The ecoartspace blog features artist profiles and interviews, as well as writings on ecological systems. We are interested in presenting work that our members 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
  • Wednesday, May 01, 2024 9:40 AM | Anonymous

    May 2024 e-Newsletter for subscribers is here

  • Wednesday, May 01, 2024 8:38 AM | Anonymous

    Transmissions in Austin, Texas:  ecoartspace eclipse pop-up event

    Report by Patricia Watts

    For our ecoartspace 2024 annual show, I worked with over twenty-five artists from across the State of Texas to create a pop-up exhibition on the weekend of the solar eclipse in early April, in the path of totality in Austin.

    We’ve only had a handful of members in Texas since 2020, and since this unique celestial event was to happen there, it was an excellent opportunity to explore the work of artists making ecological work in the number one state for energy production (primarily oil) in the US. I wondered: could there be progressive Texas artists who want to make a difference? Well, the answer is definitely yes.

    Jamal Hussain, a new media artist from near Austin, was in Santa Fe for the CURRENTS Festival in June 2023 and reached out for a meeting. He mentioned that he would like to gather an eco focused show. At that moment, the seed was sewn. By August, I started rounding up our then-current Texas members via Zoom. Hussain located the perfect venue for us, Canopy Austin. By the end of last year there were several new Texas members ready to contribute to the Transmissions event.

    By mid-February this year, we had multiple submissions of works by 27 artists, all from Texas, except two who would travel from New York and Boston for the eclipse. Long established artists/members and Houston photographers Krista Leigh Steinke and Erika Blumenfeld were invited to select the show. At least half of the works were lens-based, along with some sculpture, painting, illustration, drawing, sound, installation and video works. With an exciting selection of moving image works, Steinke, Blumenfeld and Hussain proposed to turn the back room into the Cosmos Cinema, a darkened space with seating where visitors could watch a loop of six works under 45 minutes in length.   

    The Cinema featured video works by Steinke, Blumenfeld and Hussain, also included Alyce Santoro, Virginia Lee Montgomery, and Abinati Meza. Houston photographer Jake Eshelman, who contributed two incredible “Luciforms” pigment prints of bioluminescent glow worms for the show, was invited to moderate a panel with the video artists (all except Santoro, former Texas artist now living in New Mexico), where they discussed their featured works. Eshelman stated after the show:

    It was a pleasure to moderate the Cosmos Cinema panel discussion. I thoroughly enjoyed the diversity of the works at the center of our conversation, especially how the featured artists bring such different and complementary perspectives to create fascinating dialogues around our relationships to, with, and within our cosmos. In addition, I was particularly inspired by the generosity of the conversation, as panelists specifically welcomed members of the audience to weigh in with their own ideas and experiences. The atmosphere we collectively created in the room felt very in-step with the spirit during the eclipse, as millions of people in (and beyond) the path of totality took a moment to be together and consider the awe, wonder, and beauty of our world.

    Margaux Crump, Houston artist who contributed two small ethereal pigment prints, also did eclipse tarot readings in the afternoon for a couple hours. When I asked if there was a reoccurring theme in her readings, Crump stated:

    Unfortunately I can't speak to a theme from the readings because my readings are confidential. I can say that eclipses offer opportunities to expand our perspectives and become more conscious of our possible paths forward. Tarot is reflective: as we engage the deck, it mirrors back into us. Like the cards, we are living ecosystems whose inner worlds can be explored through image, symbol, and story. During the eclipse readings, hope spoke louder than grief.

    Outdoors were hanging textile solar works by Samantha Melvin, a sound piece by Andrew Weathers, and an interactive performative solar printmaking activity led by Lubbock artist Carol Flueckiger.

    The pop-up took place during Canopy’s First Saturday monthly event, which meant the place was filled with visitors. Flueckiger took advantage of the attendance and created a collaborative cyanotype in celebration of the upcoming solar eclipse. When I asked her about her expectations and the general interest of participants, Flueckiger stated:

    Expectations for this interactive cyanotype demonstration were to have a shared group celebration of the eclipse by staging a mock sun/moon dynamic. The sunlight created a blue “sunburn” on a large light sensitive fabric (96 x 102 inches). Local collected rocks operated as moons, which blocked the sun from reaching the light sensitive fabric. The effect created a cosmic pattern. Toy bicycles were also added to block the sunlight. The effect was an imaginary bicycle ride through the cosmos. This narrative is a cosmic version of my mixed media bicycle prints about local daily weather forecasts. The results were as surprising and perfectly imperfect as a devised theatre production. The rocks did not disappoint in created a cosmic print. The sun, was shy in its appearance causing us to overexpose the print and lose some of the toy bicycle details. Note for future: sunlight is incredibly powerful on cloudy days. We also learned that the janitor sink at Canopy is a great place to rinse the print to fix the image. And the windy warm day dried the print as it hung on the breezeway railing.

