Tree Talk: Artists Speak For Trees
Thursday, November 19
10am PT, 11am MT, 12pm CT, 1pm ET
EUROPE: Scotland/Ireland/England:18:00 GMT, Belgium/Germany/Spain: 19:00 UTC
Kim Abeles, Joshua Kochis, Linda MacDonald, Carolyn Monastra
The beauty and mystery of trees has long been a subject for artists, and more recently, concern for the survival of forests (the lungs of our planet) has been paramount. Each month, artists working in a diversity of media share their artworks and ideas about these most essential and extraordinary living beings. Additionally, guest speakers including scientists, writers and activists are invited to present their work and contribute to the dialogue.
Tree Talk is moderated by Sant Khalsa, ecofeminist artist and activist, whose work has focused on critical environmental and societal issues including forests and watersheds for four decades.
Co-sponsored by Joshua Tree Center for Photographic Arts
Members and one guest are free. General Public can attend for a $10. Capacity is 100 participants. All participants MUST REGISTER.
photo by Tony Pinto
Kim Abeles will present an overview of her projects that include charting trees in the urban environment, documenting research species as fabric "Breathing Trees", and large-scale installations like "Leaf Lounge (All the World's Trees)”. Permanent public art that she has created include "Illuminated Fig Leaves", and two works currently in fabrication: human-size "Citizen Seeds" along the hiking trail called Park to Playa, and "Sky Leaves" that climb along a building’s exterior.
Abeles’ artwork speaks to society, science literacy, and civic engagement, creating projects with groups ranging from health departments to air pollution control agencies. Recent NEA-funded projects involved a residency at the Institute of Forest Genetics; and, Valises for Camp Ground in collaboration with Camp 13, a group of female prison inmates who fight wildfires. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, J. Paul Getty Trust Fund, and her documents are archived at the Center for Art + Environment. kimabeles.com
Image: ©Kim Abeles, Citizen Seeds, 2020, Terrazzo, Concrete, Bronze and Zinc, variable size 4' - 8', Commissioned by Los Angeles County Arts and Culture
Linda MacDonald will discuss, in brief, the unique characteristics of redwood trees and their role in the logging industry of California. She will show images of her work from the past decades as she has been influenced by these trees and their role in the local economy. She lives in the “Redwood Empire” and was inspired to investigate the trees during the Timber Wars of the late 1980s. She uses humor as a foil to present difficult subjects to the public but her recent work portrays the beauty of the giant redwoods protected within State and National parks.
MacDonald grew up in the Bay Area of California, attending San Francisco State University where she received her B.A. and M.F.A. in art. She slowly migrated north in the 1970s to live closer to the land and acquire handicraft skills of simple living. She embraced the medium of fiber while continuing with painting and drawing. She taught in public schools, art centers and universities before retiring and now maintains a studio in Mendocino County. The redwood tree and environmental issues of California continue to be her focus. lindamacdonald.com
Image: ©Linda MacDonald, The Wonder Tree, 2018, oil on panel, 8 x 8 inches
Joshua Kochis will talk about putting trees back together, as if it were that simple. He will compare making work inside and outside and try to split the difference. Josh might go on about drawing a piece of bark as a good way to get to know the Red Oak or London Plane, and think out loud about how things grow to the size of their containers. He will probably mention subterraneans and definitely use the word vista more than once.
Kochis grew up in the suburban forests of Southeast Michigan. He has always had busy hands. He can often be found wandering in the woods, climbing trees and digging things up from the ground. His practice is focused on creating images, objects, and installations in collaboration with the natural world. He received his BFA from the University of Michigan School of Art & Design in 2015, and is currently living and working in Detroit, MI. jakvista.com
Image: ©Joshua Kochis, View of Things You Step On II, 2018, mixed media on panel, 18” D
Carolyn Monastra is a Brooklyn-based artist/photographer who's work stems from her deeply-felt connections to the land. She will speak about the trajectory of her arboreal work from her constructed images in The Dominion of Trees to her dreamy twilit exposures in lovely, dark and deep, ending with photographs from The Witness Tree and Divergence of Birds – her recent projects about climate change and the threat of species extinction.
Monastra is an artist, activist and educator who received her MFA in photography from The Yale School of Art. For twenty years her work has focused on creating and discovering mystery in the natural world. Artist residencies include Blue Mountain Center, the Djerassi, Saltonstall, and Ucross Foundations. A 2009 residency at Skaftfell Visual Arts Center in Iceland inspired her to begin focusing on one of the most critical environmental and social issues of our time – climate change. carolynmonastra.com
Image: ©Carolyn Monastra, lovely, dark and deep #41 (detail), 2008, digital c-print, 30 x 40"