la Napoule, France
The way we consume plastic has become pervasive
all over this world. In quiet ways, the material passes through
our lives with little or no attention to where it goes after
it passes through our sphere. It is familiar, too familiar,
so that is has distorted our notions of value and waste.
This series explores the common ways which
plastic passes through our lives. The situations are familiar
to us all, even as the environments may be foreign. “Transportation”
is represented by a dug out canoe traveling through the Okavango
Delta in Botswana. A “Restaurant” is a street
stall in Mandalay, Burma. The “Toystore” is on
a boat in the floating market in the Mekong Delta, and “Housing”
is a lakeside community made of recycled material in Cambodia.
The range of situations reflects how wide spread our consumption
of plastic really is.
right: Restaurant - Burma, Housing - Cambodia,
Transportation - Botswana. Watermedia, oil and found plastic
collage on repurposed foamcore
Learn about the Plastic
Plastic Ocean is an
interactive installation used to engage participants about
the problems presented by plastic. It explores how single
use plastics are polluting our bodies and trashing the planet,
while questioning misplaced notions of disposability.
"Do You See What I See"
Themed Residency at the Clews Center for the Arts in Southern
France, October - November 2012
Dedicated to preserving the legacy of
Henry and Marie Clews and promoting art that serves the greater
good, La Napoule Art Foundation seeks to nurture and inspire
artistic talent, while fostering the creative process as a
means of advancing international understanding. The Fall 2012
residency & exhibition will challenge accomplished artists
to create a work or body of work designed intentionally to
appeal to children. While intended to engage this younger
audience, showcased works will be created with the same technical
expertise, aesthetic rigor and emotional power of fine art
exhibited for adults. The artists’ goal will be to transcend
Support provided by the Puffin Foundation
more about the problem of Ocean Gyres & Garbage Patches
right: Alewives - Blue Whale Family: plastic
collage on watercolor paintings
Installing work at La Napoule - photo:
Nourish is a multifaceted project which seeks to
understand the way we grow and consume food.
Starting with the impacts of our industrial
food machine, a series of paintings were created to explore
the environmental consequences of imposing ourselves on the
land. As a counterpoint to the problems caused by industrial
agriculture, solutions are presented through educational works
about developing technologies built around the ideas of sustainable
agriculture. The third arm of this project reflects on the
resilience demonstrated by people around the world who are
finding ways to maintain traditions in the face of a globalization
which tears at the social fabric of our communities.
Installation at the Ghetto
December 2013 - Port-Au-Prince, Haiti
Through the common language of food, we can explore creative
skills demonstrated by women in the Grand Rue neighborhood.
Food prepared slowly, with love, offers comfort and empowerment
to those who are nourished by it. It is a cultural foundation,
maintained primarily by women, which acts as a strong glue
that holds community together in ways that maintain an important
sense of identity. By following individual women on their
paths of procuring and preparing the nourishment, I aspire
to make visible these acts of love which are often overlooked.
As we prepare traditional meals together, I would like to
learn from the women who demonstrate love through nourishment.
Through the Biennial, we will host performative dinners which
will be the foundation for discourse on traditional and sustainable
food models as practiced in Port Au Prince. In the process,
I will be recording the traditional preparation methods in
order to preserve their wisdom. The final installation will
include transcribed recipes interspersed with portrayals of
the women who maintain food traditions as well as an interpretation
of the histories out of which these traditions grow.
Small scale solutions & emerging technologies
of Thatcher Gray
A Year in Grandpa's Garden
seeks to educate children with solutions to some of today’s
biggest environmental problems which are caused by the industrial
food machine. This body of work follows the development of
a permaculture garden by Thatcher Gray and Grandpa. Important
solutions stem from growing food in a sustainable way that
involves the next generation. Exploring the importance of
composting, gray water recycling & filtration through
wetlands, habitat construction & maintenance, seed saving,
biodiversity and nourishment, Thatcher Gray learns to be conscious
of impacts we have on our surroundings. Peter T. Leonard (Grandpa)
is a master gardener who focuses on a return to tradition
while incorporating new developments in polyculture, aquaponics
and permaculture. He is writing haiku to compliment the paintings.
