Cerulean Warbler by Tom Sanford

Location: 601 W. 149th St., New York, NY 10031

Installed: 10/28/2014

Sponsored By: Diana Lloyd

About the Bird: The cerulean hue of its back is difficult to detect as this warbler flits among the leaves of tall eastern hardwoods in summer. It will be even harder to see in the future; Audubon’s climate projections suggest that global warming will cause the Cerulean Warbler, perched here on the shoulder of 19th century naturalist and painter John James Audubon, to lose most of its current breeding range. New habitat may develop farther north, though only time will tell if the species successfully shifts into it.

About the Artist: Tom Sanford is a Harlem-based artist whose work is exhibited extensively in museums and galleries around the world. “You’d be hard pressed to find five American artists more important than Audubon,” he says. “I wanted not only to have the bird, but to bring Mr. Audubon back to the neighborhood as well.”  Sanford also appreciates how the mural project melds a contemporary topic with historic spaces: “It combines the most pressing issue of our time, climate change, with the history of my neighborhood. I can’t think of a more perfect public-art project.”

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