Painted: April 12, 2017
About the Bird: After its numbers were depleted by habitat destruction and unregulated hunting in early decades of the 20th century, legal protections helped the Sandhill Crane recover and expand its range. Various populations breed from the Arctic to the Midwest and even in Florida, but its summer range could contract by one-third at 3 degrees Celsius of warming. Limiting warming to 1.5 degrees would help it hang on to breeding habitat in the United States.
About the Artist: Kim Power is a mixed-media painter and art writer based in the Bronx. She combines acrylics, oil painting, pyrography, and collage on wood panel in layered imagery that both reveals and conceals itself through a combination of additive and subtractive methodologies. Recently, she returned to landscape painting to reconnect with nature and create environmental awareness. The Audubon Mural Project fits in neatly with that aim. “I chose the Sandhill Crane for its elegant beauty, but also because I was intrigued by its unique mating dance that combines choreography of flapping, bowing, and jumping that seems a joyful celebration of life,” she says. “Noted conservationist, Aldo Leopold captures them beautifully in his essay Marshland Elegy (1948), 'On motionless wing they emerge from the lifting mists, sweep a final arc of sky, and settle in clangorous descending spirals to their feeding grounds. A new day has begun on the crane marsh.' Although I’ve never seen an actual Sandhill Crane, I could easily picture them in the phragmites marsh at Van Cortlandt Park where I spend many peaceful moments watching the birdlife in my neighborhood. It is a pleasure to honor this majestic bird.”