    About a dozen Participants joined in assembling or watching the rocks and bicycles. Together we watched the magical process of cyanotype chemical changing color from yellow to grey during sun exposure. We had fun celebrating the sun and moon dynamic. Our motto during the workshop was: Add Sun, Rocks, water, cyanotype and bicycles to get a cosmic bicycle path of totality. We felt connected to the sun, the moon, the sky and each other as we planned and assembled and exposed this extra-large cyanotype print. It was a great vibe.

    Indoors for four thirty-minute sessions throughout the day, led by Boston artist Faith Johnson, was a somatic meditation work, Arc of Infinity: a meditation on darkness and light. Recalling the event after returning to the east coast, Johnson stated:

    The first meditation and interactive installation was focused on sitting with darkness as mystery and infinite possibilities - a sort of cosmic widening of the lens of consciousness. The second floor installation and meditation was focused on light and calling in what we desire for the future - visioning with hope - from this place of possibility. This is a sort of re-focusing of the lens - the way light brings form into being from the darkness.

    Both Darkness and Light meditations were beautifully attended. Each participant explored personal and collective connection and meaning to the guided meditations. During the darkness meditation one participant saw herself covered with stars, another connected with long gone relatives, and others felt contained as if in amniotic fluid. All seem to feel a gentleness to the guided visualizations. During the light meditation one participant was surprised that she felt more at peace and expansive during the darkness meditation and more anxiety around calling in the future for humanity and the earth, while another participant felt a strong, creative, and hopeful feminine energy. Each individual journey added to the richness of the group and perhaps sparked a new connection to the mystery of change as it arcs through deep time.

    In the early afternoon, we welcomed Cymene Howe, Professor of Anthropology at Rice University in Houston, who is co-editor of the recent publication Solarities. Howe generously gave a passionate reading and following a book signing. You can download a copy of her book, which holds a compilation of intriguing essays about the sun, for free here.

    My own contribution for the event was moon spell cookies and moon milk (made with oat or almond milk with lavender simple syrup) and sun tea (made with the sun and elderberry syrup with spices). Both drinks were garnished with culinary lavender and Santa Fe bee pollen. The cookies, which were handmade (spelt and almond flour) by myself and photo-based artist DM Witman and "revealing the invisible" artist Heather L Johnson, had crushed purple basil on them, a spell for protection.

    It was a full day of inspiration and conversations among eco artists who arrived from areas around Dallas, Houston, Lubbock, McAllen and Austin to participate. I kept hearing members say they felt like it was a conference of sorts. And, of course, this was Saturday, so we took down the show that night and the next morning, then everyone situated themselves around the "hill country" west of Austin to view the total solar eclipse through the cloudy skies on Monday, April 8. It is always spectacular to lose full sunlight in the middle of the day. And I know many of our members in the Midwest and Northeast were able to connect with the light and dark of the cosmos that day.

    I would like to acknowledge and thank Austin photographer Elizabeth Chiles, who opened her home to everyone the night before for pizza. And to say that, I hope all of our members, in areas far and wide, feel encouraged and connected to each other for support in developing their practices to address the ecological issues at hand. I think our Texas cohort is already off and running. 

    To view the entire Transmissions exhibition online, including 88 of our members, go here

    Transmissions from Lisa B. Woods on Vimeo.

  • Monday, April 29, 2024 10:44 AM | Anonymous


    April 29, 2024

    This week we recognize Bia Gayotto, and the evolution of her twenty plus year “place-based” practice examining ideas of interconnectedness between individuals and their environment.

    "The Towers Apartments, 2003 (above) was the first collaborative project I made with members of my community. For seven days, residents of a Pasadena apartment building were invited to create window patterns by turning their lights on (yes) and off (no) based on their answers to a confidential survey, revealing their personal tastes, beliefs and feelings. The light patterns reflect on the relationships between the parts and the whole, and on the importance of individual contribution to collective identity."

     click images for more info

    The Sea Is Not Blue / O Mar Não é Azul, 2009 (above) was shot in Terceira Island in the Azores, which played an important role on the colonization of the “New World”, including Gayotto's birthplace in Southern Brazil. The 3-screen video installation alternates views of the ocean in differing weather conditions from different points around the island, with a series of a hand flicks through photographic images that reveal my process in making the video. The audio juxtaposes sounds of the ocean with voice-over and English captions, expressing the islanders’ relationship to the sea. The work reveals the ocean as a space of interconnected-ness reflecting on issues of migration, identity and place.

    O Grito/The Shout, 2019 (above) was a collaborative project inspired by Maria Felipa de Oliveira, a pioneer black women who fought against the Portuguese colonizer for Brazil’s independence in Itaparica Island, Bahia in 1823. Through multiple perspectives the video shows a group of women performing at the Convento Beach where Maria Felipa lived and fought. These resilient women belong to non-profit organizations that actively work to preserve her memory. The sequences interweave staged and improvised corporeal  movements, with selected sites and natural elements used by Maria Felipa and other women to fight against the Portuguese invaders, including fire, wind, coconut fibers and native plants. In this group performance the women play real and fictional roles, paying homage to a black heroine who was at the forefront of the feminist and #BlackLivesMatter movements in Brazil. "The Shout" celebrates these women's spirit of resistance.

