Audubon Mural Project

Endangered Harlem by Gaia

Location: 1883, 1885, and 1887 Amsterdam, New York, NY 10032

Painted: Mural was completed 10/29/2015. 

Climate Threat: Passerines, more commonly known as songbirds, comprise the majority of the climate-threated species in Audubon's Birds and Climate Change Report. The Magnolia Warbler is expected to lose 91 percent of its summer range by 2080, according to Audubon's climate models. The Scarlet Tanager could see 26 percent decrease in its current summer range, and the Tree Swallow, 61 percent. And only 17 percent of the Black-and-white Warbler's summer range could remain stable.

About the Artist: Gaia grew up in New York City and is a recent graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. His studio work, installations, and gallery projects have been exhibited throughout the world—notably The Baltimore Museum of Art, Rice Gallery, and Palazzo Collicola Arti Visive. His street work has been documented and featured in several books on urban art, including, most recently, Beyond the Street: The 100 Leading Figures in Urban Art (Berlin, 2010). Gaia lives and works in Baltimore, but spends a majority of his time traveling and painting murals across the world. Gaia was just listed in the Forbes “30 Under 30” list in Art and Style. Follow Gaia on Instagram or visit his website

The Artist on the Bird: “I’m grateful to be able to be a part of the Audubon Mural Project and to have had the opportunity to push this photoshop method of arranging history visually. In the composition are four endangered species of migratory birds: the Black-and-white Warbler, the Magnolia Warbler, the Scarlet Tanager, and the Tree Swallow. Above in the top right corner is a portrait of Audubon as a young man, to the bottom right of the composition is a photo by Russell Lee taken in the South Side of Chicago in 1941 during the swell of the second great migration. To the bottom left is the white hand of James Lancaster, who led the East India Company’s first fleet in 1600, resting on a globe. These three patterns of migration run parallel to one another. But the greatest irony of it all is raising ecological awareness whilst the people of Harlem are endangered of significant gentrification.” 

Come Visit:

“The views expressed in user comments do not reflect the views of Audubon. Audubon does not participate in political campaigns, nor do we support or oppose candidates.”