I see lots of different species, including blue and green herons.â€ť
The display case at the library includes a goldfinch, a purple finch, a black-capped chickadee, a cardinal, a Baltimore oriole, a Canada goose, a blue jay, a red-bellied woodpecker and more.
Lincavicks noted with some dismay, however, that larger art shows in Connecticut appear to be fading away.
â€śI have been going to a few smaller venues, and I am looking into some local places, like the New England Carousel Museum, which held a carving show in April,â€ť he said. â€śI have also discovered a carving club in Farmington, which meets twice a week. I help give pointers to the other artists, who are at all different ability levels.â€ť
Lincavicks is also part of the amateur art league, which meets at the Plainville Senior Citizens Center at 200 East St. on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. There, people can watch as he brings his sculptures to life.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.