MAHOPAC, N.Y.— A Florida panther, a clouded leopard, an oceanic whitetip shark, an African wild dog. These and other wild animals are gracefully depicted in a new exhibit of watercolors created by retired veterinarian Maria Kaprielian.   Currently on display in the Third Floor Gallery at Mahopac Public Library, these artworks capture the soul and humanity of these rare and not-so-rare species.  Kaprielian’s show will remain on view through March 30, and can be visited during regular library hours.

Kaprielian has always been intensely curious about the natural world and her drawing and painting, even from a very young age, has reflected this interest.

“My animal portraits are influenced by my academic study of anatomy, physiology, and behavior as well as my delight in their unique personalities,” she said. “I’m trying to figure out how my subjects work, both internally as living, breathing creatures, and outwardly as part of an interesting painting.”

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Her artwork in the Mahopac Library show features primarily endangered animals; she has chosen to place a cropped head-shot of these creatures against a stark white background in each of her 12-by-16-inch watercolors. 

Kaprielian received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from SUNY Purchase, and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Cornell University. She considers herself to be an "intuitive scientist" or a "systematic artist," depending on which half of her brain decides to be dominant that day.

“Art is important,” she said, “and it makes our lives better.” 

For further information about this exhibit or about the Third Floor Gallery, call 845-628-2009, ext. 108.