Junk Mail Migration
by Megan Klein-Hewett
Junk mail and bird migration, what’s the connection? For local artist Kristin M Roach, the connection was obvious - deforestation. Her new installation, Junk Mail Migration, focuses on the shifting patterns of bird migration that have been impacted by global deforestation. These changes are interpreted through an interdisciplinary exhibition featuring paintings, weaving, and technology, which is on display at Ames Public Library through November 29.
Upon entering the Library’s vestibule you will see paintings of 19 songbirds, all of which are impacted by global deforestation. The birds featured in this portion of the exhibit are all species that migrate through Iowa, but are not year round residents in Iowa. Each work is painted on junk mail using gesso, ink, charcoal, and cardboard.
Roach’s new piece, Migration Mapping Tapestry, is hanging in the Library’s grand staircase. This work features hand-weaving and LED technology to tell the story of shifting patterns of bird sightings in Iowa. This interactive piece allows the viewer to select from a variety of bird species to view flight paths of birds that visit Iowa. Data is provided through the Cornell University Ornithology Lab’s eBird program, which collects information about bird sightings from citizens through their website, ebird.org.
Roach’s new Migration Mapping Tapestry has been supported by the Iowa Arts Council and Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Through this support, Kristin and the exhibit will travel the state of Iowa; Roach’s goal is to have the Migration Mapping Tapestry visit all 99 counties in the state.
Join Kristin at the Library on November 10 at 7 pm for her artist’s talk, From Junk Mail to Migration, to learn more about the history of these works and her process.
For more information about the Junk Mail Migration Exhibits and other events at the Library, visit www.amespubliclibrary.org/events/month/2022/11?keywords=junk mail