Here are links to some of the press about the birds -- I've removed pages that are no longer available...


Link to Genevieve Russel's blog


  Link to story from Amherst College


 From Larissa Leclair's blog on art in DC 


 From the online art blog Ceramics Vision 


 From Poet, Miriam Sagan:



of words
newspaper clippings
old photos
land–ceramic, wax
in the park

(don’t forget
each pigeon’s name
is dove)

propaganda, a poem’s phrase
in German
a daily planner

(don’t forget
not much rhymes with pigeon
but something
rhymes with dove)

airmail blue
like a letter
a hand
a visa
along the unused track
that waits for a ghost train

blue–like a mimeo
message of featherless
feathered by
a windless wind,
head of fiddle head

(don’t forget
carrier pigeons
to send
my regret
my love) 


Link to Esther Hecht's travel blog


from the Santa Barbara Independent; click on the link:



Santa Fe Reporter:
A cold spring always brings the most subversive birds: Christy Hengst leads a flock through Santa Fe.



By: Zane Fischer 04/01/2009

On a Wing and a Stare
Caught a peripheral glance of anything out of the regular migratory pattern lately? Maybe some large white and blue birds with curled, stylized heads and c-clamps for feet? If so, you’ve seen the moveable flock of artist Christy Hengst’s latest project that has been flitting around all over town.

Finished in porcelain and silk-screened with cobalt schematics, diagrams and newspaper clippings, the birds carry the media’s echoes of a wartime nation, if only an inured or overly-insulated nation. Maybe the birds are carriers, transmitting a more flesh-and-blood message than CNN can deliver or maybe they are doves of peace stained by the inky information overload of media and melee. 

There’s plenty of meaning to be found among the symbols in play. The blue color of the transferred images plays to the Delft painting tradition (and recalls the excellent and subversive Disasterware and Porcelain War Museum work of artist Charles Krafft), which plays contrapuntally to the themes presented. But it is the nomadic and vagrant behavior of Hengst’s flock that is most endearing. Never rooted too long in a single place, the birds have flitted from the Santa Fe Art Institute to Tune-Up Café to Frenchy’s Field and many other perches in numbers from 30 to 60. Their covert movements and sudden appearances are refreshing in a town that has seen too little of its art out-of-bounds lately. As is mentioned below, the elite spaces created for the exhibition of art sometimes function poorly for that purpose and, in fact, reinforce the notion that art is meant to be a segregated and hallowed experience, rather than an act of routine wonder.

“Birds in the Park” will presumably go on as long as the artist continues to find inspired locations to land or until it’s time to migrate. Hengst plans to allow the birds to roam as far as Los Alamos, California, New York, Louisiana, Germany and even the Galapagos Islands. Yes, but what about Denver?

When Form Bullies Function
A recent trip to Denver finally afforded me the opportunity to visit the Hamilton Building at the Denver Art Museum. Designed by starchitect Daniel Libeskind, the building points out across the street and toward the original museum, like a ship’s prow or, as envisioned, like a rocky crag.

The sharp and angular interior spaces demanded by such a form, complete with sloping walls, are said to reduce “museum fatigue,” a condition presumably brought on by wandering through rectangle after rectangle while looking at rectangle after rectangle. That may be true, in particular, for tourists who are likely to visit the museum once in their lives: The spectacular forms, bizarre planes and strange corners will be a disruption from the mundane. Much to their joy, they will hardly be required to look at the art at all.

However, if one might like to return to a museum over and over again in order to admire its collections and enjoy traveling exhibitions, Libeskind’s building does little to prevent “architect fatigue.”

Only rare and specific works are assisted by the museum’s rigid spaces (Christy Hengst’s birds would look good grouped on the prow), with most works awkwardly situated within the architecture. It’s an old harp to suggest such a building overwhelms the artwork inside, but what about underwhelming it? As a brochure and web-ready icon for the city of Denver, the addition is certainly apt, but as an enduring force in fulfilling the museum’s mission, it falls into the same category of art—one liners with questionable staying power—that ought not be included in museum collections, much less encase them entirely.





Bird Sculpture goes on display at The Besthoff Sculpture Garden

Posted by Doug MacCash, Art critic, The Times-Picayune April 02, 2009 3:04PM

Christy Hengst's 'Birds in the Park.'

Bird sculpture alights

"Birds in the Park," a flock of abstract ceramic doves with an anti-war theme by New Mexico artist Christy Hengst, will be temporarily installed in the Besthoff Sculpture Garden in City Park, Fri and Sat (April 3 and 4).

The installation is part of Sculpture For New Orleans, a philanthropic project that places contemporary art in public places.

Read more about Sculpture For New Orleans, and take a video tour.

For information, visit


Christy Hengst's 'Birds in the Park' close up.