2022 events + exhibits + more!


The Puffin Foundation awarded me a grant to assist with creating a select group of works focusing on the 99 most climate-impacted birds as delineated in the Audubon Society’s 2019 Climate Report. I plan to finish with these unique images in mid-2023. Until them I am keeping them under-wraps (hidden under my wings?) but will share them publicly when the set  is complete. This special set is part of my larger Divergence of Birds project about how species are being impacted by climate change. Click here to see a portfolio of a small selection of the project work and click here to read the project statement. Plus read the bottom paragraphs of this 2022 news section for more details about my plans for the project.

I received an honorable mention in the Zeke Award for Systematic Change for photos from the Solutions chapter of my global climate project, The Witness Tree. Some of this work was featured in the Spring issue of Zeke magazine and was also highlighted at the Photoville Festival in Dumbo Brooklyn in June.


In addition to having my work in Zeke magazine, the Parks Stewardship Forum included a portfolio of ten photos from my Witness Tree project – some of which I had never shown publicly including this one of the Lake Mead at the Hoover Dam, below.


From April – June, 2022, work from Divergence of Birds was included in the multi-site exhibit: “Brooklyn Utopias: Along the Canal” curated by Katherine Gressel.

Installed in the windows of the Old Stone House gallery, were seven of my Divergence of Birds images printed on translucent silk. These delicate and colorful images conjure up what a renaissance of avian life along the infamously polluted Gowanus canal could look like if, and hopefully when, sustained action is taken to curb climate impacts and restore the area to a healthy ecosystem. Click here to learn more and view photos of the exhibition.

In Coffey Park, in the Redhook section of Brooklyn, my photo of a cutout of a Swamp Sparrow (below – farthest right) was one of the many banners displayed along the park’s perimeter. Special thanks goes to Arts Gowanus for helping organize the printing and installation of these banners.

In July, Arts Gowanus selected my image below of a Tricolored Heron for an exhibit along the Gowanus Canal to celebrate “City of Water Day.”

In August, some of my Witness Tree “Solutions” photos  (second photo below) were included in a “Sustainable Solutions” group exhibit at Umbrella Arts in Concord, MA in conjunction with Social Documentary Network and Zeke magazine.

In late August as part of the EcoArtSpace and  Our Humanity Matters-sponsored I am Water exhibit, one of my “Solutions” images was selected: this one of a woman collecting discarded plastic bags from the Nairobi River in Kenya to be reused and upcycled (into items like this crocheted handbag I bought below from a local artisan)


For the Fall season, I was awarded an LMCC Arts Center Residency on Governors Island in the NYC harbor. It is an incredible opportunity to have a large studio to spread out and work in (with this incredible view of downtown – below), spend time photographing my paper cutouts of climate-impacted birds on the island, and share ideas with the 14 other artists-in-residence.

In late April, I did a mini self-directed-residency at The Saltonstall Foundation in Ithaca, NY which allowed me time to reconnect with some contacts at the nearby Cornell Lab of Ornithology and to photograph some gorgeous nests, wings, and bird skins that I plan to use in exhibits / installations of my Divergence of Birds project. Many thanks to Mary Margaret for her assistance and great conversations, and to the other staff and scientists for welcoming me and spending time talking with me.

Artist’s Presentation & Workshop

In March I traveled to the Southwest U.S. to continue working on Divergence of Birds. I photographed cutouts of climate-impacted birds in New Mexico, Arizona, and California. My last stop on this adventure was Soka University where Art Prof. Anne Austin Pearce invited me to give an artist’s presentation and host one of my “Postcards to Politicians” workshops with the students and faculty who, I was delighted to discover, are already very engaged with environmental issues. I mailed the postcards to the various legislators (local and national)to whom the participants addressed their concerns. See below for example of some of the very creative cards that were made. 

If you would like me to host a postcard workshop or do a presentation at your school or in your community, please send me an email! – cam@carolynmonastra.com

Continuing Work on Divergence of Birds

I spent almost 4 weeks of this summer hop-scotching across Canada making pictures of the birds that are being impacted in these northern regions. From little Pele Island in the middle of Lake Erie (just a good stone’s throw from where I grew up in Cleveland) to hip Toronto, to friendly Yellowknife (in the Northwest Territories), to the beautiful national parks – Banff and Jasper and ending in Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast (although it’s not always sunny as evidenced by my picture with the Emperor Goose below) – I had an amazing time photographing, meeting locals, exploring the land, and, of course birding too. Above are my cutouts of a pair of “Pine Grosbeaks” photographed at Lake Louise in Banff.

Wrapping up: It’s hard to believe that I first started Divergence of Birds in 2015 after reading the Audubon Society’s first Climate Report published in 2014. I only made a few pictures that year, as I was still working on The Witness Tree project, so put the work aside until 2017 when I had more time. But five years later I am still enthused about and committed to this important, large-scale project!

In 2019, Audubon released a new climate report, and the number of impacted birds went from 314 to 389! Some of the species that were on that first report were now deemed not as threatened and removed from their list. But, since all birds, all creatures, are being impacted in some way by climate disruptions, I have decided to keep all the birds I have photographed in my project.  In addition, I have also photographed climate-threatened birds in Hawaii that are not in the Audubon report since they are not in North America. But when I learned how many of Hawaii’s birds were already disappearing, I knew I wanted to include them too. (below: an endangered Honeycreeper, the Akiapolaau). Thus my project will have well over 400 photographs in its final edition.

This winter I plan to spend some time in southern Texas and Mexico which will get me close to the finishing line of photographing cutouts of all the birds I plan to. I aim to complete most of the work on this project by late 2023 with plans to create a dedicated project website, publish a book, create traveling exhibits, do presentations, community-based activism and more!

Do you have a way you want to partner with me? Please email me at cam@carolynmonastra.com or cmonastra4@gmail.com – with any requests for more information or to schedule a presentation, exhibit, studio visit, or interview.