The Artist

Artist, activist, and educator Carolyn Monastra’s work is driven by a deeply-rooted connection to the natural world. She uses photography, video, sound, public art, and community-engagement to address environmental concerns and examine human’s relationship with our ecosystems.

Awards include grants from the Puffin Foundation and BRIC Arts Media, along with residencies at Ucross, Djerassi, Caldera Arts, and Blue Mountain Center, among others. Monastra earned a BA in English Literature from Fordham University and an MFA from the Yale School of Art. As a Climate Reality Project Leader, Carolyn has given dozens of presentations to diverse audiences. Her artwork is in the Marguiles, Johnson & Johnson, and Memorial Sloan Kettering collections and has been exhibited in venues in the United States, China, Ireland, and England. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and works wherever birds are found.

A Skaftfell Visual Arts residency in Iceland inspired her to focus on climate issues starting with The Witness Tree, a global documentary project. Divergence of Birds, her current climate project, employs a conceptual approach in which she photographs cutouts of climate-threatened birds in their current natural habitats to allude to the fact that, if we don’t protect birds now, in a future, warming world, that might be all we’ll have left. Using her photographs, along with interactive workshops, birding trips, and discussions, Carolyn addresses this concern and assists audiences in mourning for species we have already lost and in discovering ways to protect those that are still here.

From May – October, 2023, she will be an artist-in-residence on Governors Island located in the New York City Harbor, where she will be birding, photographing cutouts, and interacting with the public about climate concerns. 

To view more of the artist’s work visit and

Carolyn Monastra creating bird cutouts in her studio

Trying to save the world — one bird at a time

We’d love to hear from you!

Have a bird photo you’d like to contribute? Or a fun fact about a bird featured on our site?

To schedule an exhibition, presentation, or other event, or for more information about Divergence of Birds, please email me at cam(@) or fill out the form below.