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The Re-connection Project:
Endangered Birds of New Jersey

May 4 – July 15, 2013

Alcove, State Museum Auditorium

Pat Brentano

John Muir said, “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” This is the spirit behind the new exhibition by local artist Pat Brentano who believes, “We have lost our appreciation for the natural world and the importance of community. We do not own nature. We are a part of it.”

This exhibition is the first part of the “New Jersey Re-connection Project”, an ongoing collaborative project about learning to re-connect with the natural world. “My installations are about the many endangered birds of New Jersey and their shrinking habitat,” explains Brentano. “Volunteers were asked to sit alone, surrounded by nature for a minimum of thirty minutes and complete a questionnaire about their experience. The data from their response was collected and became the inspiration for this exhibition.”

The hanging habitat panels of the exhibit were hand cut and layered to give the viewer the experience of peering through the underbrush like a bird. She goes on to say, “Artists have the opportunity to affect social change. By using the universal visual language, the artist can reach a much wider audience. I want my work to inspire a conversation about stewardship and a return to community.”