    Forest Whisper, April 8, 2022 - present (above) is a public sound sculpture designed to amplify the rich but often unnoticed sounds of the redwood forest. The idea for this project came after learning that trees emit sounds at very low frequencies, which instilled a desire to listen and learn from them. Inspired by Erika Rothenberg’s 1984 megaphone sculpture that explores freedom of expression, Gayotto decided to make an interactive “mega-scope” that serves both as a megaphone and a naked-eye telescope, to amplify the sounds of the forest and frame its the surrounding beauty. Visitors to Gualala Arts Global Harmony Sculpture Garden in California are invited to place their ear next to the mega-scope’s small opening, close their eyes and pause for a few moments to listen to the forest. By actively listening and interpreting the forest sounds, audiences may feel a sense of peacefulness, and at the same time, reflect on their physical and spiritual connections with trees.

    More than One, 2024 (below) is an experimental video installation features a group of women mushroom foragers living on the Sonoma Coast, who embody the invisible mycelia network below our feet. “More than one” means mycelium in Latin Greek, and refers to the vegetative part of a fungus, consisting of a mass of branching root-like structure. Although invisible, mycelium plays a vital role in decomposing plant material, resisting pathogens, and absorbing water and nutrient. They also help forests absorb carbon pollution, delaying the effects of global warming, and protecting our planet. Like the fungi, women are primary caregivers, helping to care for the well-being of our communities. With an open form— including montage, animation, performance, and a readers choir— the work stimulates sensory and contemplative responses, evoking the relations between wilderness and ecofeminism, activism and desire, above and below. 

    Bia Gayotto is a contemporary multimedia artist, curator and educator who lives/works in The Sea Ranch and Los Angeles, California. Her interdisciplinary practice includes photography, video installations, and books, and combines elements of documentation, fieldwork, performance and collaboration. Gayotto earned an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1996 and her work has been featured in many exhibitions nationally and internationally including Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); Pasadena Museum of California Art; Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA); Fellows of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Breeder Project, Athens, and Museum of Image and Sound, São Paulo, Brazil. She has been the recipient of several awards such as the City of Los Angeles (C.O.L.A) Fellowship, Investing in Artists Grant from Center for Cultural Innovation, Artists' Resource for Completion grants, and Individual Artist Grant from the Pasadena Cultural Affairs. She has participated in artistic residencies worldwide including the Banff Centre, Canada; “Threewalls” in Chicago; AIR Taipei, Taiwan; Lucas Artist Fellow at Montalvo Arts Center, Saratoga and the Sacatar Institute, Bahia, Brazil. To further her investigations Gayotto has curated several projects, including exhibitions including her most recent “Bahia Reverb: Artists & Place” co-organized by the California African American Museum and Art + Practice in Los Angeles. Gayotto has taught at California State University, Los Angeles, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, and University of Southern California, Los

    Image captions (top to bottom): ©Bia Gayotto, The Tower Apartments #4: Do you vote?, 2003, archival pigment photographs, set of seven, 17 3/4 x 40 inches each, made possible in part by the Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission and the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division; The Sea Is Not Blue / O Mar Não é Azul, 2009, 3-channel video installation with sound, TRT 25 min., made with the City of Los Angeles 2008-2009 COLA Individual Artist Fellowship; O Grito/The Shout, 2019, video installation with sound, TRT: 11:30 minute, made possible in part by a support from the Sacatar Foundation; Forest Whisper, 2022
, redwood, 77 x 25 x 23 inches, Gualala Arts Global Harmony Sculpture Garden, California, April 8, 2022 - present; More than One, 2024, video Installation with sound, TRT 11 minites, made with the support of Investing in Artists Grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation; Portrait of the artist.

  • Monday, April 22, 2024 10:03 AM | Anonymous


    April 22, 2024

    This week we recognize Margaret LeJeune, and her decade plus photo-based art practice focused on climate.

    The Female Mariners Project, 2013-2018 (above) investigates the lives of women who live and work on the water. Fueled by research into alternative living situations and environmentally conscious housing, this project started as an exploration of live-aboard sailors but has grown into a multidimensional conversation on gendered space, environmental concerns, and cultural tradition. These images of female captains, crew, watermen, and shipwrights challenge gendered maritime tropes such as the doting and passive mermaid and the dangerous siren.

     click images for more info

    Dart, 2018 (above) is a collaborative video work created with South African artist Hanien Conradie. This film documents a ritual that involves writing poetry on the surface of a river. Exploring notions of communal and ancestral pain as well as the power of the landscape to transform and heal, this work weaves together drone footage with Afrikaans and English audio recordings. This work was exhibited as part of #IAMWATER, an ecoartspace billboard exhibition in New York City in 2021. Dart was created as part of The Ephemeral River - Global Nomadic Art Project sponsored by the Center for Contemporary Art and The Natural World (CCANW), Science Walden / UNIST, YATOO, and the Korean Cultural Centre UK.

