June 13th unveiling of sculptures and screening of The Lost Bird Project documentary film
Sculpture exhibition and film screening in Jackson Hole
Artist Todd McGrain's bronze sculptures of five extinct North American birds will be will be unveiled on the National Museum of Wildlife Art's outdoor Sculpture Trail in Jackson Hole, Wyoming during an event on June 13, 2013.
The sculptures in Jackson Hole are a second edition of McGrain’s Lost Bird Project bronzes; the originals have been installed as close as possible to the geographical place each bird was last seen. The Passenger Pigeon is located at the Grange Insurance Audubon Center, Columbus, Ohio.; the Great Auk is located on Fogo Island, Newfoundland; the Labrador Duck is located at Brand Park in Elmira, New York; the Heath Hen is located in the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts; and the Carolina Parakeet is located in Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, Okeechobee, Florida.
McGrain will be in Jackson, Wyoming, for the unveiling and to take part in a Q&A to follow the screening of a documentary about his public art project, also titled “The Lost Bird Project.”
Passenger pigeons, once the most abundant land birds in the world, were driven to extinction by commercial hunters who shot them by the hundreds of thousands to sell for meat. The Great Auk, a flightless densely feathered bird, was doomed when feather beds became fashionable. The other three species memorialized by McGrain’s project fell to similar fates.
“I felt a greater urgency to make sculptures of extinct birds than real birds because they (extinct birds) have no form in the real world…they exist only in memory,” says McGrain in a recent interview in the museum’s "Call of the Wild" magazine. The artist wants to allow people to have a physical experience with these lost birds through art, building memory through story. “Forgetting is another form of extinction,” McGrain adds.
The Lost Bird Project is the first major temporary exhibition to be installed on the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s Sculpture Trail since the completion of the three-quarter-mile-long outdoor art space last fall. The Lost Bird Project will be unveiled as part of one of the museum’s monthly Mix’d Media evening events on June 13, 2013.
The Sculpture Trail is free and open to the public, as is the outdoor Mix’d Media event, which also will include live music by Mandatory Air and a Passenger Pigeon origami art project, “Fold the Flock.” Food will be served for a $5 charge, and bike valet service will be available via Friends of Pathways for those who want to ride the bike path from Jackson to the museum, with the first 50 people to arrive by bike receiving a free dinner.
The unveiling is scheduled for 7 p.m., with the screening of the documentary to take place at 9 p.m., followed by the Q&A with the artist. The Lost Bird Project exhibition will remain on display on the Sculpture Trail through October 10, 2013.