Take the above photo of Tina Piña Trachtenburg and imagine 300 of these unique, handmade felt pigeons she creates. That is what you’ll find this Saturday, October 21st as the artist and park regular brings her one-time only renegade show and “outstallation,” “300 Pigeons of Peace,” to Washington Square Park from 12 to 5 p.m. at the Holley Plaza.
Tina Piña Trachtenburg, also known as “Mother Pigeon,” is one of the quintessential artists long associated with New York City: authentic, non–corporatized, un-slick, heartfelt, and pulsing with the beat of the real city, so few exist in NYC now, we treasure the ones who are here.
The hundreds of pigeons created for this upcoming show were each made by hand, using felt and wire. Tina often makes these birds using her battery–operated sewing machine in Washington Square Park or in her Bushwick studio.
Tina’s WSP “flashflock” is made possible due to a successful IndieGoGo crowd-funding campaign where supporters helped Tina raise $5,945 to create the birds for this event.
The show, in memory of the 300 pigeons netted and abducted from the park in summer of 2015, honors those birds and all pigeons.
Tina says, “In a time where there’s so much conflict in the world, I would like to, as an artist, share pigeons as our New York symbol of peace. It doesn’t have to be a white dove. Pigeons are doves.”
Tina’s felt pigeons were recently featured in designer Lela Rose’s fashion show at Washington Square Park for New York Fashion Week (photo below).
Of the origin of 300 Pigeons of Peace: “Through my art, I show people the importance of the urban wildlife that we are lucky to share this city with. Together we can show people the beauty of pigeons while keeping N.Y.C. streets full of free art and wonder!”
Tina Piña Trachtenburg is of Mexican descent and was raised in a creative home where her mother made her clothes and her father made the furniture, including tables and chairs. Her father was in the military and she watched as her parents were trying so hard to survive and yet could not pursue their art. She grew up “despising every bit of everything that was normal.”
Without formal schooling or training, Tina took what she learned from her parents and moved to New York in the late 1980s. Living in Chelsea when it was “grungy and real, it was a time when people moved to the city to be expressive and creative. Not like now when people move here to turn the city into a sterile mall with no character.”
Sadly, netting of street pigeons has been going on for over 10 years in New York City, continuing to this day, where these birds are scooped up illegally and hauled away to be shot in “canned shoots” in Pennsylvania.
300 PIGEONS OF PEACE
WHERE: WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK, HOLLEY PLAZA (West of the Fountain)
WHEN: SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21TH FROM 12 Noon to 5 p.m. FREE.
RAINDATE: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 22ND
Come on by!
Follow @MotherPigeonBrooklyn on Instagram for last minute updates.
Disclaimer: I have been hired to work with Tina on media for the event.
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Previously at Washington Square Park Blog:
Photo #1: Cathryn
Photo #2, 4 & 5: Courtesy Tina Piña Tractenburg
Photo #3: Stephen Lovekin/WWD/REX/Shutterstock