Posts Tagged "Nature"

Earth’s Reflection March Events 

At the Trolley Barn Gallery, the power of art to inspire change, and foster community engagement is important. The international open call for the Earth’s Reflection exhibition invites artists to explore art, environment, and social justice through these various events:

Lauren Hollick – Studio Visit (March 8)

Lauren Hollick is a Hudson Valley artist and educator who works mostly with upcycled materials. Studios toured her studio at the Cunneen-Hackett Art Center and asked her questions about her artistic practice and personal motivation to create climate change sensitive art. Hollick explained her process of making paper and collecting found objects for her artwork.

Elinor Levy – Guest Speaker, Activity (March 15)

Elinor Levy is a Hudson Valley artist and Folk Arts Program Manager at Arts Mid-Hudson. Levy talked the students through concepts of cultural sustainability and local folklore. They discussed how legends and stories about a place can affect a city just as much as the truth and how a culture can be changed when the narrative about a place changes. Levy led a “Jane’s Walk” around Main Street in Poughkeepsie and the students observed their environment and investigated local meeting spots, abandoned locations and statements of local culture articulated through signage and folklore. The students learned how individual identity can be crafted in response to environment and history. 

Serena Domingues – Workshop (March 16)

Serena Domingues is a Founder of Nature’s Impact – a Poughkeepsie based environmental education organization that curates experimental art installations and holds pop up workshops and activities focused on exploring the connection between humans and nature. Serena put together a workshop to teach the students how to create pinch-pots out of clay. While the students manipulated clay into their desired shapes, Serena explained her practice and professional journey – reminding our students that there is no single, right way to become an artist and start your own business. Serena also spoke about clay, it’s originals and asked the students to speak on how clay makes them feel and think – and how it feels to be connected to the Earth and to use earth as a medium for artmaking. 

Harrison Brisbon-McKinnon – Guest Speaker, Activity (March 16)

Harrison Brisbon-McKinnon is a Vassar student and Art Effect alum who volunteered to give a two part presentation on ownership and identity and how it is informed by a person’s environment. Brisbon-McKinnon spent a large portion of last summer studying Earth Science and technology – holding a weekly workshop to help underrepresented communities gain access to advanced scientific technology. In part one of his presentation, Brisbon-McKinnon introduced the students to concepts of body ownership and consumption. He asked students to image that their bodies were not their own – that they are in fact part of the Earth and part of a bigger system of ecology that may be outside the realm of individual identity. In an exercise, he asked students to delete an app from their phone whose sole purpose was consumerism to empower them to contribute more to the culture, not just ingest what has already been created. In part two of his presentation, he employed an activity similar to the Jane’s Walk the students participated in with Elinor Levy. But for this activity the purpose was to dissect who the building truly belonged to – beyond legal ownership – and what was the purpose of these locations for the community members who patronized them. The students were encouraged to discuss the purpose of these locations and how they would change if their ownership of those locations reflected the community more than capitalistic endeavors. 

Sheri Reid – Guest Speaker (March 29)

Sheri Reid is a environmental justice consultant and Poughkeepsie local. Reid gave a presentation to the students that illustrated the institutional policies that built Poughkeepsie and created the racial and economic divides within the city. Reid’s presentation included maps and demographic information of the city of Poughkeepsie which clearly demonstrated the access (or in access) to reliable FEMA resources considering that the majority of Poughkeepsie is in a flood plain. This presentation sparked lively discussion about institutional racism and different environmental factors that contribute to further disparity between marginalized and non-marginalized communities. 

These events have deepened the understanding of art, environment, and social justice, inspiring a commitment to positive change.The Trolley Barn Gallery is excited to showcase diverse perspectives at Earth’s Reflection, with an opening reception on June 14 from 6 PM to 8 PM. The exhibition will be displayed from June 14 to August 9, 2024, highlighting art’s power to engage and inspire.