The ecoartspace blog will feature artist profiles and reviews of exhibitions, as well as writings on ecological systems. We are interested in presenting work that artists are making in collaboration with scientists, and poetics including spoken word, opera, and performative work. Painting, sculpture, ceramics, photography, drawing, and printmaking are all welcome media. Speculative architecture and public art are also encourage. Submissions for posts can be sent to We look forward to hearing from you!

You can access the previous ecoartspace blog HERE (2008-2019)

ecoartspace, LLC

Mailing address: PO Box 5211 Santa Fe, New Mexico 87502
  • Monday, February 28, 2022 9:00 AM | Anonymous


    February 28, 2022

    This week we recognize the work of artist  Betsy Damon.

    "Our world’s living systems are endlessly exciting and constantly humbling in their complexity. My skills as an artist allow me to center water as the foundation to all life. In my journey to understand water, my partner is science and my driving purpose is curiosity. I look through the mist to examine the vast expanse of interconnected living systems that contains you and me."

    In 1985, after a cross-country camping trip with her children, Damon found herself reconnected to the primal elements of the natural world --the sound of wind, the flow of water, the forest, the rain. This initiated the casting of a 250-foot dry riverbed, "The Memory of Clean Water," which brought her attention to the invisible destruction that development was having on water sources. In the early evening, while casting the riverbed, Betsy looked up to realize that the stones of the riverbed were patterned like the stars of the sky, that everywhere were the patterns of water. She committed herself to learning everything about water, little did she know that 27 years later she would still be deeply entrenched.

    Beginning with the creation of Keepers of the Waters in 1991, Damon has continued to work towards creating community-based models of water stewardship. Her work includes sculpture, teaching, lectures, and workshops. In China, she created the nation's first public art event for the environment, and most notably the Living Water Garden, a world-renowned public park and natural water filtration model. In the US, she is continuously working with communities and grassroots groups, as well as completing art and design commissions.

    Betsy Damon's inspiration comes from extensive research of sacred water sites, and her curiosity for the biology and earth sciences that compose living systems. Always seeking new ways to articulate the complexity of water and engage communities in caring for this precious resource, Damon continues her passion.

    Betsy Damon is the founder and director of Keepers of the Water, a nonprofit organization that encourages art, science and community projects for the understanding and remediation of living water systems. Forty years ago, Damon stepped outside her traditional art training and carved a unique path to work with the environment, communities, science and art. She was engaged in the women's movement of the 1970s, where she founded No Limits for Women Artists, a network to join and support female artists. In 1985, while making a cast of a dry riverbed in Castle Valley, Utah, she decided to devote the rest of her artistic life to water. She started Keepers of the Waters in 1991 with the support of the Hubert Humphrey Institute. Damon received an MFA from Columbia University in 1966.

    Featured Images (Top to Bottom): ©Betsy Damon, "Mist Rising," "A Memory of Clean Water" (1985), "Living Water Garden" (1998), "Principles of Water" (2019), "Sounds of Water" (2004).

  • Thursday, February 24, 2022 11:26 AM | ecoartspace (Administrator)

    Wendy DesChene and Jeff Schmuki, Monsantra Plant Bots (2019)

    Artists Find Creative Ways to Raise Food Insecurity Awareness

    While it may be strange to think of food insecurity as a basis for art, the works in Food Justice reveal barriers and injustices in food access.

    by Anna Mirzayan

    January 17, 2022 for Hyperallergic

    PITTSBURGH — Food Justice: Growing a Healthier Community through Art, a multimedia group exhibition at Pittsburgh’s Contemporary Craft, is ambitious; it purports to highlight global food insecurity and its place in a complex ecosystem of injustice and inequality, including poverty, racism, climate change, and dubious corporate and governmental practices. It’s fitting, then, that each artist’s work is accompanied by both an object label and a “field guide,” which provides commentary on that work’s thematic relationship to food justice, written by community partners that support related causes, such as food banks, urban gardens, and university food research think tanks.  

    The inclusion of field guides, which are less direct reflections on each piece and more related ruminations, ingeniously weaves together the works and the issues they represent within the habitats that shaped and naturalized them, complete with signifiers that unite the disparate pieces under the banner of “food justice.”

