We All Fall Down

We All Fall Down

We All Fall Down: Artists Respond to the Emerald Ash Borer

A STEAM project sponsored in part by the Philadelphia Science Festival

The Schuylkill Center is seeking artists to create new artworks out of dead and dying ash trees on the Schuylkill Center property.  The deadline for submissions is Sunday, March 31, 2019 at 11:59pm.  Please view the full prospectus here: EAB prospectus for artists

Contact Christina Catanese, Director of Environmental Art, at christina@schuylkillcenter.org and Liz Jelsomine, Exhibitions Coordinator, at liz@schuylkillcenter.org, with any questions.

The emerald ash borer arrived in the United States in the midwest in 2002. Since that time, it has rapidly decimated many forests, resulting in the death of millions of ash trees. With a 99% kill rate, it will sweep through the area like a wave and wipe out all of Philadelphia’s ash trees in the next 5-10 years. Once impacted by the ash borer, trees become extremely brittle and hazardous, resulting in the falling of branches and, eventually, the whole trunk.

The emerald ash borer and its distinctive D-shaped bore hole was first seen at the Schuylkill Center in Summer 2018, and extensive clearing of impacted (and soon to be impacted) ash trees has begun on the property and will continue through the growing season. With some areas of the Schuylkill Center property having as much as 50% of its canopy composed of ash trees, the ash borer will have a significant impact on our ecosystem.

While some dead trees will be left in place as habitat, there will be a significant amount of removed material.  This material will be made available to artists to create new works that call attention and educate about the emerald ash borer and other threats to Philadelphia’s trees.  This project will make use of this unfortunate opportunity to make the impacts of this invasive insect more visible and understandable to people who might not know it is an issue.

In fall of 2019, the Schuylkill Center will host a gallery exhibition of works made by artists from ash trees. Site-specific sculpture opportunities are also available.