EcoArtSpace

"Antarctica" panel discussion with artist Lucy Orta

This post comes to you from EcoArtSpace

On February 17th ecoartspace NY curator Amy Lipton participated on a panel discussion with artist Lucy OrtaNYU Professor of Environmental Studies and Philosophy Dale Jamieson, and founder of Parley for the Oceans Cyrill Gutschwho served as moderator for the event.

The discussion took place in conjunction with the Lucy and Jorge Orta exhibition, Antarctica at Jane Lombard Gallery in Chelsea.This ongoing project by the Ortas is based on their expedition to Antarctica in 2007 and was the title of this exhibition, their first solo in New York. Cyrill Gutsch asked the panelists questions about the relationship of art and design to environmental issues and activism. Discussed at length was the artists’ role in raising awareness and confronting urgent, challenging issues such as climate change, sea level rise, food and water shortages, ocean pollution and over-population.

Antarctica featured works created for the artists’ expedition to the Antarctic peninsula, addressing issues such as human survival in adverse situations. The Ortas installed an ephemeral “Antarctic Village” on the continent, composed of 50 domelike sculptures constructed with flags from countries around the world. They also created and raised the first Antarctic Flag, to symbolize the unification of nations around shared common values.

Antarctica embodies utopia: a continent whose extreme climate encourages mutual aid and solidarity, freedom of research, sharing, and collaboration for the good of the planet. The centerpiece of the exhibition was The Antarctic World Passport Delivery Bureau, a traveling installation recently presented at the Grand Palais in Paris during the COP21 UN Climate Summit. Visitors encountered an architectural assemblage made from reclaimed materials, and received a uniquely numbered Antarctica World Passport.  In exchange recipients pledge to support the project’s principles: to take action against the disastrous effects of global warming and strive for peace. Since 2008, 55,000 passports have been printed, and visitors to Lucy + Jorge Orta’s exhibition at the Jane Lombard Gallery were able to to register for their personalized passport edition, and to join this growing community of world citizens. www.antarcticaworldpassport.com

To watch a video segment from the panel discussion please go to this link.

———-

ecoartapace ecoartspace is a nonprofit platform providing opportunities for artists who address the human/nature relationship in the visual arts. Since 1999 they have collaborated with over 150 organizations to produce more than 40 exhibitions, 100 programs, working with 400 + artists in 15 states nationally and 8 countries internationally. Currently they are developing a media archive of video interviews with artists and collection of exhibitions ephemera for research purposes. Patricia Watts is founder and west coast curator. Amy Lipton is east coast curator and director of the ecoartspace NYC project room.

A project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs since 1999

Go to EcoArtSpace

Powered by WPeMatico

Some Kind of Nature

This post comes to you from EcoArtSpace

The Art of Sustainability Symposium took place on Friday February 19th and Saturday February 20th in Palm Bay, Florida, and featured nationally noted guest speakers from the  art and science communities highlighting advancements in art and sustainability, including: Mississippi River’s Chad Pregracke of Living Lands and Waters, biologist Wendy Anderson, Marty Baum of Riverkeeper Alliance, kinetic artist Ralfonso Gschwend, Keith Winsten from the Brevard Zoo, Trevor Gibson of Environmental Advantage, and Patricia Watts, founder/curator of ecoartspace.

Wendy Anderson gave a presentation on her perspective as a biologist of the unique ways in which artists and scientists are similar, and how these characteristics offer opportunities for both domains when using the imagination to solve the environmental issues at hand. Keynote speaker Chad Pregracke gave a presentation of his 18-year ongoing effort to clean up the Mississippi River, including 856 clean ups of 23 rivers with 93,000 volunteers. He also shared with us images of his low tech/high tech barge that looks like a great opportunity for artist residencies on the Mississippi.

