Where Birds Meet Art . . .
The Audubon Mural Project is a public-art initiative of the National Audubon Society and Gitler &_____ Gallery that draws attention to birds threatened by climate change. It started in the Harlem and Washington Heights neighborhoods of northern Manhattan, where pioneering bird artist John James Audubon once lived and is buried; dozens of birds now perch on doors, walls, and security gates in a several-block radius. The project is informed by Audubon’s groundbreaking science report "Survival By Degrees," which found that climate change will threaten 389 birds species—at least half of all North American birds—with extinction, and that no bird will escape the impacts of climate-change-related hazards like increased wildfire and sea-level rise. The project commissions artists to paint murals of these species, and it has been widely covered in the media, including The New York Times.
Want to take a tour of the Harlem murals? New York City Audubon has you covered. Visit 30 installations on a Sunday morning escapade, along with John James Audubon's final resting place. More details and registration here. You can also take a self-guided tour using our printable map. When in New York City, be sure to check out the New-York Historical Society's Birds of America gallery, which now features the mural project along with John James Audubon's original watercolors. And in Illinois, be sure to check out a spin-off project in Chicago's Rogers Park, featuring 13 climate-threatened birds that use habitats in that region, or the bird murals proliferating in Rockford thanks to the work of Sinnissippi Audubon. Or if you'd like an Audubon mural in your own home, Gitler &_______ has printed a limited run of George Boorujy's stunning Gang of Warblers.
If you are an artist and would like to participate in the New York project, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. (Because we receive a large amount of submissions, not all e-mails can be answered.) Are you a teacher who has incorporated the mural project into your science or arts class? We'd like to know that, too! Email us at email@example.com.
Want a paper version? Download a printable map here.
Photo: Camilla Cerea/Audubon
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Explore the story behind the murals with NY1: