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The Lost Bird Project is an acclaimed new documentary about the stories of five birds driven to extinction in modern times and sculptor Todd McGrain’s project to memorialize them. The Meadowlands Commission, Bergen County Audubon Society and Ramapo College are proud to sponsor a special screening of the film, along with a question-and-answer session afterward with artist Todd McGrain, Jim Wright from the Meadowlands Commission, Don Torino from Bergen County Audubon Society, director Deborah Dickson, producer Muffie Meyer and executive producer Andy Stern.
The Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum will have specimens of the extinct Passenger Pigeon on display at the center.
The event will run from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Meadowlands Environment Center in DeKorte Park, Lyndhurst, New Jersey.
About the film
The film follows the road-trip that McGrain and his brother-in-law, Andy, take as they search for the locations where the birds were last seen in the wild and negotiate for permission to install McGrain’s large bronze sculptures there.
Traveling from Florida to Martha’s Vineyard to Newfoundland over a period of two years, Todd and Andy scout locations, talk to park rangers, speak at town meetings and battle bureaucracy in their effort to gather support for the project. McGrain’s aim in placing the sculptures is to give presence to the birds where they are now so starkly absent. “These birds are not commonly known,” he says, “and they ought to be, because forgetting is another kind of extinction. It’s such a thorough erasing.”
The film is an elegy to the five birds and a thoughtful, sometimes humorous look at the artist and his mission. The Lost Bird Project is a “buddy movie” about public art, extinction and memory.