Florida’s habitat ecoartist Jesse Etelson was also involved and presented an interactive habitat sculpture made of driftwood for families of the sustainability Community Day! And, Patricia Watts of ecoartspace presented site projects that employ wind, water, and solar including both proposals, and permanent and temporal public art works such as Windsock Currents at Crissy Field in the Presidio, which she sited for the UN World Environment Day in 2005, and Cloud House that she curated for Farmer’s Park in Springfield, Missouri working Matthew Mazzotta in 2015. Other projects included Mags Harries and Lajo Heder’s Sunflowers in Austin, Texas, and proposals from the 2012 and 2014 Land Art Generator Initiative competitions, as well as Buster Simpson’s waste water cisterns, Betsy Damon’s Living Water Garden, and Eve Mosher’s HighWaterLine. Her talk wrapped up with a work she feels is long overdue to be implemented, Andrea Polli’s Queens Bridge Windpower Project, and then in contrast, the bloated $15.5 million dollar unsustainable work by Olafur Eliasson, NYC Waterfalls. The title of her talk Some Kind of Nature was borrowed from the song by the Gorillaz.

There was a closing panel on Saturday discussing climate science with a couple members of the audience questioning the data and the validity of climate change. It was apparent that this is an area where the sciences can benefit from the arts in presenting the data in order to help the general public understand the science. There is still much work to do!

———-

ecoartapace ecoartspace is a nonprofit platform providing opportunities for artists who address the human/nature relationship in the visual arts. Since 1999 they have collaborated with over 150 organizations to produce more than 40 exhibitions, 100 programs, working with 400 + artists in 15 states nationally and 8 countries internationally. Currently they are developing a media archive of video interviews with artists and collection of exhibitions ephemera for research purposes. Patricia Watts is founder and west coast curator. Amy Lipton is east coast curator and director of the ecoartspace NYC project room.

A project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs since 1999

Go to EcoArtSpace

Powered by WPeMatico

FiberSHED

This post comes to you from EcoArtSpace

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 3.01.21 PMFiberSHED opened October 7th at the Marin Community Foundation in Novato, California. Curated by Patricia Watts, the exhibition presents approximately ninety artworks by twenty-four fiber artists, primarily from the Bay Area, and also includes five artists from Los Angeles, Michigan, and New Hampshire. This survey exhibition includes a cross-pollination of Bay Area environmental sensitivity and conceptual art-making that pushes the boundaries of this medium in exciting and creative ways.

The title FiberSHED is a play on the concept of a watershed, an area of land where water flows from the mountaintops, downward to tributary creeks and rivers, and ultimately drains into lakes and oceans. For this exhibition, the title conveys the exceptional art that is being made by visual artists in the medium of fiber primarily located in the bioregion or “shed” of the San Francisco Bay Area. These are artists who share a unique relationship with the landscape and who are making cutting-edge artworks rich in craft tradition, while reflecting local sociocultural discourse.

Artworks in FiberSHED include: tapestry, samplers, embroidery, felted wool paintings, conceptual hook rugs, photographic transfers on woven fiber, clothes portrait quilts, hand-stitched banners and books, painted weavings, book arts, art and science weavings, felt sculpture, horse hair weavings, and woven measurements of environmental conditions, such as drought and tree rings.

Artists include: Adela Akers, Andy Diaz Hope and Laurel Roth Hope, Anna Von Mertens, Christine Szeto, Diedrick Brackens, Emily Payne, Esther Traugot, George-Ann Bowers, Kate Nartker, Jenne Giles, Lauren Hartman, Lia Cook, Linda Davenport, Liv Aanrud, Liz Robb, Lucy Childs, Luke Haynes, Paul Gillis, Sherri Smith, Stephanie Metz, Tali Weinberg, Topaze Moore, and Victoria May.

For more information on the artists in the exhibition go HERE

———-

ecoartapace ecoartspace is a nonprofit platform providing opportunities for artists who address the human/nature relationship in the visual arts. Since 1999 they have collaborated with over 150 organizations to produce more than 40 exhibitions, 100 programs, working with 400 + artists in 15 states nationally and 8 countries internationally. Currently they are developing a media archive of video interviews with artists and collection of exhibitions ephemera for research purposes. Patricia Watts is founder and west coast curator. Amy Lipton is east coast curator and director of the ecoartspace NYC project room.

