a river is…

a river is…

April 20 – June 24, 2023

In a river is…, 2022-2023 LandLab artist-in-residence Bitter Kalli embarks on a textual and textural exploration of the Schuylkill River watershed. Using natural dyes and organic materials gathered from riverbank plants, as well as locally-sourced upcycled fabric, the artist creates textile pieces that consider the overlapping human and plant geographies of the Schuylkill; the legacies of neighborhood change and displacement along this river; and the increasing precarity of riverine life during a time of environmental crisis. Weaving together memoir, research, and relational practice, the artist engages with lineages of feminized craft and the space of the riverbank as a site for ritual and gathering.  



Events and Programming

Writing to the River I, BIPOC only, May 10, 2023, 6-7:15pm, Zoom, register here

Writing to the River II, general public, May 24, 2023, 6-7:15pm, in-person, register here

Natural Dyeing Workshop I, BIPOC only, June 10, 2023, 12-2pm, in-person, register here

Natural Dyeing Workshop I, general public, June 10, 2-4pm, in-person, register here

About the Artist

Bitter Kalli is a farmer and storyteller whose creative practice is centered around environmental stewardship, Blackness, and ancestral memory. Through writing, textile work, seed-saving, and collaborative public projects, they hope to honor constellations of Black and brown people who have reached for the land as a source of sustenance and renewal, fascinated by the often-forgotten histories that lay beneath our feet. How do we steward the earth under these conditions of violence and loss? What can plants and waterways help us remember about ourselves and each other?

About Landlab

LandLab is the Schuylkill Center’s immersive artist-in-residence program, providing artists or teams with resources and support to create innovative, site-specific installations or performative artworks. During their residencies, artists grapple with the human history of flawed land stewardship and envision functional solutions and paths towards behavioral change. 

Artworks in this exhibition can be found in the art gallery and on the Schuylkill Center’s grounds.

The 2022-2023 LandLab residency is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Dolfinger McMahon Foundation.