Birds + Artists + Spraypaint = Audubon Murals

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A swallow-tailed kite and 12 other birds painted by Lunar New Year.

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Tricolored Heron by Federico Massa a.k.a. iena cruz. Photo: Mila Tenaglia

Murals with birds always capture our attention; we cannot resist linking to such initiatives when they are cleverly conceived, elegantly executed, and perfectly placed. Enjoy this epic series, a fitting tribute to the National Audubon Society:

Where Birds Meet Art . . . After Dark

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Photo: Mike Fernandez/Audubon

The Audubon Mural Project is a collaboration between the National Audubon Society and Gitler & Gallery to create murals of climate-threatened birds throughout John James Audubon’s old Harlem‐based neighborhood in New York City. The project is inspired by the legacy of the great American bird artist and pioneering ornithologist and is energized by Audubon’s groundbreaking Birds and Climate Change Report, which reveals at least half of all North American birds are threatened by a warming climate. The project commissions artists to paint murals of each of the report’s 314 species, and has been widely covered in the media, including most recently by The New York Times.

Thanks to the Editorial Board of the New York Times for reminding us of this:

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Louise Jones, with her husband, Gabe, working on a mural of an evening grosbeak. Credit Photographs by Karsten Moran for The New York Times

In his final years, John James Audubon, the celebrated 19th-century painter of bird life, lived in rustic uptown Manhattan in a house by the Hudson where some of his final paintings were of urban rats that caught his eye.But birds remained his forte. And as Audubon lies in his grave up from the river at West 155th Street and Broadway, Avi Gitler, a local art gallery owner, will not let his legacy rest.

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A Williamson’s sapsucker by ATM. Credit Karsten Moran for The New York Times

For three years, Mr. Gitler and a crew of artful spray-painters and some who stick to their brushes have been splashing giant-scale paintings of endangered birds all over the neighborhood. Gleaming with avian beauty, they appear in vivid colors as multistory murals on the sides of apartment buildings, as epiphanies in alleyways and as scattered nocturnal flocks that burst into view when shopkeepers roll down security gates where they are painted.

“There’s something beautiful about this fish crow perched where Audubon breathed his last,” said Mr. Gitler of a gorgeously alert bird glaring four stories high above a gas station on West 155th Street that now occupies part of the old Audubon estate. Working closely with the National Audubon Society, Mr. Gitler counts 80 bird paintings already in place out of 314 birdsthe society lists as threatened by climate change…

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Paul Johnson working on a mural of a bay-breasted warbler and a semi-palmated plover.

Read the whole article here.

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