The Environmental Unsustainability of the
American Food Machine
C Emerson Fine Arts, St Petersburg FL
University of South Florida
but beautiful Harvest
Lee Lee's stark style captures anger and elegance
among environmental degradation.
by Lennie Bennett, St Petersburg Times
Art & Agriculture
Columbia Arts Center
right: Rain - Oil Refinery, detail
Columbia Arts Center
Hood River, OR
right: wire - Saigon, Vietnam - xerograph
& oil atop melted plastic silkscreen
As we continue down our path of over-consumption
we get nearer to mass extinction. I created this series of
road kill drawings to reflect the decimation of our environment
by our current lifestyle. I photographed the animals in Texas,
where it is illegal to remove carcasses killed on the highway.
The animals were left to be picked clean and decay, so manifest
the full process of disintegration. I feel it is important
to bring attention to the current state of the environment
as we depend on the natural world for our own survival. The
works carry a warning for the future if we continue to allow
what is happening through our current disregard of the environment.
Denver Botanic Gardens
right: sparrow - detail; pencil and tar
of the Rio Grande
Taos Country Club
Gallery on the Green, Taos NM
New Mexico hosts one of the highest concentrations
of breeding birds in North America, according to the Nature
Conservancy. This series is based on local birds who live
or migrate through Northern New Mexico’s Rio Grande
Valley. The backgrounds of the paintings, while organically
textured, are whited out to represent the constant environmental
threats we face here in the high desert.
right: Gymnorhinus Cyanocephalus - watermedia,
conte & pencil on paper
- Nature: Working!
910 Santa Fe Dr, Denver
An intro to the patterns of sustainable
systems with artistic works in all media. Artists and non-artists
collaborate on ways to express the ideology of permaculture.
Bioneers Conference - WEAD installation
San Rafael, CA
Inspired by the importance of bees in the
role they play as pollinators, this work was created in appreciation
of the work they do to cultivate nourishing food. A beekeeper
in New Mexico described how our state was one of only two
who did not suffer from colony collapse disorder, and he attributed
it to good agricultural practices. This work was a collaboration
with my son when he was a year old. It is part of a larger
series created out of concern about our broken food system,
which became of utmost concern as I started feeding him. As
I learned about the myriad of degenerative illnesses emerging
in children, it became clear that a diet of processed foods
is to blame. Working with pollinators instead of chemicals
is part of the solution.
right: Bee - Collaboration with Thatcher
Gray, water media, rust & sharpie on torn lithograph
Texas National - Curated by Judy Pfaff
C Emerson Fine Art - St Petersburg, FL
Manifesting the state of aspen trees in Colorado, who are
suffering from a cancorous infection. The infection causes
them to bleed alizerin sap through their paper white skin,
which gives a corporeal appearance to the trees.
right: Bleed - oil, sharpie & colored
pencil on shotgunned plywood
Spirituality & Materialism
C Emerson Fine Art
St Petersburg, FL
The pine beetle has killed over 90% of Colorado's lodgepole
pines, leaving behind whole mountain valleys cloaked in the
rust color of dead forest. Warmer winters have allowed the
beetle to flourish as they are usually kept in check by over
a month of subzero temperatures.
right: pine; oil on canvas
In the last couple of years, groves of aspen have started
bleeding to death. Their unexpected demise has baffled
the scientific community, but it is believed that this new
virus is caused by global warming.
Environmental Film Festival
Environmental Photography Exhibition at the American Mountaineering
right: Bleed - reflecting the current
state of aspen in Colorado
right: Aspen; oil on shotgunned panel
opposing the energies of creation vs destruction as well
as masculine vs feminine.
right: lillies; oil on shotgunned plywood