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American Robin by Jessica Maffia


Painted: 11/10/21

Learn the story of this mural’s set up. 

In regards to the Fowl: One among North America’s most acquainted birds, it appears unthinkable that the American Robin could at some point fail to be ubiquitous throughout the panorama. Its habitat ranges from lawns and suburban parks to forests and farmland throughout the continent. The robin’s wealthy, caroling name, blue eggs, and predilection for earthworms have all come to outline many individuals’s notion of birds. Nevertheless, the robin could also be a harbinger of environmental well being. Because the local weather warms, it stands to lose practically 1 / 4 of its breeding vary in a band spanning the middle of the USA from north to south and center of the nation from east to west. Spring warmth waves and wildfires, each exacerbated by local weather change, additionally pose a risk. Local weather fashions present that holding warming in verify—to simply 1.5 levels Celsius over preindustrial ranges—will even assist make sure the robin stays widespread.

In regards to the Artist: Jessica Maffia is a visible artist born and raised in New York Metropolis. She works throughout all kinds of media to rejoice the acquainted and honor the pure world of town, by way of repetitive, meditative processes. Her work has been exhibited all through the USA and is at the moment within the Flat Recordsdata of Pierogi Gallery in downtown Manhattan. She created the art work for musician Infantile Gambino’s two singles “Summertime Magic” and “Feels Like Summer season.”

For her first mural and the Audubon Mural Undertaking’s first summary set up, Maffia created a mosaic from glass bottle items foraged and upcycled from Highbridge Park, alongside the Harlem River within the Washington Heights neighborhood the place the mural is situated. The clear glass traces in the midst of the clouds signify the birdsong of the American Robin within the type of a spectrogram—a visible illustration of sound frequency. Maffia describes these two “soundclouds” as “little celebrations of the fantastic thing about the robin’s music.”


Video: Mike Fernandez/Audubon

The robin itself is deliberately absent from the work. “Our starvation for burning fossil fuels is heating our planet to the purpose that even these most populous of birds are threatened,” Maffia says. “The mirrored items surrounding the mosaic are meant for us to see ourselves as each the creators of the issue and the brokers of change chargeable for discovering options.” Maffia forged the robin’s-egg-blue arms from these of native, present-day Washington Heights residents, each college students and adults, who’re actively engaged in combating for environmental justice. She requested every participant to check providing sanctuary to the robin of their hand gestures, as a counterpoint to the displacement that local weather change threatens. 

Entitled “Hear with Me,” the mural is an invite to decelerate, tune in, and hook up with the magic and marvel of the robin and her music, Maffia says. “Additionally it is a name to terminate our reliance on fossil fuels to guard all dwelling beings, wild and free.”

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