Maker Challenge

The National Aviary Maker Challenge is a new initiative that launched July 1 to give 18 local makers the opportunity to work with the National Aviary in a first-of-its-kind collaboration to advance artistic entrepreneurship. The Maker Challenge features one local craft business, maker enterprise, or entrepreneurial artist each month.

Created in partnership with Bridgeway Capital’s Craft Business Accelerator and MONMADE, the Maker Challenge series engages makers in a multi-layered project that includes the design and production of a new product inspired by a specific bird species, with elements of the product design helping to tell the conservation story of that species.

Makers collaborate with National Aviary education staff in the creation of programming that connects visitors with the maker’s vision and design, and with the conservation story associated with each bird species. Throughout each maker’s designated month, the National Aviary helps promote the maker and the products he or she creates, which are available for purchase in the National Aviary’s gift shops and potentially other retail locations.

Admission to the National Aviary is not required to shop. Proceeds from the sale of the artwork support the National Aviary's education, avian medicine, and conservation programs both locally and internationally.


Maker of the Month     

David Montgomery is our November Maker of the Month! He created pieces inspired by our African Penguins, which are available in our gift shop.


About the Artist:
 David has lived and worked in dozens of cities across America, Europe, and Africa, exploring local histories and gathering skills, techniques and memories.  In college he was a figure sculptor and landscape painter; he's worked as a scenic artist and made props and design models for theater and opera.  David has been a cabinetmaker and carpenter, built historic re-creations for museum installation, and developed prototypes for an invention company. He has made precise, elaborate, scale models for high-tech firms, and created special effects, animations, and miniatures for television and cinema. David and his wife share a studio, a love of decorative arts, and a young daughter. 

To see more of his work, you can visit his website.

Funding for the National Aviary Maker Challenge has been generously provided by the Richard King Mellon Foundation.