The Audubon Mural Project – Rockford is a public art project featuring birds that have identified by the National Audubon’s birds and climate change report. According to that report, climate change will impact 389 species of birds by 2080, including the Baltimore Oriole. The Baltimore Oriole is one of the most brilliantly colored songbirds, flaming orange and black, sharing the heraldic colors of the coat of arms of 17th-century Lord Baltimore.
The Baltimore Oriole is the second bird mural we helped facilitate located in Rockford. Other murals include a Yellow-headed Blackbird, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Sandhill Crane, Tree Swallow, and a Peregrine Falcon.
This mural was part of CRE8IV (pronounced “Creative”), a community-building, arts-infused event. Over the course of the festival, eight lead artists will work with teams of artists to create eight large-scale murals in Rockford’s central city and will be completed by local artist Brett Whitacre.
The Audubon Mural Project originated in NYC, but is being brought to Rockford by Sinnissippi Audubon in collaboration with Gitler & ___. In 2016, the Mile of Murals in Chicago also collaborated with the Harlem-based gallery to paint a mural featuring birds identified in Audubon’s Birds and Climate Change Report.
Climate change is one of the most critical challenges facing our world and the artistic movement to confront climate change has steadily gained momentum. Art can serve as a powerful tool to increase awareness and beautify our city!
About The Artist, Brett Whitacre – Baltimore Oriole (203 N. Church St., Rockford, IL)
Brett is a self-taught American artist living and working in Northern Illinois. His art is inspired by a mix of vintage and modern advertising as well as American history. Upon moving to Chicago in 2000, he began collecting otherwise discarded materials from alleyways. He applies his imagery to the found objects juxtaposing old and new. The end result of his work tends to have a strong modern feel contrasted with a rustic warmth.
About The Artist, Lincoln Middle School – Golden Crowned Kinglet (Corner of 9th and State St., Rockford, IL)
Rockford Lincoln Middle School students painted a mural on the wall behind the Revell Avenue Strong House! They chose the Golden-crowned kinglet as the bird they wanted to feature on their mural.
Thanks to their teacher, Mrs. Jillian Myers, the United Way of Rock River Valley, and SwedishAmerican for collaborating on this mural.
About The Artist, Therese Rowinski – Yellow-headed Blackbird (317 Market St., Rockford, IL)
Therese Rowinski is a free-lance artist and muralist who works in acrylics, oils and watercolors. Her murals can be found in residential homes, businesses and restaurants. Sinnissippi Audubon approached Therese as she was planning this mural and offered to cover the cost of her paint, if she “put a bird on it.” We’re so happy she was willing to add the beautiful Yellow-headed blackbird.