Standing in the backyard of his Columbia Basin home, flocks of migrating ducks and geese pass over as they travel to feed in the cornfields. The occasional rooster pheasant meanders across the pasture as the covey of quail rummages under the hedge. Listening to the songbirds sing and the magpies laugh, Michael Holmes reflects that central Washington feels like Heaven to him. He believes these sights and sounds are important; that they deserve respect. He knows we share the fragile balance of nature and feels it is well worth maintaining because it is a part of all of us. Michael has been consumed with a passion for the outdoors; and for his forty-plus years as an artist, birds have been his inspiration. While he enjoys all wildlife, he has a special appreciation for birds because of the endless varieties, colors, and sizes. It is his fascination with the grace, beauty, and power of these fragile creatures that he strives to capture in his art. Michael graduated from Central Washington University with a Masters Degree in fine art. He majored in printmaking with a minor in jewelry and small sculpture. Since then, he has directed his artistic talents toward sculpture, beginning with woodcarvings of ornamental waterfowl and wild birds. In recent years he has been drawn to bronze work; liking the richness of the patinas, the way it feels, and its permanence. He feels this medium best recreates the mental image he has of his subjects. In presenting each piece, Michael allows the thoughtful viewer the opportunity to sense what he feels when he sees these creatures in their natural habitat. Through his art, Michael wants to remind us of the important balance we all share.