Passenger Pigeon, Adult Male honored at the John James Audubon Center

Kate/ May 7, 2014/ birds, news

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. 

Passenger Pigeon, adult male by Kate Garchinsky

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.

For more information and updates, visit Kate Garchinsky’s website,

John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove
1201 Pawlings Road Audubon PA 19403
Today, 175 acres of Mill Grove’s original estate remains largely as Audubon found it – a haven for birds and wildlife. The property boasts more than seven miles of trails and stunning views of the Perkiomen Creek. The historic three-story stone farmhouse serves as a museum displaying original Audubon prints, oil paintings, and Audubon memorabilia. The John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove is owned and operated through a unique partnership between the Montgomery County Department of Parks & Heritage Services and The National Audubon Society.

About Kate

Kate Garchinsky illustrates and writes children’s books and educational media in her studio in the woodlands near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her debut picture book, The Secret Life of the Red Fox, written by acclaimed wildlife author, Laurence Pringle, received a starred review from School Library Journal. Kate Garchinsky received a grant from the Eckelberry Fellowship at the Academy of Natural Sciences, where she has been researching and illustrating extinction stories about North American birds such as the Passenger Pigeon and the Carolina Parakeet. Prior to creating children’s books, Kate designed lots of fun things like toys, birdbaths and trail maps. She lives with her husband Brian, Julia and Spencer the cats, and her one-eyed beagle, Maggie May. Kate recently signed on to illustrate two more “Secret Life” narrative non-fiction picture books with Boyds Mills Press—The Secret Life the Little Brown Bat (2018) and The Secret Life of the Skunk (2019). While drawing foxes and bats, Kate also began work on Belle’s Journey, a middle-grade non-fiction chapter book by ornithologist and osprey expert, Rob Bierregaard (Charlesbridge 2018). Get to know more about Kate Garchinsky at (aka