    The images in LeJeune's Shifting Halo series, 2019 (above) document how climate change and logging practices are impacting the Boreal Forest. This woodland biome, also known as the Emerald Halo, circles the northern portion of the globe. The photographic works draw attention to the damage caused by clearcutting, including the release of carbon stored in the soil and trees, and the destruction of resident bird habitat. Sound waves of Boreal Chickadee calls punctuate several images in this series to silently echo the depleting number of avian species in this shifting landscape. Shifting Halo was created as part of an artist residency at the University of Notre Dame’s Environmental Research Center (UNDERC).

    LeJeune's durational work, Thoreau’s Sink, 2022 (above) consists of sixty-six lumen prints arranged in a grid pattern. Made over the course of a week-long artist residency at Trout Lake Research Station, this piece documents the species present at Crystal Bog on unfixed photographic paper. These pastel, ephemeral illustrations of mosses, plants, and trees will fade over time. This time-based work is a quiet plea for the protection, conservation, and restoration of one of our most precious landscapes.

    Thirteen Hours to Fall, 2018 - present (below) examines the climate crisis through investigations of contemporary and future littoral zones. This multi-media work includes collage, salted paper prints, video, and sculptural photographic objects. These works ask the viewer to bear witness to the complex history of the mid-Atlantic coast, a landscape dramatically altered by the timber industry, plantation farming practices, and climate change. This interdisciplinary and intersectional project draws from environmental history, geography, and maritime traditions including mapping and way-finding in an effort to define our relationship to this rapidly changing landscape.

    Margaret LeJeune is an image-maker, educator, and curator originally from Rochester, New York (USA). She was named the 2023 Woman Science Photographer of the Year by the Royal Photographic Society. Anchored in photography, her creative practice marries art, science, and environmental studies. Her work has been exhibited internationally including exhibitions at The Griffin Museum of Photography (USA), Rhode Island Center for Photographic Arts (USA), The Center for Fine Art Photography (USA), ARC Gallery (USA), Circe Gallery Cape Town (South Africa), Science Cabin (South Korea), and Umbrella Arts (USA) and is in several collections including the Center for Art+Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art. LeJeune has been invited to participate in several residency programs which foster collaboration between the arts and sciences including the Global Nomadic Art Project, University of Notre Dame Environmental Research Center, Trout Lake Research Station, Huron Mountain Wildlife Foundation - Ives Lake Field Station, and the 2023 Changing Climate Residency at Santa Fe Art Institute. Her work has been published in numerous publications including Lenscratch, Slate, and Culture, Community, and Climate: conversations and emergent praxis from press. She is a founding member of the Women's Environmental Photography Collective and the Vice-Chair of the Society of Photographic Education (SPE).

  • Monday, April 15, 2024 10:14 AM | Anonymous


    April 15, 2024

    This week we recognize Rachel Frank, and her practice combining sculpture, video, and performance to explore our relationships and shifting perspectives towards non-human life forms.

    Sleep of Reason (above) was a series of performances (2010, 2011, 2015) borrowing narratives in Francisco Goya’s Los Caprichos to examine the theatrical/performance implications of abuse as depicted in the Abu Ghraib photographs. Evoking both living sculpture and cinematic picture, staged tableaux vivants featuring beaded masks and sculptural forms are illuminated briefly between almost film-like cuts or void periods of silhouetted blackness, allegorically suggesting the recurrent darkness and repressed animality that underlies the rational and enlightened society of today.

     click images for more info

    In Frank's video, Vapors, 2017 (above) performers wear woolly rhinoceros and woolly mammoth masks appearing in the forests, former mining caves, and ruins of our contemporary landscape, carrying out a philosophical dialogue that connects the figure of the ruin to environmental issues and, more broadly, man’s relationship with nature. The woolly mammoth and woolly rhinoceros are two animals from the last wave of extinctions of Megafauna at the end of the Ice Age, who serve both as mirrors into the past and reminders of the crisis facing related species today. Through a split-screen, the creatures uncannily mirror each other in out of synch movements, sharing both their displacement from their proper epoch and their isolation as the last of their kind.

    For two weeks in June and July of 2016, Frank was artist-in-the wilderness at The Innoko National Wildlife Refuge in Western Alaska. The Alaska Park Service offers unique stewardship-based artist residencies that work with parks and wildlife refuges and grant access to remote and protected areas, which most people do not get to see firsthand. The Refuge was significant to her projects with Rewilding because of the 2015 reintroduction of a population of Wood Bison into the Innoko region, which marked the first time in over a century this species has lived in the United States.

    Sentinel Offering Kernos: Woodcock, Oysters, Lichen, 2021 (above) is a large-scale ceramic interpretation of an ancient Greek ringed offering vessel, whose cups held offerings of grain. In Frank's interpretation, the kernos’ cups are envisioned in the forms of three local indicator species, whose health or absence offer early signals of environmental change. When filled with grain or water, birds and insects can find nourishment here. The kernos offers a haven, encouraging new ceremonies of ritual and community, inclusive of the local Greek community in Astoria, whose ancestors originated the kernos form.

