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MARCELLUS | It's all about the members and the volunteers for Baltimore Woods Nature Center, located at 4007 Bishop Hill Road in Marcellus.

The nature center recently opened its sixth annual "Drawing on Talent" art show, which this year features 32 artists who are also Baltimore Woods members. The works on display in the art gallery represent a variety of media, all with some kind of nature theme.

That number is a slightly lower than last year's record-setting 44 total artists, but Marketing Coordinator Stacy Drake said this year's contingent is more manageable for the nature center and allows it to hang the pieces more easily and comfortably in the gallery.

While a typical Baltimore Woods art show features one artist or hosts two or three at time, she noted the annual members show allows anyone who is a nature center member to put their work in the gallery.

"It gives them an opportunity to showcase their talents," Drake said. "All of the art is for sale, and a portion comes back to the Woods."

And with one theme in different media, she noted the pieces range from photographs depicting natural scenes to paintings of natural landscapes, among several other nature-related works.

As well as showcasing its members in the art gallery, Baltimore Woods will honor its volunteers there as well with its annual Volunteer Community Dinner at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 2.

"All of our volunteers contribute thousands of hours of their time to us," Drake said. "They're having dinner on us as a way of thanking them for what they do."

One current project that volunteers are working on, she said, is taking off the old deck on the back of the interpretive center and replacing it with one that is both newer and a little larger.

Drake said it could eventually be an ideal spot for birdwatching, a place to host a public program or even an area for hikers to take a break. The new deck is being constructed completely of sustainable materials, she added.

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She also noted several businesses send their volunteers out to the nature center to help out in various. Employees from AXA Advisors painted the wall in art gallery and took of a few other projects, she said, while UPS employees helped start the work on the new deck.

While "Drawing on Talent" runs through Saturday, Jan. 3, Drake noted that admission to the gallery and parking at the nature center are both always free.

Drake said the nature center hosts about seven to eight art shows each year, and each exhibit hangs out for the gallery for six to eight weeks.

After "Drawing on Talent," she said the gallery will host Camillus watercolor artist Ceil Pigula, whose pieces feature "really local stuff" such as the Camillus Agriculture Museum and farming scenes that include old tractors and barn interiors.

Then, Drake said, Skaneateles photographer Tom Dwyer will set up his nature photographs in the gallery and host a photography workshop at the nature center for those wishing to learn more about the trade.

The workshop is slated to place in February, while Dwyer's exhibit will be on display from March to April.

"He takes people out into the woods and helps them work with their cameras to capture nature," Drake said of the workshop.

Also in the spring, the art gallery hosts the works of students from several different schools in the area. Drake said that is a fun time for the nature center because students come with their teachers and bring their families with them as well.

"They really get excited for that," she said. "Families come out and really enjoy it."

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Skaneateles Journal Editor Jonathan Monfiletto can be reached at jonathan.monfiletto@lee.net or (315) 283-1615. Follow him on Twitter @Skan_Monfiletto.

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