A project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs since 1999

Go to EcoArtSpace

Powered by WPeMatico

Tipping Points at Bergen Community College #artcop21

This post comes to you from EcoArtSpace

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 9.40.16 PMTipping Points: Artists Address the Climate Crises will take place at Gallery Bergen timed in conjunction with the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21, held in Paris, from November 30 to December 11th. It will be the 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The conference objective is to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations from all the nations of the world.

Artists can use their skills and imagination to address the issue of climate change. Artworks towards this cause are now being seen in unprecedented numbers. The artists in Tipping Points use a variety of mediums including painting, photography, video, sculpture and drawing. Some have been partnering with scientists and environmental organizations. Others have been researching and documenting changes in glaciers and diminishing ice on trips to far northern regions of the planet; including boat trips to the Arctic and Antarctic. Some take a more poetic and imaginative approach to confront the seriousness of the issue and single biggest challenge of our time.

Many hope for a technological breakthrough or miracle solution, while others believe that adaptation and fortifications can be built to mitigate harm. Science deniers in the political system clearly have their heads in the sand. The intensity of the power struggle over climate change, believers vs. non believers, has only grown over the years since this 1988 statement by Michael McElroy, Professor of Environmental Studies, Harvard University: “If we choose to take on this challenge, it appears that we can slow the rate of change substantially, giving us time to develop mecha​nisms so that the cost to society and the damage to ecosystems can be minimized. We could alternatively close our eyes, hope for the best, and pay the cost when the bill comes due.”
Curated by Amy Lipton for Gallery Bergen, Paramus, New Jersey

———-

ecoartapace ecoartspace is a nonprofit platform providing opportunities for artists who address the human/nature relationship in the visual arts. Since 1999 they have collaborated with over 150 organizations to produce more than 40 exhibitions, 100 programs, working with 400 + artists in 15 states nationally and 8 countries internationally. Currently they are developing a media archive of video interviews with artists and collection of exhibitions ephemera for research purposes. Patricia Watts is founder and west coast curator. Amy Lipton is east coast curator and director of the ecoartspace NYC project room.

A project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs since 1999

Go to EcoArtSpace

Powered by WPeMatico

FiberSHED

This post comes to you from EcoArtSpace

Screen Shot 2015-09-12 at 5.12.24 PMFiberSHED opens October 7th at the Marin Community Foundation in Novato, California. Curated by Patricia Watts, the exhibition presents approximately ninety artworks by twenty-four fiber artists, primarily from the Bay Area, and also includes five artists from Los Angeles, Michigan, and New Hampshire. This survey exhibition includes a cross-pollination of Bay Area environmental sensitivity and conceptual art-making that pushes the boundaries of this medium in exciting and creative ways.

The title FiberSHED is a play on the concept of a watershed, an area of land where water flows from the mountaintops, downward to tributary creeks and rivers, and ultimately drains into lakes and oceans. For this exhibition, the title conveys the exceptional art that is being made by visual artists in the medium of fiber primarily located in the bioregion or “shed” of the San Francisco Bay Area. These are artists who share a unique relationship with the landscape and who are making cutting-edge artworks rich in craft tradition, while reflecting local sociocultural discourse.

Artworks in FiberSHED include: tapestry, samplers, embroidery, felted wool paintings, conceptual hook rugs, photographic transfers on woven fiber, clothes portrait quilts, hand-stitched banners and books, painted weavings, book arts, art and science weavings, felt sculpture, horse hair weavings, and woven measurements of environmental conditions, such as drought and tree rings.

