Audubon, PA—During the month of April 2014, two of Kate Garchinsky’s passenger pigeon paintings hung in the historic barn at the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove. The annual “Drawn From Nature” exhibit was juried by Lynne Horoschak, program manager of the MA in Art Education with an Emphasis in Special Populations at Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia. Awards were chosen by Master Pastelist Carol Kardon, who herself has received over forty awards, including a Pew Foundation Grant.
Kate Garchinsky’s pastel painting, Passenger Pigeon, adult male, executed from a mounted specimen at the Academy of Natural Sciences at Drexel University in Philadelphia, received an honorable mention for works on paper.
“To say it’s an honor is an understatement,” said Garchinsky. “To have my pigeons roost in Audubon’s barn is a dream come true. My hope is that someone who walked through those doors asked themselves, ‘I wonder what a passenger pigeon is’? and investigated it more.”
The show was on display from April 11 through April 27, 2014. Over 200 pieces were chosen, and more than 1,000 visitors attended the exhibit. In addition to Kate Garchinsky’s passenger pigeon pastels, local artist Mallary Johnson’s hanging installation, Eclipse, commemorated the 100 year anniversary of the extinction on the passenger pigeon, a bird once so common that John James Audubon reported observing a flock so large that it eclipsed the sun for three days. The installation included over 1,500 origami passenger pigeons folded by local school children and members of the community.
Garchinsky is currently working on writing and illustrating a non-fiction children’s book about the passenger pigeon, titled, Martha: The Very Last Passenger Pigeon on Earth. The book will be released in eBook format in September 2014 at the centennial of the species’ extinction.
Her pigeon pastels will also be on display in September at the Woodson Art Gallery as part of a special passenger pigeon and extinct species exhibit, curated by Jane Weinke.