CLINTON — Les Zigurski, of Scales Mound, Ill., will be the featured speaker at the Clinton Art Association’s annual meeting on Jan. 29.

He also is the opening exhibitor for the 2006 season at the River Arts Center, 229 Fifth Ave. South.

His photography has won many awards in the area, and he tells fascinating stories of capturing expressive closeups of eagles, deer, fox and wading birds.

The program is open to the public free of charge and will begin at 2 p.m. The exhibit opens Wednesday and continues through the month of February. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.

Prior to the program, there will be a lunch and business meeting at 1 p.m. at Rainbow Pottery, 231 Fifth Ave. South, Clinton. The cost is $5 with registrations being taken by calling the gallery at 243-3300 or Deb Jacobsen at 243-5966. The public is welcome to attend.

Zigurski is a retired teacher who has embarked on a second career combining his love of nature with his interest in photography.

As his abilities increased, so did his excitement of arising before daylight to go outside even in sub-zero temperatures to be ready to photograph animals.

He finds it a privilege and a thrill to capture these moments in nature and hopes those who view his work will experience some of those same feelings.