Announcements, news, etc....

We have had a busy past few weeks (and months). Ecologic, Terroir, Habitat for Artists and Out of the Blue, have all opened since January. This week I've had a little bit of down time while working on ecoartspace NYC benefit ideas (stay tuned for more info about this) and wanted to plug some other interesting people, current events, art and ecology related activities.

Artist and eco educator
Christopher Kennedy has started a new organization, Artiscycle. This is a project to further an understanding of the role of art in building community, creative problem solving and situated learning. The idea according to Kennedy, "is to connect artists and citizens at the forefront of collaborative and interdisciplinary art practice to collaborative education and project development tools and motivate a new way of thinking about art as a tool for creative problem solving and learning." The Artiscycle project will launch an online database of effective aesthetic and community-based practices meant to identify the strategies and frameworks that engage communities and allow for situated learning opportunities to form. More than this, Artiscycle is a blueprint for a physical learning and project-incubation space that will provide a variety of services for artists, educators and citizens.

ecoartspace advisor Pamela Tucker has joined the team at Brighter Planet. The mission of Brighter Planet is to “help individuals take charge in the fight against global warming and build a clean-energy future" through education, conservation and carbon offsetting programs. Pamela is working on Brighter Schools, a program uniquely designed to help schools and their communities take action against global warming through the purchase of carbon offsets.

Once a school enrolls, all school members -- their friends and family -- join the school "team" and earn fundraising dollars for the school through their purchases of carbon offsets or by signing up for a Brighter Planet VISA card. In short, people buy carbon offsets to their carbon emissions as investments in alternative energy. Brighter Planet has been offering offset "packages," such as offsets for air travel, events, driving, etc. For Brighter Schools, they are going to design unique packages that will appeal and resonate with kids -- such as an offset for the bus travel on field trips, or an offset for driving to away sports games. The school will earn 20% of the total dollar amount of offsets purchased by members of its team. To find out more about Brighter Schools program contact: Pamela@brighterplanet.com

Dorsky Museum Curator, Brian Wallace is planning an exhibition titled Eco-Tones and Transition Zones opening June 13th and has put out a call to mid-Hudson Valley artists, deadline April 17th. The exhibition will feature artwork, information, presentations, activities, and other projects that will connect global issues such as sustainability, ecological awareness, and bioethics to our immediate surroundings.

The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz hosts an annual exhibition of work by emerging and mid-career artists from the region. This year, some artists will seek local partners involved in sustainable initiatives, ecologically engaged businesses, and green projects that connect communities. If you would like to add your name/contact/projects to a list the museum will share with exhibiting artists, please send this information via mail to sdma@newpaltz.edu by April 17, 2009.

My neighbor and friend
Suzie Gilbert has written a memoir titled Flyaway, How a Wild Bird Rehabber Sought Adventure and Found her Wings. Flyaway chronicles the years of Suzie's chaotic household turned into a bird-hospital, recounting the confusion that ensued as her husband and two young children struggled to live in a house where parrots shrieked Motown songs, nestling robins required food every twenty minutes, and recuperating herons took over the spare bathroom. Gradually, however, the birds came to represent the value of compassion and the importance of pursuing even the most unlikely of dreams. Coincidentally (or maybe not), the very same MNN network that interviewed me last month about ecoartspace met with Suzie and interviewed her about the new book. Also, see some images posted by Suzie on Wild About Pets. I sometimes need to remind myself that I moved up to the Hudson Valley for a reason - getting to know amazing people like Suzie Gilbert is one of them.

Washington state based eco artist, writer and educator Beverly Naidus
will come to Earth Dance Seed Festival in MA this June to offer a week long course, Eco Art for Everyday Life. Participants will explore different ways of incorporating eco-art practices into their everyday life and their communities. They will discuss some of the ecological issues facing us both on the local and global level, look at the work of contemporary eco-artists, and develop some collaborative site-specific projects. Also, check out Beverly's new book, Arts for Change: Teaching Outside the Frame published by New Village Press.

Author and the annual Bioneers Conference co- organizer and producer,
J.P. Harpignies has a new book out: Delusions of Normality: Sanity, Drugs, Sex, Money and Beliefs in America. "What do we mean when we say someone or something is normal?" In his new book, Delusions of Normality, J.P. marshals considerable evidence to persuasively argue that we Americans are collectively far less mentally stable, far more corruptible or financially irrational, in our beliefs than we generally admit, and that a great many of the unspoken assumptions that underlie our media's discourse are seriously at odds with the reality of people's lives and ideas. Read a review of the book by Erik Davis here. J.P. will be giving a talk about the book with Q+A and discussion on: Friday, April 24th, 7:30pm at the New York Open Center, 83 Spring Street, (212 219-2527, ext Admittance: $18 for Open Center members; $20 general. This evening will offer a bracing but refreshing and entertaining look at some dark corners of American life, providing a corrective lens to our rose-colored myopia about how we really behave. Previous books by J.P. include, Visionary Plant Consciousness: The Shamanic Teachings of the Plant World; Political Ecosystems: Modernity, Complexity, Fluidity and the Eco-Left; Ecological Medicine: Healing the Earth, Healing Ourselves (The Bioneers Series) and Double Helix Hubris: Against Designer Genes.

Artist Eve Mosher's Seeding the City project is set to launch late in summer '09 after nearly two years of planning. Eve invites everyone to join her while she's out planting green roofs around New York City. Seeding the City is a neighbor-to-neighbor referral program that gets small green roof modules installed in neighborhoods around the city. ecoartspace included Eve Mosher in the E.P.A exhibition at Exit Art in 2008 with her High Water Line project and she was the featured artist on the Human Nature series panel during the exhibition. We look forward to our continued working relationship with Eve.

Miami based artist Xavier Cortada will participate in an upcoming exhibition,
AntARcTica, Collected Works from the Bottom of the World at the Maryland Science Center sponsored by the National Science Foundation's Antarctica's Artists and Writers Program. Cortada has also embarked upon making an endangered animal drawing every day in 2009, from each of Earth's 360°. He is using Facebook and uploading each daily drawing to his profile image. Via this social networking site, he aims to show the ultimate interconnection: What endangers one species affects all, including our own.

More to come soon on the upcoming ecoartspace NYC benefit art sale, but it looks as though all submissions from artists will be digital and in that way will contribute to an online database of images for an ecoartspace archive. Great idea thanks to benefit committee advisor and pal Joy Garnett!