City Birds

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By Robinson Perez

Growing up as a child in the north side of the Bronx, Elana Amity used to visit Edgar Allen Poe Park to watch the birds and roam around the cottage. Now, Amity is an artist and has returned home to present her art exhibit from bird sightings around New York and the world.

“As a young child, I lived five blocks from Poe Park on Valentine Avenue,” she said. However, that wasn’t the main reason why she wanted to have her exhibit in Poe Park. “About two years ago, I illustrated Edgar Allen Poe’s poem, ‘The Raven.’ The poem is about a bird that stands as a metaphor for loss and love,” Amity said. “My father read the poem aloud to me and it left a strong impression.”

Amity has had a long journey ever since she began her career as a teacher in the 1980s. Her journey has brought her to places like Italy, Ireland, Spain, West Africa, and Western Europe to present her exhibit and she was thrilled to present her work where it all started in Poe Park. “I was overcome by a sense of nostalgia,” she said. “Stepping into the cottage again, after so many years away, felt as though I was visiting an old friend.”

Amity said she wants to show people the natural world in her art,and the birds of New York City. “Birds seem to live parallel lives to our own, building families, forging for food, fighting, playing, loving and mourning,” Amity said. “The more I observe nature, the more I realize how connected we all are to each other. I attempt to capture, in my paintings, that sense of community.”

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