Canary in the Coal Mine Project

Lynn Peterfreund

Did you know that North America has lost 30% of its bird species since the 1970s?  That 2/3 of North American Birds face extinction from rising global temperatures?  Help us raise awareness of their fragility through your art.

As part of Zea Mays Printmaking’s participation in Extraction: Art on the Edge of the Abyss, we are inviting any artist interested in collaborating with us to join in the Canary in the Coal Mine Project.   Let’s create a visual reminder of the birds we will lose if we don’t take action on the climate crisis now.  Help raise a ruckus about their habitat loss.  Get to know a specific bird and show us its uniqueness.  Speak up with your printmaking!  Your participation will help fund Zea Mays Printmaking’s technical research into safer and more sustainable printmaking practices.  All of our research projects are published online and available for free download.  In addition we will donate 50% of the proceeds from the sale of prints to the Audubon Society.

How it works:

  • $10 to participate – this covers postage and handling of sending plates and exhibition expenses.
  • You commit to up-cycling a old printing plate to use for the project, or we will send you a used printing plate from our research projects – approximates size 4″ x 6″, 4″ x 4″  (copper, or aluminum) – your choice as long as our supply lasts. (you’re helping us recycle used metal!)  You may also choose to upcycle one of your own plates made of any material.  
  • You select a bird from the Audubon Society’s list of 389 Bird Species on the brink of survival due to habitat loss from climate change and deforestation.
  • You make an image of the bird you selected using the plate we give you or your own upcycled plate.  You can choose to do your bird on top of the image already on the plate, scrape down the plate, or use the back.  You can make an etching, a drypoint, an engraving, a collagraph or relief print or use the plate for monoprinting – it’s up to you.
  • You print a small edition from the plate (variable editions ok) on any paper that is 8″ x 10″ (20 cm x 25.5 cm).
  • You send us 5 signed and numbered prints from the plate and keep the rest.
  • Prints are due on a rolling basis up until October 1, 2021.
  • We include the prints in our Green to the Extreme exhibitions – at galleries and online, sell prints to raise money to fund our research program and donate 50% to the Audubon Society.  All prints will all be sold at the same, affordable price to encourage sales (under $100).  Zea Mays Printmaking will retain one complete set of prints for our Archive and future exhibitions.
  • We all raise awareness about these threatened species and contribute to the ruckus!
  • At the close of the project (est. 12/2022) we will return any unsold prints to the artists.

Entry form

$10 participation fee ‐

Canary in the Coal Mine Exhibitions 
October 2021 – online Exhibition on Zea Mays Printmaking website
December 2021 – Hosmer Gallery, Northampton, MA
2022 – Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary Gallery, Easthampton, MA
other venues tba