Pine Warbler by Wildriana Paulino

Location: 240 Wadsworth Avenue, New York, NY 10033

Painted: 12/06/22

About the Bird: Pine Warblers can be found among the pines, just as their name suggests. Members of a family of Wood Warblers, they usually breed in open pines of the eastern United States and similar pine habitats—southern long leaf pine forests, scrub oak undergrowth, and sometimes cedar and cypress. They probe the cones for insects and will eat the seeds as well. This species is a short distance migrant—most traveling only as far as the southern states—and in winter can be found at a wider variety of sites, including heavily wooded bottomlands, orchards, and woodland edges. With 3 degrees Celsius of warming, projections show the bird’s range may expand in winter; however, it’s poised to lose 59 percent of its summer range.

About the Artist: Wildriana María de Jesús Paulino is a Dominican interdisciplinary artist who received her BFA from the Cooper Union School of Art. Since her arrival to the United States in 2016, she has actively participated in cultural programs across the city, including with the Studio Museum and Kenkeleba House. In 2019 she began a series Una Para Cada Una (One for One) investigating femicides (the normalized killing of women for being women) in the Dominican Republic, her country of origin. Relating the abuse of female bodies to the abuse of the body of Earth, she created 132 linked clay pieces shaped like rounded veils, memorializing murdered women.  For International Women's Day 2020 a version of Una Para Cada Una was installed in Washington Square Park. A 2022 recipient of the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation Prize, Wildriana recently participated in the NY Latin American Art Triennial and exhibited her work at Governors Island.

Video: Yumi Rodriguez

Wildriana’s practice derives a lot of influence from nature and organic processes. She selected the Pine Warbler for her Audubon Mural Project installation because it migrates from the Caribbean, like she did. “I chose these birds because they remind me of my own immigrant story,” she says. She also liked the site she was commissioned to paint—a modest window blocked by a piece of wood. “My immediate thought was to bring sunlight into it,” she says. “That is why I chose to design the mural as a stained-glass piece, to bring more light and vibrancy to the area.”