    Read the full review HERE

    Excerpt on the work of members Wendy DesChene and Jeff Schmuki

    At first glance, Monsantra Plant Bots and Community Hydroponic Garden, both projects by Wendy DesChene and Jeff Schmuki from 2019, use living flora in contrasting ways; the former consists of what looks like lengthy, verdant grass adhered to two sets of remote-controlled monster truck wheels. As the title suggests, the piece merges Monsanto GMO seedlings with robotics, producing a comical hybrid that portends a somber future for agriculture. The edible plants in Community Hydroponic Garden grow from their machines, fed by carefully distilled water into porous, pH-neutral ceramic containers tended throughout the show by community members who actually harvest the yield for food. Perhaps this garden of “working water” (hydroponics) is actually another creation of the plant bots, showing us an alternate future of sustainable food that melds human communal labor and technology. As this project asks “where does our food come from?” it is accompanied by a field guide that talks about what globalized capitalism has done to food sovereignty.

  • Monday, February 21, 2022 9:00 AM | Anonymous


    February 21, 2022

    This week we recognize the work of artist Ruth Wallen.

    "The magnificence, diversity and delight of the forest cannot be fully expressed in any single image. I’ve chosen the form of a photomontage to provide a series of glimpses, from a variety of scales and perspectives, to evoke both the vibrancy of life and the fragmentation caused from a myriad of ecological challenges."

    "What happens when a community turns its back on its waters? Currently much of Escondido Creek, which runs in front of the California Center for the Arts Escondido museum, where this project was first exhibited, is hidden behind chain link fences and obscured by a cement channel. 'Daylighting Escondido Creek Watershed' helps create a watershed moment by encouraging dialogue around what has been hidden—the wonders of the watershed, its changing ecology due to urbanization, globalization and a warming climate, and possible visions for maintaining and rejuvenating the watershed’s future health."

    “Walking with Trees” is an ongoing project to be present to the ecological changes in California forests. Over 150 million trees have died in California since 2010 due to urbanization, climate change and new species introduced through global trade. The massive die-off of trees in San Diego started even earlier with the fires of 2003, one of which, the Cedar Fire, was the largest in the state until two years ago. Another huge series of fires ravaged the county in 2007, followed by the introduction of the Goldspotted oak borer in 2008. The impacts of these events are more fully detailed in other recent projects, including Listen to the Trees, Daylighting Escondido Creek Watershed, and Cascading Memorials.

    “Listen to the Trees” addresses the impact of climate change on San Diego's ecology. The installation focuses on two trees, the coastal Torrey pine and the Jeffrey pine growing in the inland mountains. Photomontages line the walls, while tree stumps offer visitors a place to sit and contemplate the scene. On one stump, an iPad touch screen displays diagrams of the tree rings of these two species based on historical data and models projecting future climate under differing emissions scenarios.

    Ruth Wallen  is a multi-media artist and writer whose work is dedicated to encouraging dialogue around ecological and social justice. After working as an environmental scientist, she turned to art to pose questions beyond disciplinary boundaries, address values informing environmental policy, and contribute to the developing field of ecological art. She creates interactive installations, nature walks, web sites, artist books and performative lectures. Her critical writing addresses ecological art and race, gender and visual culture. Active in the border region she was a founding member of the multinational artist collective Las Comadres, past president of the Binational Association for Schools of Communication in the Californias and a Fulbright Lecturer at the Autonomous University of Baja California, Tijuana. Currently she is chair for the MFAIA in Interdisciplinary Arts program at Goddard College.

    Featured Images: ©Ruth Wallen, "Daylighting Escondido Creek Watershed" (2018), "Walking with Trees," "Listen to the Trees" (2016-2017)

  • Saturday, February 19, 2022 3:16 PM | ecoartspace (Administrator)

    Linda Stillman, Daily Skies: 2020, February 15, 2020 focus, 2021, archival pigment print on paper, 19 x 13 inches

    Posted on February 14, 2022 by Jennifer McGregor on Artspiel

    Landscape Deconstructed at the Hammond: Linda Stillman

    Part 1: Linda Stillman – Interview with Jennifer McGregor

    Landscape Deconstructed: Mimi Czajka Graminski and Linda Stillman is a virtual exhibition on view at the Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Garden website until June 2022. It is curated by Bibiana Huang Matheis. The opening on September 11, 2021, included a virtual conversation with Mimi Czajka Graminski and Linda Stillmanmoderated byJennifer McGregor which has been distilled and reformatted for individual interviews with each artist.

