IUP Home | A–Z Index | Apply Now | Support IUP | News and Events | Find People |

Artist Alberto Rey ’82 Publishes ‘Extinct Birds Project’

Extinct Birds Project book cover

Cover of the book, released last year by Canadaway Press

Artist Alberto Rey ’82 has written and illustrated a book, Extinct Birds Project, released last year by Canadaway Press. The book, its accompanying exhibition, and the Extinct Birds Project website feature illustrations of 17 extinct birds that have been collected and stuffed for preservation in the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History in Jamestown, New York.

Alberto Rey

Alberto Rey

Born in Havana, Cuba, in 1960, Alberto received his political asylum through Mexico in 1963 and moved to Miami in 1965. In 1967, his family relocated to Barnesboro (now Northern Cambria). He lived in this small coal-mining town until 1982, when he finished his BFA from IUP after attending the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. After graduation, he lived in Boston for a short period before heading to Miami to work on Christo’s Surrounded Islands Project. In 1987, he received his MFA in drawing and painting and began traveling throughout Spain, Italy, Morocco, and Mexico. The following year, while teaching in Lincoln-Sudbury High School, the Art Institute of Boston, New England School of Art and Design, and the Museum of Fine Arts, he enrolled in courses in contemporary art and environmental studies at Harvard University. In 1989, he accepted a teaching position at the State University of New York in Fredonia, where he is now a Distinguished Professor. He is a 2008 recipient of IUP’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

His writings, artwork, and films reflect on contemporary society and explore connections between environmental issues, perspectives in contemporary art theory and art history, biology, economics, and urban migration. Alberto’s work can be found in more than 20 museum collections and has been presented in around 200 exhibitions.

In 2014, the first book outlining Rey’s work, Life Streams—Alberto Rey’s Cuban and American Art, was published by SUNY Press. In 2016, Alberto wrote and illustrated his first book about the holiest and most polluted river in Nepal—Complexities of Water: Biological Regionalism: Bagmati River, Kathmandu Valley, Nepal.

He has also combined this research with his interest in sharing the spirituality of fly fishing to become an Orvis-endorsed fly fishing guide and founder and director for the past 20 years of the Children in the Stream/4H Youth Fly Fishing Program.