    Sentinel Lekythos: Ibis (Unraveling Installation), 2023 (below) is also an offering vessel, a ceramic interpretation of the lekythos, which is a narrow ancient Eurasian vessel associated with funeral rites and loss. This piece considers several sentinel or indicator species, whose health or absence offer an early indication of environmental changes to an ecosystem such as pollution or climate change. Ibis migrate annually through New York City. As a sentinel species, they are susceptible to climate changes to their habitats and the accumulation of pollutants due to their feeding habits in coastal sediments. Straddling both the land and the sea, mangroves protect against erosion and storm surges while providing a protective ecosystem for fish and crustaceans. Ceramic oyster shells sculpted to resemble talismans of climate protection are included in this piece. Oyster beds which are actively being rebuilt in NYC are an important filter species which clean water and can protect coastlines during extreme weather events. Surrounding the offering vessel are hand-designed and printed fabric, hand-cast glass and bronze depicting parts of birds, plants, and cast body parts.

    Rachel Frank's practice combines sculpture, video, and performance to explore our relationships and shifting perspectives towards non-human life forms, investigating how past species, rituals, and objects can shape our environmental future. Her current work explores liminality in nature: air and land, ocean and shoreline, the migratory movements of tidal and pelagic species. The transformative malleability of materials such as bronze, glass, and clay, all of which undergo a process of heating, melting, and liquefying before reaching their final states, serve to reinforce in the viewer the changes in nature and state. Through use of these mediums, her practice explores the radical restoration of species and landscapes through “Rewilding” and more broadly, both the resiliency of ecosystems and their fragility. Frank lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She is the recipient of grants from The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, The Puffin Foundation, and Franklin Furnace Archive. Her performance pieces have been shown at HERE, Socrates Sculpture Park, The Select Fair, and The Bushwick Starr in NYC, The Marran Theater at Lesley University, Franconia Sculpture Park (MN), and at The Watermill Center in collaboration with Robert Wilson. Recent solo and two-person exhibitions include MOCA Tucson (AZ), the SPRING/BREAK Art Show (NYC), Thomas Hunter Projects at Hunter College (NYC), Standard Space (Sharon, CT), and Geary Contemporary (NYC). She works as a licensed wildlife rehabilitator at the Wild Bird Fund in Manhattan.

    Featured images (top to bottom):  © Rachel Frank, Sleep of Reason, 2010 2011, 2015, Performances, Written and Directed by Rachel Frank, Sets and Costumes by Rachel Frank;Vapors, 2017, Single-channel HD video, 8 minutes, 27 seconds, Written and Directed by Rachel Frank, Performed by Rachel Frank, Ben Lee, and Stephen Tateishi; Rewilding Residency, Innoko National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska; Sentinel Offering Kernos: Woodcock, Oysters, Lichen, 2021, stoneware ceramic, glazes, steel, epoxy, and spray paint with native plant species, 50 x 43 x 44 inches, Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City, NY, October 2, 2021 – March 20, 2022;Sentinel Lekythos: Ibis (Unraveling Installation), 2023, stoneware ceramic and glazes, fabric, rope, zip-ties, acrylic rod, bronze, and glass, size variable, approximately 27 x 48 x 32 inches; portrait of the artist.

  • Monday, April 01, 2024 10:21 AM | Anonymous

    April 2024 e-Newsletter for subscribers is here

  • Monday, April 01, 2024 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    Breathing Air that Breathes Back: Visiting Lucia Monge’s “Mientras Una Hoja Respira/ While a Leaf Breathes”
    at Hampshire College, Amherst, MA

    Review by Olivia Ann Carye Hallstein

    Exiting the city to arrive on a peaceful green campus, scattered with students, feels like an entrance into a completely different world. Having been used to stimulation on every corner, I suddenly experienced my body quieting and listening more deeply. It is as if I am tuning into the whispers of leaves fluttering above and the grass pushed towards the earth by my feet. I land in brief conversations with students asking about Lucia Monge’s exhibition on campus. My walk to the gallery is much like a trickling stream finding its way through a rock-studded decline in search of a body of water to join.

    And when I do arrive in this brutalist building and make my way down the stairs, I am struck by the contrast in the linear concrete framing of the gallery compared to the soft, natural structures of Lucia’s sculptures and their accompanying palm trees. Unlike the concrete that surrounds the work, Lucia has created a completely decomposing set of material reflections on stomata. On the wall in writing, the deep relationship between Lucia’s multi-national life as a Peruvian-U.S. American is paired with reflections on vulnerability and the interrelatedness of all beings. This concrete enclosure begins to feel more like a cocoon or the outer walls of a plant cell that protects the complex and delicate structures beneath it. On the wall, it reads:

    “Stomata- the pores through which the plants breathe – exchange air with their environment…The plant risks losing life-giving water when opening … for me, stomata have become portals between life and death.” – Lucia Monge

    Before me, an egg-like structure built with macramé, natural twine, rice paper dyed with turmeric, and straw reeds sits expectantly. Behind a family of palm trees, I am almost voyeuristic in my expedition into the gallery rooms, where I am confronted with larger-than-life representations of a proportionately microscopic subject. The feathery leaves hug my vantage point as the light streams from above. I venture toward the structure, sitting on the ground. Realizing only after changing my perspective that it is both I and the eye that awaits me that are observers of each other. Sands at its base disperse my thoughts as the textured living core lined with turkeytail mushrooms observes my presence as I do this object. I am reminded of my daily exchanges and the vulnerability that Lucia describes: how, when entering the world each day, I also enter into an exchange of give and take, a bartering of water for carbon, that is essential to both living and community. The eye acts as a quiet reminder that what I think I know is only a perspective.