    The Hudson Valley artists met in 2011 and were immediately struck by the similarities in their work and have continued a dialogue since then. Landscape Deconstructed is the first time their artwork is presented in tandem and underscores the way that both artists discover elements of their surroundings and reassemble them in ingenious ways. Through distinct processes, they each preserve fleeting moments of beauty in nature while documenting a particular time and place.

    You’ve been documenting the sky every day since 2005 in your Daily Skies series. Since time is such an important element in all of your work, how has this project evolved?

    I started out making paintings of a section of the sky on a little panel. To keep the project fresh, I changed the format each year, mounting the panels in different ways. The paintings in Landscape Deconstructed are from 2011. They are mounted by month in the form of a calendar on shaped panels that float away from the wall to create shadows, that give physicality to each month.

    After many years of painting on panels, I turned to various media, drawing, painting on paper, collaging and then photography. This year I’ve been taking a square photo of the sky with my phone, facing North at noon each day. I then post it on a dedicated Instagram account along with a photo of the ground.

    While the format has changed over the years, the desire to have a daily practice and record a fleeting moment remains the same. Taking time to look up at the sky each day is my way to honor and celebrate nature.

    Linda Stillman, Daily Paintings: March 2011, 2011/2014, acrylic on paper on panels, 15 x 14 x 3/4 inches 

    Continue reading here

  • Monday, February 14, 2022 3:05 PM | Anonymous


    February 14, 2022

    This week we recognize the work of artist  Bill Gilbert.

    "Since moving to New Mexico, my work has been focused on articulating the relationship between humans and place. Starting in 1979 I made the commitment to work with the native materials of my environmental back yard in northern New Mexico as means to develop an intimacy with the land."

    A site specific work on an abandoned tailings pond using aspen trees from the surrounding hillside, Desolation focuses on the beauty often present in destruction. The work changes through the course of the day in response to the movement of the sun, progressing from being nearly invisible in the early morning light to glowing with an apparently internal light at sunset.

    "Started in 2003 in the field with the Land Arts of the American West mobile studio, the Physiocartographies series combines the abstraction of cartographic maps with the physical act of walking the surface of the planet to create portraits of place. In the various works from this series I follow prescribed paths across the landscape using a gps unit to navigate and record points, a camera to shoot images and a digital recorder to capture sounds. The final works appear as reconstructed maps, videos and installations."

    "Part of my ongoing experiment in constructing a portrait of place by walking the surface of the planet, terrestrial/celestial navigations honors the relationship desert peoples have with the sky by weaving together heaven and earth. Each walk inscribes the land with the patterns of stars earlier cultures created to project their world into the night sky. In this series, I employ pedestrian and satellite technologies using google earth to establish GPS points for each star and my body to then inscribe constellations by walking them onto the ground."

    Bill Gilbert is Emeritus Distinguished Professor and Lannan Endowed Chair at the University of New Mexico, where he co-founded the Art & Ecology area and created the Land Arts of the American West program and the Land Arts Mobile Research Center with support from Lannan Foundation and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. From 1990-2000 Gilbert served as head of Ceramics at UNM. His involvement in developing the curriculum included work with Indigenous artists from Acoma Pueblo and Pastaza, Ecuador and Mestizo artists from Juan Mata Ortiz, Mexico. He has curated numerous exhibitions and written extensively on the topic of Indigenous ceramics practices in the Americas. Over the past fifteen years Gilbert has developed an art practice based in walking completing projects in the United States in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming as well as internationally in Prespes, Greece, New South Wales and South Australia and Malta. Gilbert is author of two books, Land Arts of the American West and Arts Programming for the Anthropocene: art in community and environment, both of which address the need to update the curriculum in tertiary level art education to prepare students to contribute to the changing world they enter upon graduation.

