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Learn About How We Commission Various Artistic Efforts

Art Commissioned In Tribute To Anne Short Robinson

We are proud to honor Anne Short Robinson here at Robinson Foundation in Columbia, Maryland. Along with her sweet southern drawl, Anne Short is remembered in her 1934 New Jersey high school yearbook for her love of beauty. "We've heard her aim in life is to be an illustrator;" records the editor, "and we know she will be a noted artist."

Anne Short Robinson became an artist with the daffodils, azaleas, snowdrops, and irises she planted around her home. Collecting antiques for herself and selling vintage furniture for the Christian thrift shop became other ways that she expressed her aesthetic nature. Most of all, her love of beauty inspired Annie to share her land as a nature center where others could experience the wildflowers and wild creatures she treasured.

Honoring Anne's Passion

From the first, the Robinson Foundation has sought to honor Anne's passion for the arts. Examples of our efforts include the Green Footprint Award for Artistic Leadership and our sponsorship of arts-related events such as a talk by bird photographer Middleton Evans. One of our most significant initiatives is sponsoring original works that embody the connections between nature and art. Our first two commissions, a stained glass window and an oil portrait of James and Anne Robinson, are now on display in the Robinson Nature Center. Our most recent commission is the Robinson Family Scrapbook. Please take time to enjoy them on your next trip to the Center.

Woodcock Window

One of the first decisions by the Foundation's founding director, Mary O'Neill, was to commission a piece of art. She asked Leon Bezdikian, a local stained glass artist, to craft a window depicting the American woodcock. The bird theme was chosen to honor of the woodcock's role in preserving the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area from development in the 1960s. To Mary, the feisty bird symbolizes the power of individuals to protect nature, and the window would create more chances to tell the bird's inspiring story.

Bezdikian's research led him to a vivid design of a woodcock flying through a lush wooded landscape. Native trillium and larkspur blooms remind viewers of the bird's spring flights, and grey river stones ground the image beside Howard County's own Middle Patuxent River. Built in Bezdikian's Howard County studio, the spectacular window was later custom framed by three members of the Howard County Woodworkers Guild: Robert Lewis, David McCann, and Leslie Rucker. The frame was built of wood salvaged from the Robinsons' barn, the same material that panels the walls in the Center's Robinson Legacy Room. The tea of woodcrafters installed the window in the Legacy Room not long before the Center's official opening in September, 2011. Thanks to the creative efforts of Mary O'Neill, Leon Bezdikian, and the Howard County Woodworkers Guild, the woodcock window is becoming a familiar image of nature's beauty to all visitors of the Robinson Nature Center.