LandLab is an environmental art residency at the Schuylkill Center that interweaves art, ecological restoration, and public engagement. LandLab offers resources and space on the Center’s 340-acre wooded property for multidisciplinary artists to engage audiences in environmental advocacy, scientific investigation, and artistic creation.

The LandLab Residency blends art and environmental science to engage diverse audiences in innovative investigations of environmental problems. Selected artists/teams receive professional development and mentorship by partnering with scientists and fellow arts professionals to create original, site-specific installations on our land and in our gallery. Our art programs and events engage residents throughout the region in discussions about current environmental issues, the artists’ creative processes, and their experimental proposals.

*DEADLINE EXTENDED*

Applications are open until midnight on June 3, 2022.

The 2022 jurors include Rafael Damast Exhibitions Program Manager and Curator at Taller Puertorriqueño, Aseel Rasheed Director of Public Programs at Bartram’s Garden, Genevieve Coutroubis Executive Artistic Director at The Center For Emerging Visual Artists, and Tina Plokarz Director of Environmental Art at Schuylkill Center.

Artists will be notified of the jurors’ selection by July 1, 2022. Once selected, the Artists-in-Residence will have from August 1, 2022 until May 31, 2023 to complete their residency. 

LANDLAB  APPLICATION

About the program 

LandLab is an environmental art residency at the Schuylkill Center that interweaves art, ecological restoration, and public engagement. LandLab offers resources and space on the Center’s 340-acre wooded property for multidisciplinary artists to engage audiences in environmental advocacy, scientific investigation, and artistic creation. 

This paid Artist-In-Residency takes place between Fall 2022 to Summer 2023 and grants selected artist(s) or creative team(s) a honorarium of $6,000, large outdoor space, and limited indoor workspace on the Schuylkill Center’s 340-acre property. The residency does not provide living spaces nor transportation to the Center (only limited support may be available to out-of-town artists). Schuylkill Center will make limited additional support for materials, signage, and marketing available, as well as may provide funds for specific community programming.

Selected artist(s) or teams are expected to create innovative installation(s) or performative artwork(s) that remediate environmental damage while engaging audiences in ecological processes. Outcomes are open-ended, but residency projects must include a public engagement component. 

We seek artists who are engaged in environmental exploration and scientific discovery in the field of ecology; who work well collaboratively across disciplines and have a working understanding and/or awareness of the ecology of the Eastern Pennsylvania region; and who are committed to deepening public awareness of environmental issues through their artistic practice. LandLab projects prioritize time spent on site and a process of investigation that will inform and shape the proposed project over time. 

This year’s iteration of LandLab is part of the Schuylkill Center’s “Year of Restoration” in 2022 that emphasizes humanity’s entanglement with nature while embracing nature’s restorative and healing power. Breaking away from the historically established lost ‘pristine’ and ‘wild’, in the last decade conservation scientists, progressive thinkers, and Indigenous leaders have shifted toward a more dynamic model of restoration, one that encompasses the ability to environmentally adapt to a changing climate and intertwine ecological conservation with social realities. 

The 2022-2023 LandLab Residency is kindly supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. 

 

Application & Info Sessions

Two info sessions are held on April 27 at 6pm (virtually) and May 21 at 2pm (in-person).
Full application is here: Apply to LandLab
The application fee of $10 covers the cost for hosting the call on slideroom.
Example Questions can be reviewed in LandLab Questions

Contact

Please reach out with any inquiries to Emily Sorensen, Exhibition Coordinator at esorensen@schuylkillcenter.org

More about Past Projects HERE

Remembering Water's Way Performance, October 2018

FAQ

How much of the project is expected to be determined ahead of time as opposed to emerging organically from time spent onsite during the residency?

While it’s ideal that you have some grounding idea of the project that you want to do, we do value the time you spend onsite and encourage you to lean into the idea of a “laboratory.” You can use the time to test an artistic hypothesis of a sort; you can course-correct as you uncover new information and ideas; the final product does not need to match 100% what you imagined at the beginning.

How can artists gain a better understanding of what ecological issues are relevant to the Schuylkill Center and therefore could be addressed in the work?

The best way to gain an understanding of our grounds is to come visit us, if possible. While you are welcome to talk to any of our educators or land and facilities staff, weThe best way to gain an understanding of our grounds is to come visit us, if possible. While you are welcome to talk to any of our educators or land and facilities staff, we also value the unique perspective that artists can bring to a site. If you have an understanding of widespread ecological issues such as deforestation, non-native species, erosion, and water pollution, you will likely be able to connect them readily with The Schuylkill Center.