    Featured Images:  ©Bill Gilbert, "Terrestrial/Celestial Navigations" (2011-2014); "Desolation" (1992); "For John Wesley Powell: attempts to walk the grid" (2005-2007); "Mindlines"

  • Sunday, February 13, 2022 8:58 AM | ecoartspace (Administrator)

    One Beach Plastic, for here or to go, 2021; plastic collected at Kehoe Beach and ceramic dishware; Part of the exhibition Lands End, organized by FOR-SITE. Image courtesy FOR-SITE. Photo: Robert Divers Herrick

    Lands End at the former Cliff House

    by Barbara Morris for Articultures, February 7 ,2022

    The FOR-SITE Foundation, founded in 2003, has taken on the unique project of mounting exhibitions of immersive, site-specific installations set in some of the Bay Area’s national parks. With memorable exhibitions including 2012’s International Orange set at the imposing Fort Point, followed by 2014’s @Large:AiWeiwei at Alcatraz housed in the stark and unforgiving former prison, our relationship with the ocean, nature, and the environment, coupled with concern for human rights and freedom of expression, have long been at the forefront of their mission. Other exhibitions have dealt with thorny issues such as the needs for shelter, safety, and security.

    The latest in this series is Lands End, curated by FOR-SITE’s executive director Cheryl Haines, which takes the site of the former Cliff House restaurant—vacant since 2020—as a point of departure for the work of 26 artists and artist teams from around the globe. With its spectacular vistas and precarious perch, the work is brought to our attention in a setting that dramatizes it and also holds it at a distance, our attention torn between the interior and the exterior. The show, Haines states, “invites visitors to wade into an immersive environment where their charge is twofold: to discover artwork in unlikely places and to consider the planet’s health.”

    This is my second visit to the site, the former Cliff House, an iconic SF restaurant and ballroom—which I somehow managed to completely avoid during its lengthy history of providing dining with a spectacular backdrop to countless SF natives and tourists alike. The first Cliff House was built in 1863, and was destroyed and rebuilt twice, the rambling structure is perched at the edge of the Pacific Ocean on a bluff, quite literally the land’s end. On my previous visit, a clear day, the jaw-dropping views outside distracted me from focusing on the art for some time. This time, SF has been socked in and the coast is still blanketed in wispy fog. Crashing waves on rocks outside still beckon. With such a large show, I intend to give just a taste of the work, installations which stood out the most to me. As I am getting my bearings and juggling my pen, notebook, and other belongings, another visitor remarkably precisely echoes my initial sentiment, that “it’s hard to know whether to look inside or outside…” Well, perhaps it’s not so remarkable, given the show being put on in the bluffs.

    Continue on Articultures site HERE

  • Thursday, February 10, 2022 6:14 PM | ecoartspace (Administrator)

    View from artist’s studio, Barges, Tugs and Tankers No. 21, work-in-progress 

    Vigil, Ellen Kozak’s first solo painting exhibition with David Richard Gallery, featured two fully realized series of abstract oil paintings on panel. The painter, with studios in New York City and beside the Hudson River in Greene County, explores the relationship between the fluidity of paint and river surfaces affected by the intersection of natural and manmade phenomena. Altogether the paintings activated the gallery space into a cohesive site-responsive installation.

    Tell me about the body of work in this exhibition.

    Two closely related bodies of work are presented in my solo show at the David Richard Gallery. The near-square paintings from 2017 to 2020 precede the Covid-19 pandemic. The paintings in my Barge, Tug and Tanker series began in April 2020. The large gallery, with 1,500 square feet of space and 20-foot ceilings, has provided a wonderful opportunity to unite both bodies of work. The show’s title refers to the inherent watchful nature of my decades-long artistic practice and my service with the environmental organization Riverkeeper, Inc. Gallery Director David Eichholtz designed the installation in a way that brings the site and sight—of the Hudson River from my studio —into the gallery, while simultaneously accentuating the rhythms and movement within each painting.

    Eight near-square paintings share a height/width ratio of 7/8. I began each painting on a field-easel on mornings beside the Hudson where I paint at several sites along the shoreline. Each painting is a record, a kind of chronicle, of a direct empirical encounter with subtle color shifts, transitory illumination, and patterns in continuous motion on the water’s surface. These paintings are reductive and more abstract than earlier bodies of work. My perceptual field is closer to the shoreline and without horizon, the behavior of paint is closer to the subject it depicts. Painting alla prima involves an aspect of performance. Oil paint and water share properties of viscosity, I explore paint as a mimetic medium—it has an honest relationship with my subject.