    Turning around, I encounter a dancing river of figures made from bioplastics, turmeric, and logwood-dyed cotton, and recycled paper flying over a delicate island of what I believe is white limestone. They sway in conversation, revealing soft and structured textures based on Lucia’s careful observations of plant cell patterns. Shimmering and welcoming me into the remaining space, I dance around the work, mimicking how the objects dance around each other, revealing new relationships between them. Colors and forms balance and glide as if these static forms were moving. I am met with a calm and playful tone and am surprised to discover an object hidden at the end of this twirling iridescent river.  

    As if exiting a forest enclosure, a family of palm trees shelters a plush object laying on the ground before it. A closed stomata is guarded, yet perhaps the most vulnerable object portrayed. Surrounding the piece are macramé  dream-weavers capturing my thoughts and impressions. I stop short and allow an aching in my heart to reveal itself, knowing the irony of a soft outer shell that acts as limited armor in guarded times. It is feminine and kind, although closed and protective, so different from the first object, which was open, guarded, but “vulnerable” in a literal sense. Peaceful, like a corpse laid to rest, I remember that all of its materials will reintegrate into the earth and replenish the life-giving soils that nourish us in return. 

    Exiting this meditation on co-existence, I reenter the chilly landscape sprinkled with the beginnings of spring. I am greeted on my way back by a large sign on the wall of a neighboring building that echoes Lucia’s mystical portrayal of the invisible: “To Know is Not Enough.” Sent into the remaining day, I think about the stomata that lives within each of us and the importance of breathing through it all.

  • Monday, March 04, 2024 7:37 AM | Anonymous


    March 4, 2024

    This week we recognize    Madelaine Corbin, and a decade of her  multi-disciplinary works in drawing, fiber arts, installation, sculpture, and writing/prose.

    Artist statement:

    "A fleck of ash, drop of blue, grain of salt, speck of dust, and particle of soil—a constellation of meaning is composed from these elements. My practice earnestly endeavors to listen to, translate, and contextualize the conversation between the vibrancy of matter sensed by our fingertips and the expansive questions cultivated by the equally vast universe around. Spaces that invite wonder and interdisciplinary research coalesce to question the quotidian materials accepted as normal, when few things are actually so. Dirt, salt, and dust are not so simple. Interminable investigations into subterranean histories, values, politics, sciences, fictions, and natural phenomena re-evaluate the inherent meanings embedded in matter[1]. Using my own relationship to ecology[2] rooted in a valley town in Oregon as a starting point, I articulate the complexity and range of relationships to the land beneath our feet, that which once was, and that which will never be." 

     click images for more info

    "My practice is an archaeological[3] journey to unearth, question, and mend the space between home and land, human and non-human, “wild” and “managed” landscapes, and the connection to one another through geographic distance. In a recent series, text, soil, and weeds[4] re-contextualize and de-/re-construct the context of natural materials to better understand notions of home, land, and belonging through the lenses of native, invasive, poisonous, and medicinal characterizations of plants. Metaphors transmit meaning between humans and plants through the il/legality of growing here versus there, there versus here. Text is reversed to decentralize a singular vantage point into many and for many. The desire for a fixed object to exist in perpetuity is both accomplished and evaded as the work realigns with geologic, cyclical, and seasonal time and asks to be tended and maintained while it learns to exist in its own rhythms. The work evolves. The work requires care. At once, the work is both ephemeral and a window into a possible forever."

    "With eco-tragedies already defining the 21st century—the swelling seas losing their blue to acidification, the tone-deaf colonization of terrain beyond repair, the decapitation of mountains for minerals and other resources[5]—how can we rehabilitate communal imagination with urgency? With the information embedded in matter and history, can we speculate about possible futures? If dirt is the common denominator of our shared experience[6], how can it be made not only audible but made mentor[7]? These questions, and the pursuit of their answers, define the trajectory of my practice. It is my sincere hope that together we can learn to read the earth, establish a nonviolent ecological order, and share a vision of the future."


    [1] When listened to, substance dictates significance.

    [2] The etymological root of “ecology” combines house, dwelling, or habitation with the study of (and, specifically, the study of the relationship between living things and their environments). It is through the graying of this space between home and environment that my practice is catalyzed.

    [3] Archaeology in the sense that it is the opposite of industrial construction—as time read backwards. This is a concept articulated best by JB Jackson, writer and sketch artist in landscape design. Lucy Lippard adds contextual notes on this in her book, Undermining: A Wild Ride through Land Use, Politics, and Art in the Changing West.