Some of the past projects have seemed more social; are artists supposed to address both ecological and social remediation or choose one or the other?

Given the limited amount of time and resources and the desire for a final outcome, we suggest you choose one of the two to focus on—though they are, of course, related. For this residency we also expect some sort of public community engagement.

How do artists connect with scientists to consult with?

The Schuylkill Center is well connected within the environmental science community and the chosen artist(s) can be connected with any number of local scientists, in addition to our own staff. Please share in your application any ideas, preferences or even connections you may have already.

How many artists will be chosen? How far along in their career should they be?

For this iteration of LandLab, we only have funding for one artist or artist team, and they can be at any point in their career, emerging or established, professional or not. 

How long will the artists spend on site?

The residency can start as early as August 2022 and the final outcome is expected by spring of 2023. The chosen artist(s) is encouraged to spend as much time on site during that window as possible and necessary for understanding the project undertaken.

Are artists permitted to harvest plants onsite?

Yes, but under the supervision of one of our staff members. Please talk with us about what and how much.

Presentation by Tina Plokarz on LandLab at the April 21 Info Session:

Jurors

Genevieve Coutroubis has a long professional career in the non-profit sector working for organizations such as Metropolitan Family Services in Chicago and The Environmental Careers Organization in Boston. She joined CFEVA’s staff in 2001 as the Director of Programming. In this capacity, Gen headed the Career Development Program (now the Visual Artist Fellowship) and mounted numerous exhibitions throughout the region. In 2004, Genevieve established CFEVA’s Regional Community Arts Program (RCAP)—a vehicle to bring substantial career development opportunities to Philadelphia’s visual artists. Genevieve currently manages the Visual Artist Fellowship, Regional Community Arts Program, and CFEVA’s residencies.

In addition to her role at CFEVA, Gen is a practicing documentary photographer and ethnographer who exhibits extensively locally, nationally and internationally. In 2007, her work was featured in Women to Watch: Photography in Philadelphia at the National Museum for Women in the Arts, curated by Susan Fisher Sterling. Her work also appears in numerous national and international collections, including SEI’s West Collection. She received her Bachelors of Science in Photojournalism from Boston University, and a Masters of Science in Anthropology from the University of PA.

Rafael Damast has been the Exhibitions Program Manager and curator at Taller since December 2010, where he has curated over 40 exhibitions. As the manager of the program, he has brought in new audiences, expanded and deepened the program’s connection with the local community and Philadelphia by exploring alternative spaces beyond Taller’s gallery walls and developing and strengthening relationships with outside organizations. He has also been integral in developing the Taller’s website and digital presence. As its chief curator, his exhibitions have resonated with the local and artistic communities and advanced a significant understanding of the work of contemporary artists of Latino and Latinx descent. 

Rafael graduated from the University of Rochester with a concentration in Psychology and Painting. In 2018, he was awarded an Edna Andrade grant for Kukuli Velarde’s exhibit “The Complicit Eye” and a PNC Arts Alive grant for Rafael Villamil’s “Paradise has no Memory.”

Tina Plokarz is a curator and public art consultant with a background in art history, and currently the Director for Environmental Art at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education. Her experience in developing and implementing exhibitions, public art programs and conferences ranges from presentations of prints and drawings to large-scale, site-specific commissions of visual and performance art. She’s interested in creating immersive participatory experiences that challenge our understanding of art, nature and the environment, and our relationship with each other. She has previously held positions at a variety of international museums and non-profit organizations, including Independence Seaport Museum (Philadelphia), Philadelphia Contemporary (Philadelphia), KW Institute for Contemporary Art (Berlin), Villa Merkel (Esslingen) and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin). She also serves as advisor on the art committee at the Alliance for Watershed Education of the Delaware River. She received a double major in Art History and Theater Studies from the Free University Berlin (Germany) and was curatorial member at the art collective Vox Populi, Philadelphia.

Aseel Rasheed joined Bartram’s Garden in 2015 after serving as a longtime volunteer at the Sankofa Community Farm. With a decade of experience working to support families through the immigration process, Aseel initially joined the Garden in a visitor services capacity. Her skill in developing relationships and her commitment to sharing a deeper and more contextual history of this land and its inhabitants advanced her into a leadership role as Director of Public Programming. Aseel remains steadfast in her vision for the future of the Garden as a welcoming public park. She holds a BA and MA from Temple University as well as elected positions with local environmental and arts organizations.