Buprestid Insulae

Buprestid Insulae

As part of The Schuylkill Center’s 2019 exhibition We All Fall Down: Artists Respond to the Emerald Ash Borer, Anthony Heinz May created a site-based sculpture from a standing dead ash tree, calling attention to the relationships between humans, nature, and technology. Today, Buprestid Insulae can be found near the Fire Pond at the Schuylkill Center.

Anthony Heinz May's "Buprestid Insulae"

Anthony Heinz May’s “Buprestid Insulae”




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

A STEAM project sponsored in part by the Philadelphia Science Festival
Since the emerald ash borer arrived in the midwest United States in 2002, it has rapidly decimated many forests, resulting in the death of millions of ash trees. With a 99% kill rate, it will sweep through our area like a wave and wipe out all of Philadelphia’s ash trees in the next 5-10 years. The emerald ash borer and its distinctive D-shaped bore hole was first seen at the Schuylkill Center in Summer 2018, and 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.
Wood from impacted ash trees was made available to six artists: Nancy Agati, Laurie Beck Peterson, Anthony Heinz May, John Kuiphoff, Brian Skalaski, and Janine Wang. They created new artworks for the Schuylkill Center’s gallery and trails that educated visitors about the emerald ash borer and other threats to Philadelphia’s trees. We All Fall Down: Artists Respond to the Emerald Ash Borer harnessed this unfortunate occurrence to make the impacts of this invasive insect more visible and understandable.
Laurie Beck Peterson cyanotype

Laurie Beck Peterson cyanotype

Detail of John Kuiphoff's "200,000 Ash Trees"

In John Kuiphoff‘s “200,000 Ash Trees,” he created a lasercut image of an ash tree composed of 200,000 dots, the estimated number of ash trees in Philadelphia.

Detail of Nancy Agati's "Crated and Shipped"

Nancy Agati’s  “Crated and Shipped” used sculptural shipping crates, alluding to the dispersal pathway of the ash borer and many other invasive plants and animals.

Brian Skalaski's "American Eden"

Brian Skalaski’s “American Eden” created a steam-bent wood installation that alluded to the life history of ash as a pioneer species. 

Handle design by Janine Wang

Janine Wang created wood handles from ash wood designed to perfectly fit a human hand, building connection between species.