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Local artist finds inspiration from birds



After years of admiring the works of others, Ali Bergin finally decided to try painting. The results are colorful depictions of birds that are already being recognized for their engaging simplicity.

While driving between Norman and Oklahoma City during her University of Oklahoma days, she often noticed the graffiti that decorated the highway overpasses and billboards. The colors and the mystery of how a person could paint in a seemingly unreachable place started her fascination with visual art.

"I didn't want to break the law, but I wanted to know how people did that," Bergin said.

It wasn't until a year and a half ago that she started to experiment with painting on canvas. Her husband, Jerry, is an artist whose paintings use the graffiti aesthetic that she was originally drawn to and have a distinctive urban feel.

"One day I was like, 'Show me what I do,'" Bergin said. "Jerry started with the philosophy of art. He said you need inspiration, something that speaks to you."

The first thing she thought of was a bird.

"At that moment in my life, I had been devastated by something," she said. "After it happened, I started to see birds everywhere. Birds were like messengers to me. They seemed to be symbolic of angelic beings."

Her most recent exhibit was at The Girlie Show, where she sold 30 of 33 pieces. Currently, she is working on several commissions, including a series of portraits of birds as members of the Seventies disco act The Village People. "?Allison Meier



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