Sorry for the late post, but this week has been quite productive. I have managed to solve the glass issues by attaching a Photocell to the glass with black electrical tape. This blocked out enough light and as a result, when I placed my hand over the sensor, it created enough difference that I could hook up a neopixel and have it change color. This has allowed me to expand my idea of creating a more interactive display.
My supervisor also suggested after viewing my shadow birds for the wall; using detail on the acrylic to create a section for the glass. She also liked my idea of 3D printing an Owl. She also suggested taking apart a pre made owl and replacing the insides with my parts. These two ideas, I will explore next week. I will also be seeing if I can get two photocells to work on the one arduino. As I have it working, with one photocell and one neopixel, I would like to add in the second one and adjust the code.