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.

Current Projects

2022-23 Artists in Residence

  • Bitter Kalli
    Through natural dyeing, textiles, and creative data visualization, the artist will explore the complex interrelationship between bureaucracy and governance on the Schuylkill River landscape, delving into the narratives of environmental racism, bureaucracy, and resilience that have shaped and co-created the landscape. The artist seeks to chart a story of the river as it has been co-created by paperwork, plant life, and ecological relation. Through conducting interviews with Black Philadelphia residents about their relationships to the Schuylkill River, they will research what has shaped the riverine landscape of the Schuylkill River. In response, they will create natural dyes from plants and organic matter around the river and transform them into a series of large-scale textiles for installation.

  • Amber Officer-Narvasa and Yilu Jin
  • Susan Hagen
    Susan Hagen will create a series of miniature dioramas on the history of ornithology and bird biodiversity installed on a touring trail in our urban forest. Her outdoor art installation and accompanying pedagogical display in our visitor center's art gallery will interweave the Center's educational stewardship towards restoring wildlife habitats in an urban forest and connecting neighboring communities with their local environment. The site-specific installation will visualize the current conservation problem of human impact on species loss exemplified by declining bird biodiversity contextualized throughout the history of ornithology.
    Hagen's work is based on extensive research, conversations, drawings of taxidermy bird specimens, live examples, and historical artifacts. She will capture species living and migrating through our forest, study bird patterns and bird history at the Academy of Natural Sciences and the Wagner Free Institute of Science in Philadelphia, interview ornithologists, bird migration specialists, and wildlife experts, and speak with birders/bird activists in the region.
    Her exhibit will take place in Fall 2023.

  • Susan Hagen

Past Projects

LandLab 2017-2018

  • Dance Exchange activated Philadelphia's waterways through movement exploration with visitors and local artists and scientists, culminating in installation and performance at the Schuylkill Center using interdisciplinary dancemaking to move community members from a place of observation to participation to active stewardship.
  • Dancers of Dance Exchange
  • Kate Farquhar is a Philadelphia based artist and landscape architect whose work occupies the space where habitat, green infrastructure and myth overlap. Kate conceived a collection of mythic micro-environments–called Synestates–to thoughtfully insert materials or elements from the cityscape into the Center's wild and managed lands, speculating about future possibilities for contact between people and the environment.
  • Leaves, a chain, and tubes
  • Jan Mun explored mycoremediation and shared her passion for mushrooms as "ecological instigators," ultimately constructing The Mushroom Vortex Maze–wooden logs inoculated with three types of edible mushrooms to create separate rows that each form a logarithmic/golden ratio spiral.
  • Trees with natural rings on the forest floor around their bases

LandLab 2014-2015

Read the full brochure here

  • WE THE WEEDS (a collaboration between artist Kaitlin Pomerantz and botanist Zya Levy) created a woven installation constructed from invasive vines, simultaneously encouraging dialog about the global movement of plants, and removing hazardous invasive species from the forest.
  • Weeds woven into string
  • Jake Beckman explored the detritus cycle of a forest and its disruption by invasive earthworms, creating a sculptural installation that makes these hidden processes visible to visitors.
  • Latticed wood cube open top structure with fungus growing out of one cube
  • Marguerita Hagan, B.H. Mills, and Maggie Mills built Native Pollinator Garden, a pollinator-focused series of raised beds accompanied by a sculptural installation to educate the public on native plants, chemical-free gardening, sustainable practices, and the relationship between humans and bees.
  • Flowers growing out of hexagonal wooden raised beds
  • #StormSnakes by Leslie Birch, explores the issue of stormwater run-off using electronics to collect data from a Schuylkill Center stream.
  • A storm snake laying across a dirt path

For more information about LandLab, please reach out to

Past LandLab projects have been in collaboration with The Center for Emerging Visual Artists (CFEVA) who provide career development services for professional visual artists, help artists reach their audiences, and promote interest in and understanding of the visual arts among citizens of the Philadelphia region.

Funding was provided by the Knight Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation and the William Penn Foundation, as well as in part by the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts program of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and PECO.

Return to Top of Page