The Woodward News

April 18, 2013

Exhibit features wildlife photos

Rowynn Ricks
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — If you missed out on Woodward's recent Lesser Prairie Chicken Festival, you still have a chance to see these unique wild birds.

Wildlife photographer Dick Wilberforce, of Canadian, Texas, has photographed all sorts of animals all over the world, including the somewhat elusive lesser prairie chicken which has habitat areas right here in Northwest Oklahoma.

A sampling of Wilberforce's varied and prolific photography portfolio is now on display at the Plains Indians and Pioneers Museum.

About half of the images featured in the exhibit are photos of prairie chickens, but there are also photos of other animals including a bobcat, a fox, turkeys, quail, cardinals, cattle.

Museum Director Robert Roberson said that he learned about Wilberforce's wildlife images through the museum's annual photography contest, which is held each fall.

"When he first entered the photography contest, I was just struck by the beauty of his photographs," Roberson said.  "And last year when he entered his photo of the dog and chicken, it just blew me away."

That image, which is titled "Chicken Whisperer, shows a dog up on his hind legs with his front paws in the air as he is being approached by a rooster.  The photo received the theme award at the museum's 2012 photography show.

It was because of that photo and the many other "amazing" images that Roberson saw in Wilberforce's 2 recently published photography books, that the museum director said he wanted to host Wilberforce for a solo show.  The photo books are titled "A Pictorial Book on the Lesser Prairie Chicken" and "God's Critters," and both are available in the museum's gift shop.

"Mr. Wilberforce has traveled all over the world to places like Africa and other countries just to photograph wildlife," Roberson said.

The photo exhibit will be featured in the art gallery through May 16.

An artist's reception will be held this Saturday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the museum, where the public will have the opportunity to meet with Wilberforce and learn more about his wildlife images.