Painted: September 25, 2016
(This mural has since been removed.)
About the Bird: The Spotted Owl, considered endangered in the Pacific Northwest, is already scarce. It requires old-growth forest to nest, which has put at the center of a decades-long controversy over logging practices. Audubon’s climate models indicate that climate change will imperil roughly two-thirds of the bird’s current range during both the summer and winter months. Increased spring heat waves could further threaten its ability to raise young.
About the Artist: Growing up in New York City, Paul Nassar was inspired by all of the writing on walls—and that's where his obsession with murals began. He took his love of art, studied a little economics in college in Scotland, and came home where he cofounded Off The Wall Graffiti, a nonprofit dedicated to young artists whose only exposure or opportunity to paint is in the streets. The group gives kids a place where they can create safely. Nassar's art takes him on many ventures, including murals, canvas, body paint, and music. He chose the Spotted Owl because it’s both smart and deadly. “It's known for its wisdom but is also one of nature's most impressive, patient hunters,” he says. “Always thinking. Calculating. Not to mention it's really cool-looking.”