Painted: 10/2/16

About the Bird: Voracious devourers of rodents, Barn Owls can be a welcome neighbor, which some people acknowledge by installing nest boxes. It nests throughout most of the United States, and according to Audubon's climate model, will only expand their range as temperatures rise—potentially as far as Alaska and southern Canada. The bird will face other challenges from climate change, however, including increased wildfire, which could incinerate potential habitat, and spring heat waves that would imperil chicks that can’t yet thermoregulate well.

About the Artist: Lexi Bella is a New York City–based painter, muralist, and street artist. She has a B.F.A. in painting from Rosemont College in Pennsylvania and an M.F.A from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in Philadelphia. Bella started creating large-scale spray murals in New York City in 2011, and in 2014 gained international attention when she was selected for a National Endowment for the Arts grant to produce her Lower East Side Heroines Project. Bella painted the Anhinga and a Barn Owl on two sides of a building with a dry cleaner. She notes both have been sources of inspiration in art throughout history.  Plus, she says, “I liked the juxtaposition of the light and dark and the yin and yang aspect of them together visually.”

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