    Gallery View. Photo courtesy of David Richard Gallery 

    Continue reading on Art Speil HERE

  • Monday, February 07, 2022 9:00 AM | Anonymous


    February 7, 2022

    This week we recognize the work of artist  Kim Stringfellow.

    Featured is The Mojave Project, a transmedia documentary and curatorial project led by Stringfellow exploring the physical, geological and cultural landscape of the Mojave Desert.

    The Mojave Project reconsiders and establishes multiple ways in which to interpret this unique and complex landscape, through association and connection of seemingly unrelated sites, themes and subjects thus creating a speculative and immersive experience for our audience. The Mojave Project explores the following themes: Desert as Wasteland, Geological Time vs. Human Time, Sacrifice and Exploitation, Danger and Consequence, Space and Perception, Mobility and Movement, Desert as Staging Ground, Transformation and Reinvention.

    The project materializes over time through deep research and direct field inquiry through interviews, reportage and personal journaling supported with still photography, audio and video documentation. Field Dispatches are shared throughout the production period at this site and through our publishing partner, KCET Artbound. Installments include those of notable guest contributors. A program of public field trip experiences and satellite events explores the diverse communities and sites of the Mojave Desert. The initial phase of the project is designed to make ongoing research transparent, inviting the audience into the conversation as the project develops. Ultimately, The Mojave Project aims to create a comprehensive transmedia repository of knowledge relating to the contemporary Mojave Desert.

    The Mojave Project is an ongoing, multi-year endeavor culminating in a large-scale exhibition with related public programming at UNLV's Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art, during spring 2022. The project was first launched for Made in the Mojave at MOAH (Museum of Art & History) in Lancaster, California, during spring 2017. Partnering with LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions) through support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Curatorial Fellowship program, The Mojave Project was exhibited during fall 2018. In addition, Stringfellow coordinated two Mojave Desert field trips to provide participants with an immersive on-site experience in conjunction with this exhibition. Please sign up on our mailing list for information on future events.

    Kim Stringfellow is an artist, educator, writer, and independent curator based in Joshua Tree, California. For the past twenty years, Stringfellow’s creative practice has focused on the human-driven transformation of some of the American West’s most iconic arid regions through multi-year, research-based projects merging cultural geography, public practice, and experimental documentary into creative, socially engaged transmedia experiences. These art-centered projects combine writing, photography, audio, video, installation, mapping, and community engagement to collectively explore the history of place while also examining how the landscapes we inhabit are socially and culturally constructed. In particular, she is interested in the ecological repercussions of human presence and occupation within these spaces. Stringfellow is a professor at San Diego State University’s School of Art + Design. She received her MFA in Art and Technology from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2000. Claremont Graduate University awarded her an honorary doctoral degree in 2018.

    Featured Images: ©Kim Stringfellow, The Mojave Project (ongoing project)

  • Tuesday, February 01, 2022 8:33 PM | ecoartspace (Administrator)

    Fossil Memory, Various collected mosses and liches, springtails and dwarf isopods, soil, rocks, activated carbon, glass, water, brain coral, pillow, grow light and aquarium. 18 x 16 x 16 inches (2020) 

    An Interview with Christopher Lin by Olivia Ann Carye Hallstein

    Christopher Lin is a constructor of worlds, our worlds. His images create a vantage point into a reality where humanity no longer exists. His work sits at the cusp of the surreal and the actual often creating sci-fi-esc installations and works that use actual fossils. During times of our own dystopian reality, Christopher’s imaging relates what is real to a vision of what could be without us.

    Hello Christopher, thank you for this interview. Let us jump right in.

    Your process involves both deep research, collaboration with the past, and imagination. Would you discuss your process to create these works? 

    My practice visualizes the ecologies we create and inhabit in the Anthropocene through surreal collaborations with nature. Combining elements of scientific investigation and material exploration, I make performative sculptures and installations that incorporate familiar objects interacting in unfamiliar ways to encourage viewers to question the framework of our everyday world. More interested in the poetics of re-contextualization than representation, I collect, deconstruct, and recombine materials to create chimeras that reflect on the existential trauma of environmental anxiety. These ephemeral constructions allude to their impermanence and, by proxy, our own.

