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 struggle 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 were 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 affect 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.




·      Open Call for artists nationwide

·      All artwork must be relevant to the theme of a North American bird species and their struggle(s) with direct or indirect variables on their survival

·      Open to both representational and abstract works

·      FREE entry for Frontline Arts’ Members. Membership must be current at time of submission. Not a member? Sign up at and enter this show at no additional cost

·      Non-Member Submission Fee of $5 per artwork, with up to 3 artwork submissions per artist

·      All artwork must be the original creation of the artist submitting. Digital reproductions of work previously created in other media will not be accepted.

·      Media include traditional printmaking, digital printmaking, works using handmade paper, artists’ books, drawing, painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, and works that primarily use or incorporate sound art

·      Two-dimensional artwork may not exceed 48” in any direction, including the mat and frame

·      Three-dimensional artwork may not exceed 36” in any direction. Maximum weight for  3-D artwork is fifty (50) pounds. The gallery is located on the second floor, accessed by stairs only.

·      Accepted sound art-related pieces may not exceed 10 minutes in length (unless exhibition display is agreed upon as a loop)

·      All artwork must be ready-to-hang with proper hardware attached. Frames for 2-D work are not mandatory but are recommended. Hanging artwork should have eyehooks and wire if framed; unframed artwork should have all necessary hanging attachments in place at time of drop-off.



·      Artists may submit up to THREE pieces of artwork for consideration

·      Up to THREE total images may be sent for EACH piece of artwork (the artwork as a whole and two details)

·      FREE entry of submissions for Frontline Arts’ current Members

·      Non-Member Submission Fee of $5 per artwork sent for consideration

·      Payment for Non-Member Submissions is due by the June 19th, Midnight deadline and payable on the Open Call Registration Page (link below)

·      No entry will be viewed by the curator without proper submission fees by the deadline

·      Images must be sent digitally via email, in jpeg or png format. Images must not exceed 1MB in file size.

·      Sound clips should be no more than 2 minutes in length for submission review and are preferably submitted as a streaming link. If you do not have a streaming link, you may submit a sound clip as an email attachment not to exceed 20MB in file size (you may need to check your email provider for size limits on audio files). You may also send the file through Dropbox or Google Drive not to exceed 25MB in file size.

·      If submitting a sound clip, include directions for preferred display during exhibition as part of the description

·      You must email your images and/or sound clips along with each image’s description to

·      Enter “Struggle to Exist” in the subject line

·      In the email, include a description of each artwork:

o   Title

o   Date

o   Medium

o   Dimensions

o   Sale Price or Not For Sale (NFS)

o   If NFS, you must include the artwork’s value for our insurance policy

o   3-5 sentences on the bird species included in the artwork and what direct or indirect variables you are displaying in the piece

·      Include an Artist Statement with your email as an attachment, not to exceed 500 words

·      Include your full name, address, and phone number in the email



If accepted into the exhibition, you agree to the terms outlined in these guidelines and agree to sign and date a written contract as part of your acceptance into the exhibition. No artwork will be exhibition without a signed contract.


If accepted into the exhibition, artwork can either be dropped off in-person or shipped (pre-paid only and with return postage included) during the drop-off dates. We will not accept shipped entries that do not include prepayment for return shipping. All artwork must be picked up within one week following the close of the exhibition. Any artwork not picked up within 8 weeks of the end of the exhibition will be considered a donation to Frontline Arts.


Frontline Arts reserves the right to photograph, video, and reproduce accepted artwork for the purposes of publicity of this exhibition and documentation of Frontline Arts’ exhibitions for future marketing and promotion of the organization. Artists will be credited for artwork in photographs used in marketing that solely focus on one artwork. The price of your artwork should include a 35% commission to Frontline Arts. All artwork sold will be subject to the commission rate and will incur current NJ sales tax rates.


All artwork will be handled with care. Frontline Arts will insure accepted artwork on exhibition at 65% of the selling price (or value) while in its custody for the period of the exhibition. No coverage exists for work in transit or work left at the gallery beyond the closing date.




June 21                                                Curator’s Review and Selection of Artwork

June 22                                                All Entrants Notified of Selection Results

July 9-14                                              Artists Drop-off Selected Works at Gallery

July 14                                                 Installation

July 15-August 18                               Exhibition Dates

Thursday, July 19 6:00-8:00pm           Opening Reception

August 20                                            De-installation

August 21-25                                      Artists Pick up Artwork from Gallery


If you have additional questions or would like to discuss the exhibition, you may contact our Executive Director, Manda Gorsegner, at or call (908) 725-2110.