$315
pledged of $100,000pledged of $100,000 goal
11
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Wed, June 24 2015 1:38 PM UTC +00:00
Ben ZoltakBy Ben Zoltak
First created
Ben ZoltakBy Ben Zoltak
First created
$315
pledged of $100,000pledged of $100,000 goal
11
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Wed, June 24 2015 1:38 PM UTC +00:00

About

CONCRETE NESTS is a plan to build as many permanent, Chimney Swift Bird nesting sculpture towers, as possible! Artist Ben Zoltak aims to build at least three to five within one year, and would like to stretch that goal to many years and many more towers, and for other types of animal habitat. In an increasingly humancentric world, animal habitat is consistently destroyed or marginalized, the artist has a vision to create a permanent sanctuary for them. Artist Ben Zoltak declares:

"Art and Mother Nature speak to me, and it is my dream to combine the two in harmonious sculptural animal habitat."

One such bird habitat tower is already built. It is on permanent display at the Stevens Point Sculpture Park in Wisconsin. It was originally funded by both the City and the Aldo Leopold Audubon Society. This first habitat tower sculpture, entitled: Swift Nesting Wing, is made out of 8000 lbs of concrete and it is covered in a mosaic of stained glass, ceramic, wine bottles,  mirror pieces and more. It is currently being monitored for Chimney Swift Bird nests. Chimney Swifts have been in decline since at least the 1960's, when residences and businesses began putting mesh guards over chimneys. These types of swifts are unable to build a nest in any other type of structure other than hollowed out tree snags which are also taken down regularly due to current landscaping aesthetics.Chimney Swifts are very beneficial birds as they have been known to eat 10,000 bugs a day! This includes agricultural pests such as flying beetles, as well as human pests such as mosquitoes and spiders.

Artist Ben Zoltak's dream is to build a Concrete Nest sculpture tower in every state they nest in, from Wisconsin down to Florida, and they have recently been located in southern California as well! Just as in the first tower, as each sculpture is being built, the public would be invited to visit and apply a piece of ceramic or glass so that it would truly become part of their community.

Swift Nesting Wing, and other wonderful sculptures, can be found at the Stevens Point Sculpture Park's website below:

http://stevenspointsculpturepark.org/

Websites about Chimney Swifts:

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Chimney_Swift/id

http://www.chimneyswifts.org/

Here are some videos and images about permanent habitat art for Chimney Swifts:

 Above is a brief video of artist Ben Zoltak's Chimney Swift habitat sculpture.

Original winning design proposal for first Chimeny Swift Bird habitat sculpture
Original winning design proposal for first Chimeny Swift Bird habitat sculpture
Artist Ben Zoltak working with a boom truck operator and community volunteers lifting concrete nest slabs into place
Artist Ben Zoltak working with a boom truck operator and community volunteers lifting concrete nest slabs into place
Artist Ben Zoltak working with students on the Chimney Swift habitat sculpture
Artist Ben Zoltak working with students on the Chimney Swift habitat sculpture
First completed Chimney Swift Bird habitat sculpture located at the Stevens Point Sculpture Park in Wisconsin
First completed Chimney Swift Bird habitat sculpture located at the Stevens Point Sculpture Park in Wisconsin

Risks and challenges

A WORD ABOUT FUNDING AND MY GOAL AMOUNT:
Some people have asked why my budget goal is what it is. I'm attempting to build 3 to 5 of these concrete sculptures, I've already built one so I know how much it costs to make one. On this budget list you have to multiply it times 3 or 5 as I'm trying to gain enough funding to make that many in one year. Each one uses about 18,000 pounds of concrete and the cost of that varies from place to place, but it should hover around $1500. There's the cost of either wood or metal, customized concrete forms. There's other material costs like rebar, rebar wire, mortar, mortar stain, water acess, generators, grinders and other various tools. There's fuel/transportation costs and accommodation costs. The first time it was me and about eight dedicated volunteers, this time I'm looking to do it full-time with a partial part timer, all in all it takes around 350 work hours per piece. Last time I hired a boom truck operator he chargedme $150 an hour, each piece takes about 5 to 6 hours of boom truck time, he was gracious enough not to charge me time and a half for going over on a Friday! There's also the cost of insurance and kickstarter takes 7-10% off the top, there's also tax liability and permit liability costs. Feel free to ask me any questions about specifics I'd be happy to field them!

It is possible that finding various site locations for Concrete Nests could pose a challenge, although the artist has connections for at least two in Wisconsin alone. Other caveats include permits and issues with surrounding areas (Swifts are not inclined to nest in habitats with a lot of nearby obstacles, they prefer at least a fair amount of open area). Also, building habitats internationally, beyond the United States, Mexico and Canada at least, could pose a challenge as well. This adversity will be overcome!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Recieve a downloadable print file designed by artist Ben Zoltak of a Chimney Swift to be used in any manor you see fit! Print out posters, use as a tattoo, print it for children to color their own poster!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Recieve a coffee mug depicting artist Ben Zoltak's first Concrete Nest Chimney Swift Sculpture Tower: Swift Nesting Wing.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Receive a framed or canvas print of one of artist Ben Zoltak's oil paintings.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Receive a framed or canvas signed print of a Ben Zoltak oil painting.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Choose 1 original oil painting, sculpture or drawing from artist Ben Zoltak as found on his Facebook Page: Ben Zoltak Artist & Author

    ...while supplies last! (If originals run out, a signed framed or canvas print will be sent in it's place!)

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    As an individual or representative of an organization, at this pledge level secure a site to create a Chimney Swift Tower, or other type of permanent bird/bat/animal sculpture habitat, Osprey, Falcon or bats for example!

    Also choose 1 original oil painting, sculpture or drawing from artist Ben Zoltak. Paintings, drawings and sculpture can be seen on Facebook at his page: Ben Zoltak Artist & Author

    Original artwork will be delivered by July, but concrete sculptures take around six months to complete, first come, first serve! ...while supplies last! (If originals run out, a signed framed or canvas print will be sent in it's place!)

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Funding period

- (30 days)