MISSION, Site/Cite/Sight (NC), 2008
The Museum Park,
North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC

Public Artwork Installation Engagement
Workingman Collective: Tom Ashcraft, Janis Goodman, Peter Winant


The installation of Mission, Site/Cite/Sight (NC) on the grounds of the North Carolina Museum of Art is a continuation of the project, which was first installed on 14th St NW in Washington DC in June 2007 (also posted on this blog, below). In April 2008, fifteen birdhouses and signs were installed along a 100-yard stretch of the Museum Park Woodland Trail. The issues present in the urban site, habitat, attraction, inventory, migration and participation, resonated differently in the woodland site. The irony of placing birdhouses in woodlands shifted the locus of the language and significance of the work relative to its context. The allegorical content of the work, while having overarching themes, became site specific relative to its urban or rural setting.


Workingman Collective, working with the Migratory Bird Center, National Zoo, Washington DC, identified all songbirds common to the region that have been decimated by West Nile Virus and urban growth. The birdhouses were built specifically for three species of songbirds hardest hit by the virus: The Eastern Bluebird, Black Capped Chickadee, and Downy Woodpecker. The birdhouses provide a habitat while the signs refer to "place" and are an awareness signal. Site/Cite/Sight, NC connotes an active social engagement that has purpose and sustainability.