Painted: May 29, 2016
Climate Threat: The smallest bird in North America, measuring about 3 inches long and weighing about one-tenth of an ounce, the Calliope Hummingbird is able to survive cold summer nights at high elevations in the northern Rockies. Some migrate every year from Canada all the way to southern Mexico. Audubon’s climate model forecasts an expansion of areas with suitable climate, mainly north and east—but only 22 percent of the current summer range remains stable by 2080.
About the Artist: Kristy McCarthy is a self-taught painter, teaching artist, hair braider, and cultural organizer based in New York City. Painting under the moniker “D.Gale,” she utilizes art as a powerful tool to build community, raise awareness about social and environmental justice issues, and question the ways we interact with our environments. Her personal art practice draws on her interests in anthropology, herbology, and cosmology, exploring the human condition and drawing parallels between living beings and their relationships with love, fear, identity, and death. Kristy is the co-founder of the Harlem Art Collective, organizing and executing socially engaged community art projects in her neighborhood of East Harlem. She's also the co-founder and co-organizer of Fiesta de Colores, a socially engaged urban art festival that takes place annually in Manabí, Ecuador. Kristy is passionate about working with youth and has spent the past three years sharing her skills as a lead teaching artist on youth-led public art projects in New York and abroad. You can view her work on her website: www.kristymccarthy.com.
The Artist on the Mural: “Hummingbirds have always fascinated me. They're the smallest birds on the planet, yet some of the most fearless, they can hover and fly backwards, and have the very important job of pollinating. They symbolize resilience, adaptability, joy, and playfulness, and their wings, rather than flap up and down, move in the pattern of the infinity symbol. With the audubon report focusing on population decrease due to the loss of nesting habitat, I chose to do a mural depicting the mating rituals of these adaptable little long-distance migrating love birds: the Calliope Hummingbird. This mural is the love story of two that became one and then there were three.”