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Target Practice

Joan Webster-Vore's avatar Joan Webster-Vore

5 billion passenger pigeons vanished from the sky, a quarter of the bird population on this continent. They could fly as fast as 60 miles per hour. There are written reports of the birds blocking out the sun as they flew overhead, a mile wide in formation continuing as far as the eye could see. Martha, the last passenger pigeon, died in the Cincinnati Zoo on September 1st 1914. When I first learned about the enormity of what happened and how so few people knew, I felt compelled to respond. Life is about balance, what we do, the big or small choices we may or may not make tip us one way or another. In the case of the passenger pigeon, decisions were made over one hundred years ago that tipped their odds of survival. One hundred years from now, how will we have tipped the scales? What will be the results of decisions we are making today? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Digitally altered reproductions of hand painted watercolors on paper with binder clips. The original paintings were done on site observing a male and a female passenger pigeon from the collection of the University of Northern Iowa Museum, Cedar Falls, Iowa. This piece is part of a larger body of work relating to the story of the passenger pigeon. At ArtPrize 2016 the installation "Wishes don't make it happen" was installed at 99 Monroe.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 2-D
  • Depth: 2 inches
  • Medium: mixed media: paper, wood, nails, binder clips
  • Width: 12 feet
  • Year created: 2015
  • Height: 5 feet