Look up. Notice anything? Five LA artists hope you do.
This Saturday, May 7, 2016, bird lovers will grab their binoculars and flock to LA for the second annual Bird LA Day! Angelenos might be surprised to learn that Los Angeles happens to be one of the best places in the country for birding (that is, bird-watching). But five LA artists have taken notice, and look to the sky for inspiration. These are our top 5 LA artists who love birds as much as you do.
It’s clear to see that LA street artist, Elkpen, loves birds! She describes her art as “an exercise in conservation.”
Elkpen hopes to draw attention to the birds and wildlife that are easily overlooked in our concrete-covered urban setting. Her encyclopedia-like style artwork has been attracting passersby to take notice of the underseen since 2006. “I wonder if being able to name something helps engender care for it,” said Elkpen.
This Bird LA Day, Elkpen hopes her art will ignite conversation, and people will learn something unexpected about nature in the urban and suburban settings.
“I have on occasion called birds a gateway drug for nature. If you can get excited about birds, chances are you will get excited about other species and the environments that support them….and us.”
See more of Elkpen's work at www.elkology.com
2. JENNY KENDLER
LA artist, environmental activist, and pasionate bird watcher, Jenny Kendler, aims to cultivate empathy for birds with her artwork. Kendler acknowledged, “How human beings feel about a species is becoming one of the key factors in its survival.”
Kendler aims to help people reconnect with the natural world through an activity birders will appreciate - birding! Her project One Hour of Birds asks participants to spend an hour watching birds through the lens of a camera, pressing the shutter button each time a bird is seen. They then send their photographs to Kendler, and she combines them to create a single image that serves as a record of that hour.
“My hope,” says Kendler, “is that this meditative activity essentially ‘dissolves’ the camera itself, and that over the extended time period, the act of looking shifts, bringing people into deeper alignment with the natural world around them.”
See more of Jenny Kendler’s work or find out how to participate in her project One Hour of Birds at www.jennykendler.com
Or stop by her solo exhibition Be Wilder on display at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art (SLOMA) through May 30, 2016. More Information here.
3. MATT ADRIAN - THE MINCING MOCKINGBIRD
LA-based artist, Matt Adrian, pairs his gorgeous avian portraits with often suprisingly humorous titles.
“Birds represent a universe that exists parallel to our own, right next to us, and most of us don’t take much notice.”
Matt hopes that by presenting birds in an unusual way, people will gain a a new perspective on birds.
“These creatures desended from dinosaurs, and have filled a wide variety of ecological niches on the planet. I find them endlessly fascinating.”
See more of Matt's work at www.mattadrian.com
4. ANNA STUMP
Figurative artist Anna Stump enjoys a fantastic front row seat to a wide variety of birds from both her LA and San Diego coast locations.
Stump is interested in extinct and endangered birds. With her “Passenger Pigeon” series, Stump explored de-extinction – trying to make birds come back to life. Her stunning Passenger Pigeons series is based on the terrarium in the Museum of Natural History in New York City.
“The birds in my paintings are obviously all dead. I hope people see my paintings and get out and see real life!”
See more of Anna's work at www.annastump.com
5. JEANINE HATTAS - HATTAS PUBLIC MURALS
LA public muralist, Jeanine Hattas works with public entities to tell stories that are important to the community. Her recent installation, “Passenger Pigeons over Voyageurs,” features the now-extinct pigeons that were once the most abundant birds in North America. Sadly, their numbers declined quickly after European settlement. By sharing the story of the pigeons in a public setting, Hattas, in collaboration with Isle a la Cache Museum Supervisor Chris Gutmann, hopes to impress upon visitors how crucial our role as human beings is on the environment.
“Murals are a great to way help people interact with the past. I hope the story of the passenger pigeons helps adults and children see the impact we have on both the destruction and conservation of our birds and wildlife.”
Watch a 2- minute time-lapse video of Jeanine painting and installing this mural.
See more of Jeanine's work at www.hattas.com
Read more about Bird LA Day at www.birdla.org