More than a year in the making, the painting of selected Chavez Park creatures by Minnesota artist Bill Reynolds is up on the web at last, with interactive features that let you hear the birds’ song and read about them in the park. Click here to view the full-page feature.
The project began in March 2021, when park visitor Emilie Keas came across an online painting of Minnesota songbirds in a forest setting. The web viewer could click on a bird and hear its song. The Minnesota Conservation Volunteer, an online journal sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, had commissioned local artist Bill Reynolds to produce the artwork. We published an item about it (“Artist Wanted,” Mar 24 2021) and called for local artists to come forward and produce something comparable for Cesar Chavez Park. After months of frustration, Emilie contacted Bill Reynolds in Minnesota. He was happy to do it. An anonymous local donor stepped forward with funds that allowed the Chavez Park Conservancy to commission the artwork. Bill and his wife Mollie came to Berkeley and met a number of Conservancy supporters over dinner. Bill walked the park several times, soaking up the atmosphere and studying the wildlife. His painting went through a number of drafts, with Emilie acting as curator. The Macaulay Library of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology generously licensed more than a dozen birdsong audio files posted by its contributors. Other audio files came from recordings made here in the park. The audio files are now linked up with the painting, and the interactive page is ready for prime time. Enjoy! Click here to see the full page feature.