New Yorkers are talking about Birds over Broadway. But it’s not a new play.
Nearly a dozen artificial birds representing species that some claim are in danger thanks to climate change, are now on display at the Broadway Mall between 64th and 157th streets.
Teaming up with the New York City chapter of the Audubon Society is Brooklyn-born artist Nicolas Holiber. He has taken lumber from old floorboards and shipping pallets and refashioned them to create the work of art.
At Dante Park, right across from Lincoln Center, strollers can fine an almost 15-foot long red-necked grebe along with three baby chicks sitting on its back. The bird’s bill is aligned with a clock – watching time run out, get it?
On 148th Street sits a recreation of a snowy owl.
On 105th Street, a wooden double-crested cormorant sits poised.
On 79th street there is a diminutive American bittern bearing red and white stripes, gazing up at the heavens.
At 96th Street, the street is now adorned with a large brant, a form of saltwater goose.
Holiber was the subject of a piece on kickstarter.com, which pointed out that the public art exhibition is intended to raise awareness for bird species whose existence is threatened by climate change, while also bringing beauty to the urban landscape.
“Stretching from 64th Street north to 166th Street in Manhattan, the exhibition will display sculptures in prominent locations on the median that bisects Broadway, called the Broadway Malls,” the site reports. “Holiber is the youngest artist ever to have a solo exhibition on the malls and this will be one of the largest to date.”
Each sculpture will be made out of 100% reclaimed or recycled wood, kickstarter.com noted. “Through a partnership with Big Reuse, the artist will receive salvaged lumber to be used for each bird. Holiber will also reprocess found wood from around the streets of New York City. Additionally, sponsorship for all of the hardware needed to build the sculptures has been provided by Marjam Supply Company.”
The birds’ importance lies in generating awareness, the group continued. “Why are these birds important? Because they come from a group identified in the National Audubon Society Birds & Climate Change Report, which revealed that 314 species—nearly half of all North American birds—will be imperiled over the coming decades due to shifting and contracting habitat zones as a result of global warming. Each sculpture will be accompanied by information on that specific bird, the threats it faces, and what concerned viewers can do to help.”