    [4] At least, plants currently considered “weeds” until they prove useful to humans or are reclassified as endangered.

    [5] Lucy Lippard writes of these eco-tragedies in Undermining: A Wild Ride through Land Use, Politics, and Art in the Changing West.

    [6] As it has been since long before we listened to it. Rebecca Solnit explains dirt in this way in her collection of essays, As Eve Said to the Serpent.

    [7] “The microcosm as mentor to the macrocosm” is a concept written about by Wendell Berry.

    "The phenomena of everyday magic—things that seem simple—are anything but. Dirt, salt, dust, and blue are immensely complex worlds. My work unfolds these complexities, examines them, and then conceptually stitches them back together. My work exists at the interstice of science, fiber craft, and writing. My goal is to gently mend empathic relationships between the climate crisis and ourselves. Instead of alarmism, softness. Instead of disembodied statistics about the rise of seas and temperature, embodied understanding—putting hands in soil, watching color change in the sun, listening to a cave’s echo. The approach is urgent. It reinstates sensitivity over numbness, listening over being told, hope over apathy."

    Madelaine Corbin        is a multidisciplinary artist based primarily in Oregon in the United States. Corbin received an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Fiber and BFA from Oregon State University. Her research-based practice moves fluidly between drawing, writing, sculpture, textiles, and natural dyeing. Corbin’s work is informed by her participation in the New York Arts Practicum, immersive study in Greece, and as an artist-in-residence and research assistant in a chemistry lab where she helped to synthesize and characterize a new blue. Corbin recently authored The Stuff of Everyday Magic, a book about her research adventures into the color blue. Her work has been supported in the form of residencies at the Oak Spring Garden Foundation, The Bloedel Reserve Creative Residency in Research, Prairie Ronde Artist Residency, Pine Meadow Artist Residency, and The League of Stars. Corbin’s work has been recognized by awards including a fellowship to attend Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in 2019, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz Emerging Artist Award bestowed by Cranbrook Academy of Art, Honorable Mention for the 2020 Dorothy Waxman International Textile Design Award, and the 2020 Redmond Design Prize. In 2022-2023, Corbin was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to pursue a research and arts project about textile traditions and contemporary craft in Greece.

    Featured images (top to bottom): ©Madelaine Corbin, Colony Collapse Disorder, 2014-2015; Mobile Color Laboratory, 2016-2017; From Above, For Below (we share a center), 2018; Did They Not Tell You That You Are A Protector, 2019; A Moon In A Meadow, In A Moon, 2023; portrait of the artist.

  • Friday, March 01, 2024 10:06 AM | Anonymous

    March 2024 e-Newsletter for subscribers is here

  • Friday, March 01, 2024 9:11 AM | Anonymous

    Krista Leigh Steinke, Still-frame (00:01:26) from Sun Notations, 2018 (excerpt),10 min. theatre version | 16 min. installation loop

    Bright Horizons from Celestial Views

    Krista Leigh Steinke and Erika Blumenfeld on the upcoming Transmissions event in Austin Texas and the eclipse on April 8th

    interviews by Olivia Ann Carye Hallstein

    Krista Leigh Steinke and Erika Blumenfeld elaborate on their individual relationships as artists to the sun and the moon, the cosmos. Whether the sun itself becomes the manifestation of time and spatial dimensions as it does in Krista’s work, or a larger expression of deep inquiry and interrelatedness across the atmospheric expanse as in Erika’s work, both artists share an intricate understanding of the “somatic point of departure” that the events will capture. Both working with photographic imaging and documentation, their reflections interplay the illuminating shared space that the events will foster with deep contemplation.

    Krista and Erika were invited by ecoartspace to review artworks submitted by Texas artists and other members coming to Texas for the eclipse, for inclusion in Transmissions. Their own work will also be on display. 

    Transmissions is a one-day event that will take place on Saturday, April 6th from 11am to 8pm, at Canopy Austin, at 916 Springdale Road, in Austin, Texas.

    For more information GO HERE

    Krista Leigh Steinke, Sunspots and Slides, 2017-ongoing, archival pigment prints or sub-dye aluminum prints, sizes vary

    What are you most looking forward to during the upcoming Transmissions events?

    Krista: It will be interesting to observe the nuanced interplay among the diverse artworks showcased in the Transmissions exhibition, which will definitely inspire various conversations throughout the day. Mostly, I’m excited to be part of a community of artists, academics, enthusiasts, and the general Texas audience, all united in their shared interest in engaging in a meaningful dialogue centered around the sun and solar/lunar phenomena.

    Erika: What I’m most looking forward to is seeing all the selected artworks together and in communication with each other in the Transmissions exhibition, especially as a meditation on and celebration of the total solar eclipse that will occur over Austin skies two days after the ecoartspace pop-up event.

    The artworks, in a way, share individual methods of having received a transmission. In thinking of light transmission specifically, and the conveyance of how light acts during an eclipse event, we, in essence, become the medium through which the light passes. In this way, the artworks together also become a conceptual act of transmitting a response back to the sun.

