The Making of a Pretty Bird - CODAworx

The Making of a Pretty Bird

Submitted by Kelly Heaton

Client: ViaNova Development

Location: Chattanooga, TN, United States

Completion date: 2019

Artwork budget: $60,000

Project Team

Artist and Engineer

Kelly Heaton

Kelly Heaton Studio, LLC


Neil Kapadia

ViaNova Development LLC

PCB Manufacturer

Zoro Zeng

King Credie


The Making of a Pretty Bird is a series of three printed circuit tableaux relevant to the themes of art, technology, and nature. The panels were created for display in guest rooms of a sophisticated hotel in Chattanooga, TN. It reveals the process by which circuit boards are made: from the engineering schematic, to the conductive copper layer, to the final silkscreened circuit. While this series is based on a circuit that actually functions (to generate bird-like sounds), this particular series was not intended to be electrified. It includes a custom wall-mount system for secure and minimalist display.


The goals of the project were to create a beautiful, technological depiction of nature for 120 guest rooms of a stylish hotel. These works of art are highly innovative in their concept and execution, being actual circuit boards that exhibit a high level of concept and artistry. It was important for the client that the series be high-tech, but also soothing and inspirational.


The Making of a Pretty Bird began as a clever circuit design for electronics that generate bird-like sounds. Video of this functional circuit can be seen under my project listing for "Pretty Bird." In this series of three, the artist collaborated with a printed circuit board manufacturer in Shenzhen, China to produce a series of unusually large circuit panels (12" x 18") as well as an elegant wall-mount system to secure the art in a public space. The partnership between an artist and an electronics equipment manufacturer is extraordinary, revealing an open-mind, attention to aesthetics, and excellent craftsmanship.

Additional Information

This series was completed in late 2019 and slated for installation in Spring of 2020. Due to COVID, the hotel opening has been indefinitely delayed and it is not feasible to publish documentation of the work in situ.