Emily Moorhead-Wallace in collaboration with Artists Janet Austin complete tree habitat sculpture, Nestful, located across from the Farm-in-the-Zoo in Lincoln Park. The sculpture is supported by the Chicago Park District and artist group Chicago Sculpture International in their collaborative venture, the Chicago Tree Project. Reclaimed and scrap material from the artists’ studios as well as donated material make up the artwork’s 190 installed birdhouses.

Nestful lives in an oak tree that is over 100 years old and has reached the end of its lifespan. The tree is breaking down around previous damage and losing the ability to support itself due to the loss of foliage for hydration and food. This tree will slowly collapse under its weight and crumble to become the nutrients for fauna, flora, and other trees.

This permanent artwork will be on display throughout the remaining life of the tree. A free audio guide of the tree is available on the digital application Otocast.

Located on the vibrant urban lakeshore and similar to the buildings surrounding it, this artwork supports high density living. To support the tree’s changing state, we have increased habitats for native bird and insect species. Houses are made of reclaimed and repurposed lumber with the ideal dimensions for various birds including chickadees, nuthatches, swallows, wrens, woodpeckers, warblers, flickers, starlings, sparrows, flycatchers, bluebirds, and titmice.

The birdhouse sculpture supports increased biodiversity, reflecting the city’s varied residents.

Nestful, collaboration between Janet Austin and Emily Moorhead-Wallace, 2021 Lincoln Park, Chicago, IL 190 reclaimed and repurposed wood birdhouses, dimension variable