The work is available online with expanded explanations and
links specific to the subjects addressed, and may be viewed
12.12: "It is a charming account of three generations
working together to create a utopian family haven that speaks
to global responsibility"
Artful Adventure in Sustainable Living
by Lyn Bleiler – Eco Source Magazine
7.12: A Year in Grandpa's Garden - Edible
May 31 - July 19, 2013: Urban Earth
Downtown Aurora Visual Arts Center, CO
This exhibition highlights the importance of reconnecting
people and their environment through sustainable urban landscapes.
Opening Reception: May 31, 4-8pm
Food USA delegate to the Terra
Madre conference - Turin, Italy
Global Perspectives on Localized Food Movements
9.27.12: ISEA2012: Machine Wilderness - Reinvisioning
Art, Technology & Nature.
right: Carrot - Bee - Zucchini - Ladybug
with carrot flowers and seeds (detail) - watermedia, tea,
beet & red cabbage stain
Environmental Un-sustainability of the
American Food Machine
but beautiful Harvest
Lee Lee's stark style captures anger and elegance
among environmental degradation.
by Lennie Bennett, St Petersburg Times
Natural/Constructed Spaces - The Painting
Center, NY, 2012
Taos Contemporary - The Metro Center for Visual Art,
Denver CO, 2012
Nature:Working! - 910 Arts, Denver,
Vanishing Pollinators - WEAD installation at the
Bioneers Conference, 2010
Art & Agriculture - The Columbia Arts Center,
Extinction - Denver Botanic Gardens, 2009
REAP - C Emerson Fine Arts, St Petersburg FL, 2009
"Lee Lee's silvery gray Crop Circles
provides an aerial view of cultivated agricultural land seemingly
through a rain screen, as though the blurred landscape is
disintegrating beneath us"
- Curatorial statement by Galen
Cheney & Marianne Van Lent for Natural/Constructed Spaces
at the Painting Center, NY
right: Rain - Oil Refinery, Commerce City
(detail) watercolor, conte & oil
Ghost: Abandoned Slaughterhouse - watermedia & tar on
Crop: acryllic on canvas
in the face of Globalization
Starting with stone lithographs of lush forest,
these mixed media works on paper were truck-tracked with fresh
tar, then torn into small squares. They serve as a foundation
that speaks to the situation imposed on the Maya: pushed off
their land and treated like slaves on plantation style agricultural
production facilities owned by multinational corporations.
They fill US demands for cheap commodities which comes at
a severe cost to both people and the environment. The texture
of tar is an echo of the continuing destructive influence
of these corporations. Tar is made from oil which also makes
up the petrochemicals used in the style of agriculture that
is decimating the environment.
Somehow, Mayan culture is not decimated. They maintain an
incredible dedication to tradition, working in harmony with
the environment. Ancient customs are manifested through the
colorful and intricate weavings which are worn with pride.
These portraits are of Mayan women from the highlands market
in Chichicastenango. Exploring a wide range of human emotion
from being weary and hurt to looking forward with hope, the
vignettes are intended to explore the breadth and range of
emotional textures in this community.
Dairy Center for the Arts
Our Global Village
May - June, 2013 - Opening reception May 10
2590 Walnut Street, Boulder, CO
the Gap - New exhibit tells immigrants' unheard stories by
Aimee Heckel, Boulder Daily Camera
Borders & Boundaries
Harwood Art Center, Albuquerque NM
Biennial of the Americas
2010 - Denver
right: espera - tar, sharpie, watercolor
& pencil over torn lithograph
Initiated by Rian Kerrane, a native of Ireland,
Hybrid asks fourteen artists to “cross over”.
The artists’ work examines the experience of crossing
the Atlantic in the current political climate while acknowledging
historic influences from each artist’s perspective;
identifying experiences of (dis)placement and immersion in
cultural and social surroundings from either side of the Atlantic.
RedLine provides the first venue for a pair of exhibitions,
the second of which will take place in Ireland, allowing each
artist to engage both with “local” proximity and
“foreign” distance in turn.
2350 Arapahoe Street, Denver CO 80205
August 11 – September 30, 2012
RedLine, Colorado and Irish artists take on each others' lands
by Ray Rinaldi for the Denver Post, 19 August
Art Ranch - Terraphilia Residency
June, 2012 - Salida CO
View work created on the
The Hybrid work was developed around
the long term ecological impacts of hardrock mining on the
Arkansas river. The bulk of the miners who came out west were
from Ireland and have had a lasting imprint on the culture
right: Maid of Erin mine & Stringtown
mine, Leadville CO - tea, graphite, ink on paper