When we look to the sky, or hear a neighborly squawk, or glimpse the whirl of a hummingbird’s wings, we are reminded of the millions of feathered friends who share our community. From the cactus wren nesting in the cholla to the white-winged doves pollinating saguaros, the Sonoran Desert is alive with around 400 species of birds. It’s time to create something beautiful about birds, for birds, and for the community.
Creativity on the Fly is a program created by Ironwood Tree Experience and Sonoran Joint Venture that invites community members ages 12-20 to paint, write, draw, and document the intersections of humans and birds. This program looks at three themes: migration and immigration; nests and homes; relationships and community. Through the resources below, teachers, students and community members can learn about migration, nest-making, and relationships within the world of our feathered friends. Then, we invite participants to reflect on their own experience with those themes. How are they similar? How are they different?
Participants choose an artistic medium (see below) to capture their reflections on these themes. All submissions will be showcased at the Historic YWCA during an evening gallery walk on Friday, May 13 in honor of World Migratory Bird Day (May 14th). They will also have their work published in the Sonoran Joint Venture bilingual newsletter, and will receive a bird basket (binoculars, books, art supplies).
Choose 1 (or more) of the themes below and watch a video, read an article, or reflect on your own experience.
All About Birds is a great starting resource.
How are birds and humans similar and/or different when we think about these themes?
|Migration & Immigration||Nests & Home||Community & Relationships|
|Crane Migration||Barred Owl Hatching||Acorn Woodpeckers & Kinship|
Choose 1 of the 5 categories of submission. Depending on your category, when you submit your work, you can either send us a .jpeg, .png or .pdf, or you can mail us your submission:
Ironwood Tree Experience c/o Creativity on the Fly Contest
738 N. 5th Ave. Suite 101
Tucson, AZ 85705
|Digital Art, Sketching, Markers, Ink||Acrylic, Oil, Mixed Media Creations, Water Color||Digital or Print Photography||Song, Interpretive Dance, Choreography||Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Poetry|
Lovingly donated by our community, here are some examples of submissions for various categories.
Writer: Alegría Gray
Artist: Josh Heath
Artist Statement: For me, painting is a lot about presence and acceptance. I often remind myself to be present and accept my art for what it is rather than how I judge it to be. I also believe that we can learn a lot from nature and how well it demonstrates these traits. When I saw a picture of this quail, I felt the content appreciation of its beautiful environment and I hope to have conveyed its nature in this piece.
Submit Your Creation!
Please fill out the application below if you are submitting online. If you are submitting by dropping off your work or mailing it to ITE, please include a 2-3 sentence artist statement describing your work. Some ideas for your artist statement could include: What themes did you focus on? How are humans and birds similar and/or different? What connects you with birds? What do you love about birds?