Artists include: Adela Akers, Andy Diaz Hope and Laurel Roth Hope, Anna Von Mertens, Christine Szeto, Diedrick Brackens, Emily Payne, Esther Traugot, George-Ann Bowers, Kate Nartker, Jenne Giles, Lauren Hartman, Lia Cook, Linda Davenport, Liv Aanrud, Liz Robb, Lucy Childs, Luke Haynes, Paul Gillis, Sherri Smith, Stephanie Metz, Tali Weinberg, Topaze Moore, and Victoria May.
For more information on the artists in the exhibition go HERE

———-

ecoartapace ecoartspace is a nonprofit platform providing opportunities for artists who address the human/nature relationship in the visual arts. Since 1999 they have collaborated with over 150 organizations to produce more than 40 exhibitions, 100 programs, working with 400 + artists in 15 states nationally and 8 countries internationally. Currently they are developing a media archive of video interviews with artists and collection of exhibitions ephemera for research purposes. Patricia Watts is founder and west coast curator. Amy Lipton is east coast curator and director of the ecoartspace NYC project room.

A project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs since 1999

Go to EcoArtSpace

Powered by WPeMatico

FOODshed: Art and Agriculture in Action at CR10 Arts

My 2014 exhibition FOODshed: Art and Agriculture in Action originated at Smack Mellon in Brooklyn, NY. An updated version was recently on view in August/September 2015 at CR10 Arts, a few miles south of Hudson, NY. It was always my goal to travel the show to the Hudson Valley since many of the artists in the show live and work there as well as grow food on their own small farms.

CR10 Arts is in Columbia, County, an agricultural region with the now flourishing small town of Hudson where art, culture and food are thriving. CR10 is housed in a re-purposed 15,000 square foot concrete block building, constructed in 1954 for agricultural storage. Installing the show in this enormous space was a challenge for the artists since there is very little usable wall space, the building is mostly windows. But the exposed barn beams and simple wooden floors made a great backdrop for this show which was focused on sustainable agriculture, entrepreneurship, and artists’ use of food as subject matter or medium.

The exhibition features artworks and inventive projects around agriculture and food that address farming as both activism and art form. Many of the artists in this exhibition are known for bringing community-specific issues into their work and are exploring the real-world implications of small-scale farming and raising community awareness about our food systems. The artists advocate for an organic, regional and local approach, which they are manifesting in their own lives and where the boundaries of real world and art completely disappear.

The Black Currant Jam by Joan Bankemper is an organic farming project at herBlack Meadow Barn in Warwick, NY to produce black currant jam. When Bankemper acquired the farm in 2008 there were 150 overgrown black currant bushes. She spent five years farming, pruning and learning the nuances of sustainably cultivating these “super food” plants. Black currants have the highest amount of antioxidants found in any fruit.

SHEEP FARM by Dan Devine is a living, self-sustaining installation exploring the issues of local production, bio-technology and questionable commercial practices. It began with five Rombouillet sheep and a shed enclosed in an electric fence with all the accoutrements and activities of a working farm. It will continue to develop and function as a living artwork and a studio in which new ideas will develop.

Ecoarttech (artists, Leila Nadir + Cary Peppermint ) presented OS Fermentation: Collaborative Hacks with Fruits, Vegetables, and Microbes, part of the artists’ new series of social sculptures, titled EdibleEcologies, which works collaboratively with local communities (human, bacterial, and ecological) to resuscitate historic food practices and facilitate recovery from a cultural memory disorder they call “industrial amnesia.”

Joy Garnett’s “Piss & Vinegar (art and ferment)” includes bottles of Garnett’s home-fermented red wine vinegar, labeled with an adaptation of a bee logo by Garnett’s maternal grandfather Dr. A.Z. Abushady (1892-1955) an influential poet, physician, bacteriologist, beekeeper, inventor, litterateur and publisher of an array of scientific, cross-cultural and poetry journals who lived and worked in England and Egypt.

Hudson Valley-based artists’ collective Habitat forArtists installation, A Necessary Re Course was one of its signature, temporary, reusable art studios. The studio was a growing shed for edible hydroponic greens and seed propagation, partnering with organizations including the Hudson Valley Seed Library, Obercreek Farm CSA,and Green Up.

