Empowering Makers: Birds on Broadway – NYC Recycled Wood Street Art by Nicolas Holiber

Empowering Makers: Birds on Broadway – NYC Recycled Wood Street Art by Nicolas Holiber


I think if I’m in an elevator pitch I’m just going to say, “Hey, I’m an artist.” But if I’m sitting down to dinner with you I’ll tell you that I work with recycled materials, and material itself plays a very important role in my work. “Birds On Broadway” is a 8 month exhibition that is being displayed on Broadway in Manhattan. The backbone of the entire project is to raise awareness for climate change and global warming. Through the Audubon Society, I’ve picked a dozen birds that all are native to New York City meaning they live in New York City or they past through the five boroughs on their migration routes. So over the next 10 to 50 years, their habitats, you know, could see 75 to 98% destruction or relocation. You know all the material that I’m using is all recycled wood or reclaimed wood. When things are dented and scratched they already have a history written into them. So I think that is what I really fell in love with working with recycled materials. Wood does kind of weather and change and take on the effects of the climate
in New York City. I built these 12 sculptures and I never took a sculpture class in school. And just knowing that there’s no one way to do anything. The biggest lesson I learned from teaching is to be patient. [laughs] Students are very impressionable and you influence them in ways that you never thought you would. The whole aspect of “learning through doing,”
I think especially in art when there’s no one way to do things,
there’s no right way to do things… Failing is ok. It’s a learning process, and it’s only going to make it better. I get to basically give back to New York City. That’s just a huge sense of pride. The more young people that see this, the better, and that’s going to make the difference in the future. If there’s an 8-year old school kid that can look at one of my sculptures and learn about climate change and it stays with that kid for 15 years that’s success.

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