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     

Karen Krieger and David Montgomery are our November Makers of the Month! They created wooden puzzles, ornaments, note cards, and prints, all inspired by our Scarlet Ibises.

About the Artists: Karen Krieger and David Montgomery are both artists and Makers. Karen is a Pittsburgh native, while David has lived and worked in dozens of cities across America.  David's background includes experience with figure sculpting, landscape painting, prop and model making for theater, carpentry, prototyping and producing special effects and miniatures for television and cinema.  Karen typically works in precious metals and Japanese papers with a clean, honest design

You can view more of Karen's work here and David's here

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