Culmination of Crowdsourced Bird Images

I’m pleased to announce that after two years, my graduate studies at Eastern Illinois University will culminate in the exhibition of two of my artworks at the 2024 EIU Master of Arts in Studio Art Exhibition at the Tarble Arts Center in Charleston, Illinois.

“Reverence” is a mural display of 1254 crowd-sourced images of dead birds encompassing a 19’ x 11’ wall deep inside the exhibition space. The images were contributed by 169 individuals from all over the world. Many of the images came from iNaturalist users, thank you for your contributions!

My other work, “28 Days,” displays 4,596,480 black oil sunflower seeds. This number represents the number of fewer birds indicated in the study over 28 days at a rate of 1.9 birds per second.

As a birder at heart, I have been motivated to create this project after reading a 2019 Cornell Lab of Ornithology study indicating a nearly 30% decline in the bird population in the United States and Canada over 50 years. My work is meant to explore this loss, create a space where people can experience its sheer magnitude, and provide a place to grieve. It’s still possible to reverse this trend. Each of us can make an individual difference, one sunflower seed at a time.

All the best,

-Greg Cooper

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Is there an exploration of why these birds died? Window strikes? Roadkill? West Nile virus?

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