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Wild Observations in American Flyways

Deborah Mitchell

March 13 - July 5, 2020


All of life is connected, with constant change especially evident in active migratory corridors, called flyways. Field Stations are often strategically placed in these flyways where scientists research changes in biodiversity. National Parks and Field Stations are windows to these ecosystems, where natural ecological responses to water, weather, animals and even humans constantly change.


Combining scientific research with artistic interpretation, Deborah Mitchell’s site-specific series of exhibitions map the changes in American wildlife corridors. Wild Observations in American Flyways consists of Mitchell’s photo-based collages and paintings that draw largely on biological data about our changing environment and demonstrate the connections between living things and why they matter.


Deborah Mitchell has logged 14 years of field experience and traveled extensively to create the series of images contained in her book Everglades Field Guide: From Reality to Memory. Because she resides in South Florida, one of the most precariously situated cities on the front lines of global climate change, she immerses herself in local ecology, specializing in the Florida Everglades.


“Deborah’s work always inspires us to connect with nature and motivates us to get out in it. Her passion for our natural wonders comes through in every one of her creations.”

– Pedro M. Ramos, Superintendent, Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks


“One hundred years after the passage of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act that protected birds from the brink of extinction, climate change is the biggest threat to birds worldwide. Deborah Mitchell’s Wild Observations will shine a light on the impacts human interactions pose on climate, and its effects on the flyways and wild corridors that birds and other species depend to survive.”

– Celeste De Palma, Director of Everglades Policy, Audubon Florida


“In the heart of the Greater Everglades, amidst the shimmering waters of the River of Grass, the lifeways of indigenous communities like the Miccosukee & Seminole peoples and their relationships to the Natural World are reflected in their traditional and contem-porary arts and crafts, as well as their conservation initiatives.  Deborah’s artwork por-trays a world that honors and integrates multiple epistemologies, daring us to transform our own relationships with ecologies, a reciprocal dance of hope, solidarity, and the stunning simplicity of vast & resilient landscapes.”

– Rev. Houston R. Cypress, Otter Clan, Miccosukee Tribe; co-founder of Love The Everglades Movement


“At Archbold, we are reaching new and wider audiences by partnering with artists as science and conservation ambassadors. Deborah Mitchell is one such ambassador. Her careful attention to detail and her ability to meld complex scientific understanding with interpretation of nature is inspiring. Deborah infuses her artistic work with science, communicating the importance of sustaining our natural world.”

– Hilary Swain, Executive Director, Senior Research Program Director, Research Biologist, Archbold Biological Station


About the artist:

Deborah Mitchell is an artist and curator whose practice examines man’s extremely precarious relationship with nature (think alligators, pythons, flamingos and water rights). Her work highlights the process of exploring our stunning natural resources, while igniting curiosity for our cultural history. With over 14 years of facilitating unique outreach projects both in the wilderness and urban core, Mitchell has an unparalleled ability to unify the voices of artists and scientists in the diverse communities of South Florida and beyond.


Deborah Mitchell: Wild Observations Brochure


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