About the Exhibition

Amy Cropper’s birdhouses explore the concept of home. Cropper begins by constructing wood-frame structures to attract wrens and tree swallows eager to build nests in the early Wisconsin spring.


Opening Party | February 3 | 2:00–4:00

MOWA | West Bend

In the fall, working with scientific rigor, she “harvests,” studies, and documents the abandoned modular houses and their nests and assembles them into meticulously-arranged art installations.

The small, cramped spaces contain nests that are messy, beautiful, and impossibly fragile. The idea of home and its inherent vulnerability is evident in each vacated nest. Equally exposed and contained by a thin wood frame, the remnants reveal distinct stories that belie the sameness of the modular units. Much like a planned housing development, the sculptures are similarly framed but with internal differences that embody the conditions necessary for a successful clutch—avian and, by extension, human. Cropper further expands the metaphor in stitched-together collages that combine traces left by the former inhabitants with remnants from her own living space, evoking various definitions of home as vessel, haven, cage, and dream. 

In 2022, Cropper won first place in the Wisconsin Artists Biennial at the Museum of Wisconsin Art. The award included a significant cash prize and the opportunity to have a solo exhibition at the museum in 2024.

Support for this exhibition
generously provided by

James and Karen Hyde