Year: 2018
Lead Artists:
Cameron Cartiere
Jess Portfleet

In August 2018, chART Projects launched Fledglings, in conjunction with Emily Carr University of Art + Design, an amazing installation of 6,000 ceramic baby crows that were made by Vancouver residents at workshops that took place over 6 months at community centers throughout the city.

Fledglings was part of As the Crow Flies, a 10-kilometer long public artwork, one of the longest public art installation in Canada, running all the way from Strathcona to Marpole and taking place in the weeks leading to the Vancouver International Bird Festival and the 27th International Ornithological Congress, two events that brought thousands of bird enthusiasts from around the world to British Columbia. It was the brainchild of professor Cameron Cartiere of Emily Carr University of Art + Design and her collective chART Projects, who aimed to celebrate our feathered friends and raise awareness of the vulnerability of the bird species trying to raise their young in our shared city.

Each fledgling was unique, as it was hand-pressed by a member of the public as a gift to their fellow residents and individually numbered by Cameron Cartiere. The thousands of birds roosted at public libraries and at Strathcona, Creekside, Mt. Pleasant, and Hillcrest community centres, until the final day of the Bird Festival and Ornithological Congress, when the flock was released to the public. This ceramic flock represents the number of actual crows whose daily migration traverses Vancouver skies every evening as they make their way back to the Still Creek Rookery in Burnaby. Best of all, at the end of the work, thousands of fledglings took flight again, allowing members of the public to take home a unique memento to celebrate our feathered neighbours.

Fledglings was designed by chART artists Cameron Cartiere and Jess Portfleet, who spent 6 months teaching members of the public to use hand press molds to make the birds from clay before firing these figures at Emily Carr University. This flock of 6,000 birds represents the number of crows that migrate across Vancouver skies daily.