Painted: 12/22/2020

Sponsored by: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation

Read this story to learn more about this spectacular mosaic and its installation in a community hit especially hard by COVID-19.

About the Bird: The Trumpeter Swan is the largest waterfowl native to North America and one of its heaviest flying birds. The species made a triumphant comeback after being hunted to near extinction in the early 20th century, but now climate change poses a different existential threat. The species is projected to lose 83 percent of its current summer range with 3 degrees of warming (which the world is on pace to reach by 2080), predominantly around the Great Lakes and throughout Alaska and Canada. It may also gain potential habitat as the Arctic warms, but whether the birds will be able to thrive there is an open question. It may take several generations of swans to learn to adapt to new breeding areas, plus their new range may overlap with the home of other birds, forcing them to compete for their survival.

Mike Fernandez/Audubon

About the Artists: Guatemalan artist Juan Carlos Pinto now works from a studio in Brooklyn, where he produces art as expressive as the lush, colorful Central American nation he hails from. The scope of his artwork covers abstract painting, tile work, woodwork, stencil spray, and the use of plastic and glass. Issues such as human and animal rights, environmental preservation, and empowerment of minorities are frequently incorporated into his work. Brooklyn native John Sear got his start as a teenaged graffiti artist. Experience in the construction industry made him adept at working with the raw materials used in mosaics, and after a chance meeting, he and Pinto forged a successful artistic collaboration. Together, they create stunning installations comprised entirely of salvaged material and found objects.

Artists Carlos Pinto on location and John Sear in the Brooklyn studio. Mike Fernandez/Audubon

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