    Zuru, zuru (Drifting), Carious collected mosses and lichens, springtails and dwarf isopods, soil, activated carbon, glass bottles, water, sand, sea glass, and aquarium, 10 ½ x 16 ¼ x 8 3/8 in, 2020

    My ongoing body of work, titled Future Fossils, explores the eventuality of human absence. I have long been inspired and fascinated by fossils of extinct species in distant eras, memento moris which provoke thoughts of our own inevitable end and of the material world we will leave behind. In Future Fossils, I approach the concept of human extinction not through pessimism, but as the inevitable and unavoidable truth to our existence—one that also contains incredible beauty in its transience. Influenced by Buddhist teachings and environmental ecology, I connect fragments from both creation myths and extinction events to visualize this eventuality that is critical to understanding the whole cycle of existence from beginning to end. This ongoing project is an exploration to attain a better understanding of our place in this world both spiritually and scientifically.

    I collect, deconstruct, and recombine materials to create chimeras that reflect on the existential trauma of environmental anxiety.

    Symbiont, Non-rebreather oxygen mask and pleurocarp moss, 3 x 12 x 4 in, 2014

    In your practice as an artist, you combine real found organic elements and place them into often sterile and surreal installations. What is your goal in showcasing your environmental activism in an otherworldly form? 

    My installations are constructed in this manner to reveal the science fiction nature of today’s world, its material construction, and its values. We often look at science fiction as some kind of distant fantasy, an impossible dystopia, but we are currently living in yesterday’s science fiction. With the pace of material production and technological advances, we do not have the perspective to process the many changes that become quickly integrated into our everyday lives. A few decades ago, the idea of indoor vertical farming replete with grow lights and hydroponic systems would seem like some distant dream, but today it is not only possible but happening in many places in the world. These advances have obvious benefits but also less obvious consequences, and buried even deeper within this aspiration is a kind of dystopian metaphor of technological survival. By revealing the science fiction reality of today’s surroundings, I hope to make some of our contemporary ideas and advances more unfamiliar, despite how normal they appear on the surface, so we can better understand where we are and where we might be going.

    We often look at science fiction as some kind of distant fantasy, an impossible dystopia, but we are currently living in yesterday’s science fiction.

    Sprechgesang Institute, Homepage Image

    Perhaps with that understanding we can move towards a better future! And speech is part of that shift in focus. You are a co-director of Sprechgesang Institute which is a place for cross-disciplinary creatives to produce new language related to art. What are your hopes for the roles of language and interdisciplinary work?

    Developing an interdisciplinary language is critical to representing our contemporary world because it is so quickly changing both in its foundational ideas but also in its sounds, textures, and tastes. As a collective, Sprechgesang Institute is centered around performance as a medium to conduct cross-disciplinary experimentation, and our projects have ranged from lecture series to dining experiences to internet plays. It has been exciting to work between these nontraditional performative frameworks through the lens of collaboration and reinterpretation. Our members include a cellist, a cheesemonger, a neuroscientist, a journalist, as well as various artists, and the products of our collaborative syntheses are often resonant. Through our explorations of new in-between languages, we are searching for new forms, methods, and approaches to question conventional methods of understanding and meaning making. Recently we discussed topics of mathematics such as cellular automata and pythagorean music in Idio-Maths, a continuation of our experimental lecture series, and we are currently working on a contemporary reinterpretation of Lachrimae, a collection of variations of mourning songs from the 1600s by John Dowland, himself a plague survivor, which seems all too fitting for our current moment of prolonged loss.

    I hope to make some of our contemporary ideas and advances more unfamiliar, despite how normal they appear on the surface, so we can better understand where we are and where we might be going.

    Where we begin and end, ink, soap, water, soil, plastic vials and bubble wands, end table, and sensitive plants (Mimosa pudica), 2015

  • Tuesday, February 01, 2022 9:42 AM | ecoartspace (Administrator)

    The ecoartspace February 2022 e-Newsletter is HERE

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