Kellie Rae Theiss: Feathers and Fins

Last call: For more than 35 years, Kellie Rae Theiss has studied and painted the critters in the woods around her northern Minnesota studio and on the prairie near her family's farm in northeastern Nebraska. Minnesota's eagles, songbirds, deer, black bears and wolves have stood for their Theiss portraits along with the elegant sandhill cranes of her homeland. Trained in modern techniques at universities in Minnesota and Nebraska, she's also well grounded in traditional painting methods and materials of the Italian Renaissance, thanks to studies in Florence. Her stylized pictures present each bird, fish, insect or animal as a solitary individual in a characteristic pose with every fin or feather arranged for maximum effect. Note the elegantly twisted neck and the high-arched foot of the pert sandhill crane shown here. (9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat.; noon-5 p.m. Sun.; $8 adults. Bell Museum of Natural History, University of Minnesota, 10 SE. Church St., Mpls. Ends Dec. 6. 612-626-9660 or

Mary Abbe