Lenore Malen presented her 3-channel video installation, I Am The Animal,2010, which was filmed on site in the Hudson Valley. It features 9 beekeepers who have devoted their lives to their colonies. Their interviews are intercut with historical and found footage providing a crucial context for how we understand our relationship to these social insects.

Kristyna and Marek Milde presented a new installation titled Salt over Gold.The project adopts the esthetic and corporate language of an official VIP celebrity entrance with red carpet and a step and repeat wall to examine the key elements of the process that produces our daily essentials in contrast to pop and corporate culture. The artists interviewed local organic farmers to learn about their perspectives and the key elements of farming that the average consumer is unaware of
Taxonomy Transplanteda film by artist Peter Nadin created at his Old Field Farm in Greene County, NY. It was inspired and facilitated by the farm’s plants, livestock, products, activities, and landscape. Since he started farming in 1989, Nadin’s art practice has increasingly overlapped with the day-to-day responsibilities of the farm.

Earth Totems, First Swirlings, 2015, by Andrea Reynosa was a living permaculture earthwork, focused on spiral pattern forms in nature. These spirals inform the economy of design for the many dynamically productive Herb Spiralsshe has constructed on her SkyDog Farm in Narrowsburg, New York.

Jenna Spevack’s InsideOut House: Sonic Farmscape is a binaural audio installation embedded with sounds recorded by the artist while planting or harvesting food on her land in the western Catskills. Using simulated blindness to enhance the aural sense, visitors will hear pollinators, water, wind, and other important environmental collaborators needed for food production.

E.O.E for HUDSON: Equal Opportunity Eating, drawings by SusanLeibovitz Steinmanilluminate recent research for developing community-participatory EOE projects for Hudson’s public spaces to preserving the history of apples and apple trees in the Hudson Valley, and their importance for jobs, food, and fighting global warming and to develop low cost, creative and viable cottage industries based on local agriculture; and based on Permaculture design and philosophy. The apple is NY’s official state fruit. NY is the US second largest producer of apples.

Elaine Tin Nyo presented a video, JFK, 2014, a brief story from an American-born Basque farmer about her son’s understanding of the cycle of life. Life Is a Plate of Cherries, 2014 is an ebook presentation documenting Tin Nyo’s decade long project during the month of July, when she has been making sour cherry pies for her friends every day and sending messages to her Pie List about who ate them each day.

Since 2009, Tattfoo Tan has developed a series of activities to engage his local community on Staten Island and in greater New York City through sustainability actions that acknowledge the shortage of food on a global scale. S.O.S. stands for Sustainable Organic Stewardship, a pledge that Tan has taken to live more sustainably through hands on gardening, seed saving and sharing, and raising his own chickens. His art is a form of education of self and community through eco-actions that anyone can replicate. Ecoartspace has published his S.O.S. Action Guide.

Linda Weintraub’s installation Let Us Eat the Colors of Nature’s Spectrum consists of 56 foods harvested from her gardens in Rhinebeck NY and preserved through canning and arrayed according to the color continuum they suggest. Weintraub invites viewers to expand their interaction and consider that each of these alluring colors originated in the imperative of survival. Each tone and hue is resonant with energies from the sun, rain, wind, and soil. They were activated by bacteria and fungi, and crafted with enzymes, sugars, oils, minerals, and salts.

FOODshed was reviewed in Edible Hudson Valley and IMBY (in my backyard).

The Hudson Valley region stretches for 200 miles, from Westchester northward past Albany towards the upper part of the Hudson River. In 2007 the region had 5,326 farms operating 1,325 square miles of farmland. Nearly all of the region’s farms were owned by families and iniduals. There are now more farmers, especially more women and younger farmers, and more small farms than in 2002.

