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 is our January Maker of the Month! She created pieces inspired by our Luzon Bleeding-heart Doves, which are available in our gift shop.


About the Artist:
 Karen Krieger is a Pittsburgh native and has been a studio artist for over 20 years, currently working with precious metals and Japanese hand-blocked papers.  Her work is inspired by everything graphic – illustrations, architectural plates, typography and scientific designs.  Karen leans towards clean, honest design where the most information is conveyed with the least amount of fanfare.  She has a background in architectural design from Yale.  Karen currently lives on a hilltop in Pittsburgh, PA with her husband David Montgomery (featured maker from November 2017), and their daughter, Janet. 

You can view more of Karen’s work on her website

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