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Nurturing Nature at Concordia College’s OSilas Gallery, Bronxville, NY
February 10, 2011 @ 8:00 am - April 16, 2011 @ 5:00 pm
Above: Xavier Cortada
Endangered World: Eastern Hemisphere drawings (0- 179E)
180 drawings, each 9″ x 12″, pencil on paper
Artists and the Environment
Nurturing Nature, a group show co-curated by Amy Lipton and Patricia Miranda at Concordia College’s OSilas Gallery premieres Cortada’s 180 pencil drawings of endangered animals struggling to survive across the 180 degrees of our planet’s Eastern Hemisphere.
Xavier Cortada’s drawings are part of his “Endangered World” project which has addressed global biodiversity loss through art installations at the South Pole (2007), North Pole (2008), Holland (2009) and Biscayne National Park (2010) and through online participatory art projects through www.endangeredworld.org.
Visitors who come to the Nurturing Nature exhibit are encouraged to adopt one of the 180 featured animals by engaging in eco-actions. Because we are all interconnected (even with species half a world away), our local actions can have global impact.
Exhibit visitors are asked to reclaim their front lawns for nature by bringing home and planting one of the 180 Atlantic White Cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides) in Cortada’s installation at the exhibit. Planting Atlantic White Cedar, once used by American pioneers to build log cabins, can help regrow native canopies today.
Reclamation Project: Atlantic Cedar Installation
180 Atlantic White Cedar saplings in clear, water-filled cups arranged as grid on gallery window
For the past several decades environmentalists have foreseen an impending disaster of epic proportions if and when the planet becomes truly unable to sustain life. The artists in this exhibition are focused on healing our relationship with the living eco-system, recognizing that our very existence depends upon its survival. Their works attempt to bridge the gap between art and life by raising an appreciation of the natural world and by engaging in a collaborative or nurturing process with nature. This exhibition will focus on various spiritual or ethical traditions in relationship to our care of the planet, what Christianity terms “stewardship”, Tikkun Olam or “repair the world” in Judaism and in Buddhism, “compassion for all sentient beings”.
There is no more important and pressing issue today than the future of our global environment. The artists will present works that focus on the healing and reverence of our planet in both a physical and metaphysical sense. The theme is a synthesis of our post-Newtonian age with earlier or proto-scientific ages, referencing an even more ancient prehistoric time when art and nature were not so clearly distinct from one another.
Amy Lipton, Co-founder, Ecoartspace, and
Patricia Miranda, Director, OSilas Gallery
Thursday until 7:30pm
Saturday & Sunday: 2pm–5pm
Lectures, receptions, and films are free and open to public. No reservations are required. Ample, free parking is available on the Concordia College campus.
For more information about these exhibits, please click here or contact Gallery Director Patricia Miranda at 914-337-9300, x2173.
OSilas Gallery’s group show premieres Xavier Cortada’s Endangered World drawings:
The Nurturing Nature exhibit will be the first to display 180 pencil drawings by Xavier Cortada based on the 360 endangered animals originally featured in the artist’s 2008 North Pole installation, and again, in 2009, in Holland’s Endangered World: Life Wall.
In 2009, Cortada created drawings of the 180 “Endangered World” animals struggling to survive on our planet’s eastern hemisphere and, as a performative work, assumed the identity of the animal by uploading those images online as self-portraits on his facebook profile photo.
“Endangered World: Facebook (*2009)”
During 2009, the following 180 images were posted at the artist’s facebook profile photo.
“I’ll draw an endangered animal from each of Earth’s 360° and upload it as my facebook profile image. By assuming the animal’s identity on this social networking site, I aim to show the ultimate interconnection: What endangers one species endangers all, including our own.”
Gallery visiitors will be able to participate in Xavier Cortada’s “Endangererd World: Life Wall, an eco-art project he launched at the Hunebed Center in the Netherlands’ Drenthe Province. The installation depicts participants’ online contributions to the project.
Through eco-actions, participants “adopt” one of the 360 endangered animals featured in Xavier Cortada’s “Endangered World: Life Wall.”
On a found stone, participants paint the longitude of the animal they’ve adopted. They keep their marked stone in a conspicuous place (e.g., a paperweight on your desk) as a daily reminder of the sustainable practice they’ve promised to engage in support of their adopted animal. (See participants’ photos.)
Endangered World: Life Wall
Installation of eco-actors’ participation (photo images of marked stones inside sealed, clear, plastic bags; each aligned by the longitude where their adopted animal struggles for survival), 2010.
Although we are using stones to build it, our Endangered World: Life Wall is a different kind of sculpture than the one I built in Holland.. I see this one primarily as a “social sculpture” –a term coined by artist Joseph Beuys (“every one is an artist”). The wall is erected as every participant artist performs an eco-action on behalf of an endangered animal living along one of Earth’s 360 longitudes.
This is not to say that our Life Wall cannot also have a physicality. The wall is, after all, made of stones — each hand-pained by the participant with the longitude where their “adopted” animal struggles for survival.
Our wall isn’t vertical, though. The stones — placed in conspicuous locations (e.g., on top of a desk or night stand) as a daily reminders of the eco-action pledged by participants on behalf of their endangered species — lie flat on a plane across South Florida. And beyond. Indeed, the Life Wall is as large as the farthest distance (think globally) between the two closest stones.
Much like electrons are contained in an atom, I envision our stones are held together as a “wall” across these vast distances by the force of each participant’s eco-actions. The more participants engage in sustainable practices, the stronger the bond.
The stronger our Life Wall.
— Xavier Cortada
About Atlantic White Cedar
- Chamaecyparis thyoides
Atlantic white cedar
Evergreen, aromatic tree with narrow, pointed, spirelike crown and slender, horizontal branches. Atlantic white-cedar is a columnar, evergreen tree, 40-75 ft. high, (often taller in the wild), with short, ascending branches and blue-green, scale-like leaves on twigs spreading in a fan-like manner. At maturity, the trunk is devoid of branches for 3/4 of its length. Bark is ashy-gray to reddish-brown.
Ancient logs buried in swamps have been mined and found to be well preserved and suitable for lumber. Pioneers prized the durable wood for log cabins, including floors and shingles. During the Revolutionary War, the wood produced charcoal for gunpowder. One fine forest is preserved at Green Bank State Forest in southern New Jersey. As an ornamental, this species is the hardiest of its genus northward.
Size Class: 36-72 ft.
Fruit Type: Cone
Leaf Color: Green
Fruit Color: Bluish
Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: None
Soil Description: Moist, sandy soil.
Conditions Comments: This species thrives in a cool, moist atmosphere where it is protected from drying winds. It is relatively free of serious disease or insect problems and not susceptible to apple-cedar rust. It does not compete with hardwood species.
Description: Seed germination is usually low, due in part to poor seed quality, and also to embryo dormancy. Softwood or semi-hardwood cuttings are the principal means of propagation.
Seed Collection: Cones mature in Sept. and Oct. at the end of the first growing season. Each cone scale bears from 1-5 winged seeds.
Seed Treatment: Warm-moist stratify for 30 days then stratify 30 more days at 40 degrees. A cool-moist stratification alone may improve germination also.
Commercially Avail: yes