    Krista Leigh Steinke, from: Time Scraps From the Universe, 2020 - in-progress

    Quite a transmission in itself! Krista, your pinhole photographs also reflect on being a transmissions medium between our planet and the sun. For example, in your work Sun Notations and Sun Mapping you track the movements of the planet around the sun to reveal interconnectedness across space. How do you relate to this moment of transition at the eclipse?

    Krista: The mystery of light and the passage of time is a thread that runs through much of my work. My video “Sun Notations” for example, that will be featured in the exhibition, took over five years to create. The experimental video animates over 50 pinhole solar-graphs that capture the pathway of the sun rising and setting over time, with exposures that lasted one hour up to an entire year. My homemade cameras, which sometimes contain multiple pinholes, are rotated throughout the exposure, so the rhythm of the sun’s movement becomes like a mark-making system, similar to the routine of crossing days off a calendar. Some of the exposures were taken in Texas and some in New York State. So, in this work, temporal and spatial dimensions literally expand, merge, and overlap. Incidentally, one of the animations in this piece was created during the 2017 eclipse.

    Undoubtedly, the 2024 eclipse symbolizes a unique juncture in the continuum of time. In April, the actual eclipse of the sun will unfold over just a few minutes and these few minutes will not occur again for another twenty years here in North America. I love thinking about how on this day, people will be pausing from their daily routine to focus on the sun. The event, for me, is a gentle reminder that we all share the same star at the center of our solar system. The sun is a thread that ties our past to our present and an important reminder that we are part of something much larger.

    Erika Blumenfeld, Light Leaks Variation No. 13 (meditation on evolution), 1999, 56 4×5-inch Type 59 Polaroid film, 72 clear pushpins, 31.25″ x 34.25″, Installation view: Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland, Oregon, Solo Exhibition, 2001, Collection: The Polaroid Collection

    That is beautiful. In fact, this common thread is a theme in both of your work, though your documentation approaches differ. Erika, you take a research-based documentary approach to examining natural phenomena such as this eclipse. What natural spaces are you taking inspiration from at this time? And how are you approaching them?

    Erika: Our ability to empathize with our ecological spaces is only as deep as we are willing to be fully present within them. To listen, to feel, and to sense them. While the idea of ecological archiving may at first sound like a scientific pursuit, humans physiologically evolved in relationship to these natural ecologies, and our interrelatedness is activated through our senses and embodied experiences. For me, this connectedness has material, experiential, and spiritual grounding. Archiving the ecological requires that one is part of that ecology with all our senses as witness.

    My work draws inspiration from the endless variations of natural phenomena that we can encounter in our natural world, and this curiosity and wonder extends first to our Earth and then to everything our planet is connected to across the cosmos.

    Erika Blumenfeld, Detail of Plate No. A12855 (Large Magellanic Cloud), From the portfolio Tracing Luminaries, 2022, Paper: 14 3/4 x 17 inches, Plate: 11 ¼ x 9 inches, Edition of 8

    My current projects are investigating these topics in multiple ways and through diverse mediums. My primary focus currently is with my Earthlight project, in which I am building a custom imaging system to send to the International Space Station to image the light of Earth from space and create a holistic portrait of Earth as light. With the Earthlight project, my goal is to tell a story of our world written in the language of light. Every planet has its own light signature, called albedo.

    Albedo is the direct relationship between the planet’s material composition and its home star. Earth’s luminosity holds the literal and poetic imprint of everything our Sun’s incoming rays have interacted with—everything that makes up our dynamic, interconnected biosphere that we are a part of. The project is an art, science, technology, and space activities collaboration that will produce albedo image data to benefit climate science and to create visualization artworks for the public. I am also working on new Light Recordings works documenting the upcoming total solar eclipse as well as the aurora borealis in the Arctic. Finally, I’ve been supporting NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Sample Return Mission by leading the high-resolution archival documentation imaging of the remarkable rocks from the asteroid Bennu that have recently been returned to Earth.

    Erika Blumenfeld, Astromaterials 3D project, a virtual library for exploration and research of NASA’s space rock collections (Credit: NASA/Astromaterials 3D)

    Wow, I had no idea about this! That is very exciting.  It also includes topics of both light and time that play important roles in your practice as well, Krista. How will you interpret the events?

    Krista: This relates closely to my choice to work in lens- based media. The word “Photography” means to draw with light, a recurring concept in my work. I am interested in how the sun and photo media are both conduits for light and time. Still photography can capture a single moment while moving images have the ability to document or record an experience. As mentioned above with “Sun Notations”, I feel like exciting results can happen when these qualities merge.

    On the day of the eclipse, I am planning on setting up 4-5 cameras that will be tasked to take timelapse videos, pinhole exposures, and sequenced still images of the eclipse. Most likely, the results will end up somehow combined into one project. Looking forward to seeing all the magnificent images from around the globe that will be captured that day.

    Thank you both for a mind-expanding interview! I look forward to following the upcoming event and different interpretations that are inspired by them. 

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software