Recent years have seen an awakening to the importance of food and agriculture. The general public—and national media—are responding to the message that a consolidated, industrialized food system is detrimental to local economies, to natural resources, to public health, and to the quality of our food and our lives. The result has been a surge of interest in supporting regional, sustainable food systems that prioritize food quality, nutrition, environmental stewardship, and fair returns for farmers and farm workers. Access to farm-fresh products is indeed increasing: The numbers of CSAs and farmers markets have surged, and more mainstream distributors, retailers, and food service companies have begun to carry locally produced food. The central role of food in health—human, environmental, and community health—is being emphasized by educational projects across the country. More and more community groups are finding that food and farming are useful tools for empowerment. Federal, state, and city governments have noticed and are responding. We have a White House garden, First Lady Michelle Obama is promoting healthy food and local produce, the USDA created a Food Atlas to give researchers access to food-related information, “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” is a farm-to-plate initiative of the USDA, and farms are being included in the America’s Great Outdoors initiative. New York State has a Food Policy Council, and New York City has become a leader and a hub of food-related advocacy. All of this activity creates a unique opportunity for farmers in the Hudson Valley. We are situated between two major metropolitan areas that offer rich policy arenas and robust markets. New York City is considered by many to be a global “food capital,” and many consumers in the New York metropolitan area are willing to pay more, if necessary, for high quality regional food. motion. This groundswell in public and policy activity gives the Hudson Valley a critical foundation on which to build an effective, enduring regional food system. (information from data thanks to Glynwood Farm, Cold Spring, NY)
———-

ecoartapace ecoartspace is a nonprofit platform providing opportunities for artists who address the human/nature relationship in the visual arts. Since 1999 they have collaborated with over 150 organizations to produce more than 40 exhibitions, 100 programs, working with 400 + artists in 15 states nationally and 8 countries internationally. Currently they are developing a media archive of video interviews with artists and collection of exhibitions ephemera for research purposes. Patricia Watts is founder and west coast curator. Amy Lipton is east coast curator and director of the ecoartspace NYC project room.

A project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs since 1999

Go to EcoArtSpace

Powered by WPeMatico

EGO l ECO: Environmental Art for Collective Consciousness

This post comes to you from EcoArtSpace

EGO|ECO is a collection of essays, artist descriptions and photographs documenting the Fall 2013 art exhibition, EGO|ECO: Environmental Art for Collective Consciousness at the California State University Fullerton Begovich Art Gallery. Curators Allison Town and Emily Tyler invited viewers to engage in a global conversation about human relationships with the earth―encouraging individual reflection and collective environmental mindfulness. Patrons were asked to remain aware of how they viewed each artist’s work and how their own interaction influenced their understanding of the artist’s message.

The curators proposed that by remaining aware of the act of perceiving―thinking about thinking―individuals become more actively engaged and open to critical digestion of ideas. Included in the exhibition catalog is a Director’s Forward by Mike McGee, essay by Patricia L. Watts (Founder/Curator of ecoartspace), Curatorial Statement by Allison Town and Emily Tyler, essays by both curators, descriptions of featured artwork including artist biographies, photographic documentation of the exhibit, art and opening reception, artist-in-residency projects by artist Nicole Dextras and associated educational programming.

Featured artists and collectives include: Vaughn Bell, Terry Berlier, Nicole Dextras (Artist-in-Residence), Fallen Fruit (David Burns, Matias Viegener and Austin Young), Green Patriot Posters (Dmitri Siegel and Edward Morris), Newton and Helen Harrison, Jacci Den Hartog, Chris Jordan, Alison Moritsugu, Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison, Esther Traugot and Andre Woodward.

AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE HERE

———-

ecoartapace ecoartspace is a nonprofit platform providing opportunities for artists who address the human/nature relationship in the visual arts. Since 1999 they have collaborated with over 150 organizations to produce more than 40 exhibitions, 100 programs, working with 400 + artists in 15 states nationally and 8 countries internationally. Currently they are developing a media archive of video interviews with artists and collection of exhibitions ephemera for research purposes. Patricia Watts is founder and west coast curator. Amy Lipton is east coast curator and director of the ecoartspace NYC project room.

