Arlington Public Art has commissioned painter Resa Blatman to create a series of vivid portraits of local birds -- the extraordinary ordinary birds that you will find along the Minuteman Bikeway and in your own back yard. Resa's portraits will be used to produce a series of postcards designed to spark bird watching and encourage stewardship; even common local birds -- small spirits of nature -- are under threat from loss of habitat and food to development, the effects of climate change, and the ordinary toxins in our environment. This project pays tribute to extraordinary ordinary birds and raises awareness of the need to take steps to protect them.
The cards include text developed by environmental educator and local bird champion Ellen Reed. Ellen worked with a program committee composed of Lorri Berenberg, Barbara Costa and curator Cecily Miller to shape the project and develop a list of birds for Resa to work with. Resa and Ellen made the final selection of seven birds representing a mix of migratory and resident, seed-eaters and fish-eaters, nocturnal and diurnal. All bring the joy of their presence into our lives, contributing their lovely song or distinctive calls, the pleasure of color and movement or the tricks of camouflage, and their sociable or mysterious natures.
The extraordinary ordinary birds for 2018 are:
- Baltimore Oriole
- Black capped chickadee
- Northern Cardinal
- Yellow Rumped Warbler
Three more planned for spring, 2019 are:
- Belted Kingfisher
- Eastern Screech Owl
- Downey Woodpecker
Look for the first cards on the Minuteman Bikeway between Linwood Street and the Kickstand Cafe, in plexiglas boxes mounted on chainlink fence. Pick them up and share them with neighbors -- collect them all!
PATHWAYS is supported by grants from the Arlington Cultural Council, a local agency funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council, as well as generous donations from individuals. Additional generous support for the development of this project was provided by the National Park Service.