By Christina Catanese, Director of Environmental Art
One of the most important aspects of environmental art is leaving time for nature to respond to an art work. Change is a constant in the natural world, and when artists venture outside the controlled setting of the studio or gallery, art must be responsive to change, time, and seasons.
Indeed, many environmental art works are not complete until nature has had time to respond and artists have had time to understand and reconcile change in the work. Stacy Levy’s Rain Yard needs rain to fall for the collaboration with water to happen; Jake Beckman’s Future Non-Object #1: Sol’s Reprise needs fungus and other soil organisms to grow, and the piece won’t truly be complete until it becomes soil, many years from now.
Many environmental art works are invitations to nature, which nature will respond to in its own time. WE THE WEEDS, for instance, installed their woven tapestry of invasive vines in a vine-filled meadow, hoping that the living vines would contribute to the artwork by growing and weaving themselves onto and into the work, that the vines heartily accepted this invitation.
Environmental art can itself even become a calendar of sorts, revealing the change in seasons and cycles. I know spring has sprung when the columbine sprouts in our Native Pollinator Garden, and that fall has arrived when the asters bloom in Welcome Home.
We present environmental art on various timescales – some is temporary, disappearing from our forests after a just few weeks’ time, while other works are with us indefinitely.
So, this year we decided to put together a 2017 wall calendar, celebrating cutting edge, contemporary environmental art in our fields and forests. Founded in 2000 as an opportunity for artists and audiences to explore and interpret the natural world and current ecological issues, our program has brought 277 artists to our site. This calendar highlights works here from across 17 years; three of the works are still with us today, continuing to evolve with our site and with time.
We hope this calendar is more than a time marking tool, but something that activates your imagination throughout this year, perhaps inspiring you to notice time and change in your own environment.
So, take a look, support our art program, and order your 2017 calendar today!