A project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs since 1999

Go to EcoArtSpace

Powered by WPeMatico

Climate Change: A Panel Discussion

This post comes to you from EcoArtSpace

Last night I was a panelist at the Noyes Museum with this distinguished group, Michael Lemonick, journalist for TIME magazine; Andrew Revkin, The New York Times environment writer and blogger; Aaron T. O’Connor, founding director of The Arctic Circle expeditionary residency program; Dr. Jeff Niemitz, Professor of Earth Sciences at Dickinson College. Moderated by artist Diane Burko whose work focuses on issues of climate change. The panel weighed heavily on the science side of the discussion and I learned a tremendous amount about everything climate change related including the very slow changes of deep geologic time and the intense speeding up of these changes since the relatively recent (200 yr old) industrial age. Wise words in the conclusion by Andrew Revkin were that we all must do everything we can to effect changes in behavior and policy – but that we can’t fix this problem quickly or all at once. He pointed out that we need way more young people engaged in science and funding for science education and research is very slim. The good news – we had a full house and audience of many students asking great questions. — Amy Lipton

———-

ecoartapace ecoartspace is a nonprofit platform providing opportunities for artists who address the human/nature relationship in the visual arts. Since 1999 they have collaborated with over 150 organizations to produce more than 40 exhibitions, 100 programs, working with 400 + artists in 15 states nationally and 8 countries internationally. Currently they are developing a media archive of video interviews with artists and collection of exhibitions ephemera for research purposes. Patricia Watts is founder and west coast curator. Amy Lipton is east coast curator and director of the ecoartspace NYC project room.

A project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs since 1999

Go to EcoArtSpace

Powered by WPeMatico

Ghosts of the Gulf by Brandon Ballengée at the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries

This post comes to you from EcoArtSpace

Currently on view at the Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries is an exhibition I’ve organized with artist/biologist Brandon Ballengée. The exhibition titled Ghosts of the Gulf includes several stark and brilliantly colorful images of marine species collected in the Gulf of Mexico directly following the deadly 2010 Deep Water Horizons (DWH) oil spill disaster. Ballengée will give a talk about his work and a reception will take place on Saturday, December 13 from 5 – 7 pm at the BIRE gallery on Main Street in Beacon, NY. Register here.

Ballengée’s artistic and scientific inquiry has focused on the rapid decline of amphibian populations around the world and the occurrence of developmental deformities among amphibians. He has received international attention for this work as well as his scientific research publications. Ballengée’s work as a biologist looks at amphibians as bio-indicator species, particularly their development in complex ecosystems and the proximate causes for developmental deformities among wild populations. “Understanding amphibians at this point in history is very important as they are suffering from rapid wide-spread population declines at over 40% in less than half a century” said Ballengée. Though the Gulf of Mexico species depicted in Ghosts of the Gulf do not appear to show deformities, Ballengée, hypothesizes as to why; “The subjects in Ghosts were found shortly after the spill so do not have any obvious morphological abnormalities, however we don’t know what the long term impacts of the spill yet will be, on these species or even our own”. These images of species once common to the Gulf, represents a creative process that blurs the lines between art and biology. Ballengée’s specimen-subjects transition from their once living state to brightly colored x-rays revealing the complex architectural anatomy of these beautiful and vanishing species.

It’s very exciting to be partnering on an exhibition of such importance as Ballengée’s Ghosts of the Gulf with the Beacon Institute, an environmental research nonprofit engaging scientists, engineers, and environmentalists, to apply diverse intellectual and physical resources to the water challenges of the 21st century. I’ve been fortunate in having the opportunity to work with Ballengée several times over the past 12 years beginning with my pioneering exhibition and book Ecovention in 2002 at the Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati. In 2007 I collaborated with Ballengée and the Central Park Arsenal Gallery, Audubon and The Nature Conservancy on Silent Migration, an exhibition focused on the 300 species of birds that migrate through New York City each year. I included Ballengée in my public exhibition BiodiverCITY, which took place in Washington D.C. in 2012 as part of the 5 x 5 public art exhibition hosted by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Ballengée constructed one of his signature works, Love Motel For Insects, an outdoor light installation that formed giant dragonfly wings out of fabric using ultra-violet lights to attract insects at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park. More recently I curated The Cryptic Ones, Salamander Portraits by Ballengee and Stanley K. Session at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education in Philadelphia.

