struggle to EXIST
exhibition runs: july 15th - august 18th
opening reception: thursday, july 19th 6:00-8:00pm
With guest speaker, David Wheeler,
Executive Director of Conserve Wildlife Foundation
Talk with Q&A 6:45pm
Greta Anderson: "Unbridled"
Jim Beckwith: "Common Loon in Walnut"
GraceAnn Castellano: "Least Bittern" & "Three Pigeons and a Pizza"
Peter Chapin: "Two With One"
Eileen Ferara: "Silent Watchers at Dusk"
Michelle Frick: "Lupron"
Michelle Harpster: "Almost There"
Wendell Jeffrey: "Dead Swan Scroll I"
Will Kaplan: "Widdling Flock"
Neal Korn: "Misty Morning"
Tara Krause: "My Gray Catbird Mentors"
L. Lieberman: "Resistance"
Lisa Madson: "Sandy Hook"
Len Merlo: "Bird Specimens"
Joshua Newth: "A Moral Ground"
Kennth Schnall: "Refuge"
Onnie Strother: "Scientists Believe They Can Bring Back What is Lost"
Patrick Vincent: "Drowning I'iwi"
Scot Wittman: "Invasives 3"
Tricia Zimic: "Acceleration"
The Plight of North American Birds
Like other species, birds are facing direct and indirect threats across urban, suburban, and rural landscapes. This exhibition opens up the discourse on avian struggles in North America, the direct relationships and disturbances, like those of plastics in bird diets and nesting sites, and those that are more indirect, still being documented and researched, like urban sprawl and modern agricultural practices.
Human sprawl, habitat fragmentation, changes in climate, disturbance of nesting areas, and point and non-point source pollution account for just a fraction of factors affecting bird species. Changes in climate can shift breeding seasons, migration cycles, and peak insect seasons. Mothers may not be able to meet the nutritional demands of their young if insects are not hatching at the regular times each year. Birds are decorating and building their nests with trash like blue and green plastics, pink insulation, silver aluminum foil, and white bits of foam. North American Osprey—a migratory species who nest in New Jersey and along America’s coastlines—have been documented building their nests with nearby plastic marine debris. The Laysan Albatross continues to face a dire crisis of consuming small fragments of plastic and feeding those bits to their young—causing mass death tolls of chicks and a major hit to the specie’s population numbers. A shocking 97% of 251 deceased Laysan Albatross chicks have been documented with plastics in their post-mortem stomach contents.
The spread of agriculture, fertilizer use, herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides may also impact bird species, their ability to reproduce, and their endocrine systems. A prime example of a persistent pesticide that has been famously documented to effect birds is Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, commonly known as DDT. Promoted as a “wonder-chemical” after World War II, the colorless, tasteless, and almost odorless chemical was widely sprayed over crops and promoted as a simple solution to all pest problems. The chemical was washed into water and soil systems, absorbed by fish, and consumed by Bald Eagles who ate the fish. DDT interfered with the birds’ ability to produce strong eggshells; thus, the eggs were crushed during incubation by the mother’s body weight or simply failed to hatch. The product was banned in the United States in 1972 as one of the Environmental Protection Agency’s first acts, and the Bald Eagle as a species began its road to recovery.
This summer, Frontline Arts will exhibit works from artists across the nation to deepen the discourse of North American bird species and their struggles to exist, both on the individual level and also on the species level.
Accessibility: The exhibition is held in our Main Gallery on the upper level of the studios, accessible only by stairs located inside of the building. There are two flights of seven stairs to access the upper level. Staff will accompany any individual through gallery exhibits or a tour of the facilities if assistance or accommodation services are requested. There is seating available in the gallery.
Large print materials may be requested within the same day and can be printed, emailed, or direct mailed prior to your visit. Digital media alternate formats can be requested with three days advanced notice. Please allow two weeks advanced notice for requests for other accommodations.
Service animals are always welcome.
For more information on our accessibility services and gallery access, please call us at (908) 725-2110 or visit our accessibility webpage.