The 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill was the largest environmental disaster in the history of the United States, with devastating impacts to one of the most important and biologically diverse habitats in the world: the Gulf of Mexico. Ghosts of the Gulf is on display at Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries, Clarkson University now through March 8, 2015. The images are courtesy of the artist and Ronald Feldman Fine Arts in New York City.

———-

ecoartapace ecoartspace is a nonprofit platform providing opportunities for artists who address the human/nature relationship in the visual arts. Since 1999 they have collaborated with over 150 organizations to produce more than 40 exhibitions, 100 programs, working with 400 + artists in 15 states nationally and 8 countries internationally. Currently they are developing a media archive of video interviews with artists and collection of exhibitions ephemera for research purposes. Patricia Watts is founder and west coast curator. Amy Lipton is east coast curator and director of the ecoartspace NYC project room.

A project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs since 1999

Go to EcoArtSpace

Powered by WPeMatico

GO LOCAL!!! Oregon County, Missouri

This post comes to you from EcoArtSpace

This past weekend I drove two hours southeast of Springfield, Missouri to a little town near the border of Arkansas called Alton. In this neck of the woods, everyone remembers when in 1964 the Beatles took a break on the nearbyPigman Farm during their very first American tour. In fact, this year was the 50th anniversary and although the locals have consciously chosen not to turn their town of 879 into a shrine to the Beatles, they did dress up their windows for the anniversary, which was mostly for the town residents, and not to draw tourism.
My reason to visit Alton was by invitation of a very bright and determined, Rachel Reynolds Luster, who was born and raised in the region, and who over the last three years has pulled together the resources, with the help of local producers, to create the Oregon County Food Producers and Artisan Co-op. I found her via Facebook last summer and reached out to learn more about her work as a culture producer and her focus on Ozark Heritage. Through her work I have learned about several rural arts programs that I find so refreshing, artists operating outside the confines of urban art centers. Coming from Northern California where many small towns have been revived over the last decade, I see much potential in the literally thousands of small towns left behind from the early 1980s, when many small farmers went bankrupted.
The Co-op (a membership model), helps support local farmers and artisans by providing a hub for them to sell their goods. Rachel also provides an area for playing music with a piano, a rotating art exhibition, and an education corner or library of local music and written Ozark folklore. She has been collecting stories, and photographs of the regional architecture and even taught me the names of the types of homes you find here (which my grandparents lived in on their farm), flagstone and saddlebag. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, you can find her and other community members in the kitchen cooking up lunch for local visitors, “pay what you can,” offering something like what she served me, which was homemade pimento cheese on grilled bread along with pinto beans.
What Rachel has created in Alton could help revive small towns across the Midwest, helping communities that have literally died culturally, and are struggling to survive economically. There is no better cure for social dysfunction than to create a safe place for community members to be themselves, to contribute to their “neighbors” by volunteering to make foods to feed those with less, to make things to sell and barter, and to teach each other our histories and build on these stories to foster the next generation of farmers and makers.
Other rural arts programs and resources to check out include:

———-

ecoartapace ecoartspace is a nonprofit platform providing opportunities for artists who address the human/nature relationship in the visual arts. Since 1999 they have collaborated with over 150 organizations to produce more than 40 exhibitions, 100 programs, working with 400 + artists in 15 states nationally and 8 countries internationally. Currently they are developing a media archive of video interviews with artists and collection of exhibitions ephemera for research purposes. Patricia Watts is founder and west coast curator. Amy Lipton is east coast curator and director of the ecoartspace NYC project room.

A project of the Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs since 1999

Go to EcoArtSpace

Powered by WPeMatico