SOUTHAMPTON ARTS CENTER ANNOUNCES NEW EXHIBITION
A CELEBRATION OF TREES
Exhibition Highlighted by Internationally Recognized Artists:
Renate Aller, Charles Gaines, Beth Moon, Mr. StarCity, Frank Relle, Sebastião Salgado,
Freeman Vines and Andy Warhol
(Southampton, September 2022) — A CELEBRATION OF TREES is an ecological multi-media art exhibition created to educate and expand thought and consciousness about the world’s vast network of trees–a critical resource to humanity’s survival. For 300 million years, these species have helped stabilize and improve environmental conditions for life on our planet and today are an essential solution to global warming. Raising awareness of the devastating consequences of deforestation and the threats faced to endangered ancient trees and forests, Southampton Arts Center’s [SAC – southamptonartscenter.org] new exhibition will showcase the beauty and mystery of trees while inspiring viewers to think more critically about how to protect them. Featuring powerful stories from around the world told through photography, painting, silkscreen, sculpture, film, and poetry, the exhibition will also include important messages from the world’s Indigenous peoples–the original guardians of the forest. Curated by Laurie Dolphin with Daniela Kronemeyer and Coco Myers, the exhibition opens on Saturday, October 1. Learn more at southamptonartscenter.org/celebration-of- trees.
“Ever since childhood, I have had a deep love and spiritual connection to the trees around me,” says Dolphin. “Now, as an adult and artist, I have come to realize that the universal importance of the tree world is fundamental to the survival of mankind. Simply put, we need trees and trees need us–we are forever interconnected. I know that this exhibition will transform our relationship, understanding, and appreciation of trees.”
Complementing the exhibition will be a series of programs including virtual and in-person talks, artist tours, workshops, films, and educational events in collaboration with environmental organizations from across the East End. A series of panel discussions will highlight myths and symbols of the tree world, scientific facts, stories related to their history on Long Island from the Indigenous perspective and how the destruction of forests contributes to climate change. SAC is also pleased to announce a collaboration with artist Sibylle Szaggars Redford who will contribute a beautiful film presentation with spoken word by Robert Redford.
“Now more than ever, our connection to the natural world must continue to thrive,” shares Kronemeyer, who will also serve as SAC’s programming curator for the exhibition. “The devastation we have seen caused by over-logging, development, and wildfires has greatly impacted the survival of our forests and all beings who call it home. This exhibition will inspire the audience to think more deeply about our sacred connection to trees, and serve as a reminder that we each have the power to make a difference when it comes to the health of the environment.”
“The East End artists participating in this exhibition have a longtime connection to both the local arts community and to the environment,” Myers shares. “Whether the work is representational or abstracted, it is inspired by nature: the light, the sea, the fields and the trees of eastern Long Island.”
HIGHLIGHTED ARTIST BIOS
German-born photographer Renate Aller captures the wisdom of one of the world’s oldest living tree species–the juniper–some of which date back 10,000 years. Through her inspiring photographs and words, Aller invites the viewer to experience the incredible power of this spiritual being, long considered to be a symbol of healing and hope.
For over four decades, artist Charles Gaines has used trees as the inspiration of his work–creating vivid pieces through his intricate and layered drawings, photographs, videos, and musical compositions. His first public art installation–ROOTS–which recently debuted in New York’s Times Square, strikes a conversation about our nation’s history of colonization and enslavement by showcasing seven sweetgum trees that were once native to the region.
Beth Moon, whose travels bring her face to face with some of the world’s most rare and colossal trees, emphasizes their majestic power through her mystical photographs. Renowned for her depictions of the famed African Baobab–which can live more than 2,000 years–Moon uses the power of her lens to showcase the unprecedented ecological threat many of these species are now under.
Growing up in Bed-Stuy, Dave White–widely known as “Mr. StarCity”–fondly remembers the many trees that encompassed his Brooklyn neighborhood. Over time, development removed much of the natural landscape, along with the birds and bees that relied on the trees to survive. Influenced by the hip-hop and graffiti culture he grew up around, his colorful figurative paintings pay homage to the natural world with a unique style of authenticity.
A New Orleans native, Frank Relle is raising awareness about the Bayou’s ancient cypress trees, now endangered by the increasing onslaught of the oil industry.
SEBASTIÃO SALGADO. AMAZÔNIA, PRESENTED BY TASCHEN.
World-renowned photojournalist Sebastião Salgado’s extraordinary black and white photographs highlight the largest tropical forest on Earth–the Amazon. By showcasing pristine landscapes, rich wild and botanical life, and portraits of the region’s Indigenous tribes, these images inspire us into action to save this most precious resource from deforestation.
As a self-taught artist, blues musician, luthier, author and philosopher, Freeman Vines lovingly crafts guitars out of found wood–including that of a local lynching tree in a series he calls HANGING TREE GUITARS. Through his artwork, Vines shares his uniquely American experience as a Black man born in the rural South during the Jim Crow era and coming of age during the Civil Rights movement.
Little known and rarely exhibited are Andy Warhol’s black and white silver gelatin photographs shot on a Minox camera, which, taken toward the end of his life, reveal his intimate encounters with the natural world. To Warhol, trees and landscape were viewed with just as much importance as the celebrity-filled arts and culture scene for which he is most famous. Locally, he is celebrated for conserving 30 acres of beachfront property in Montauk–an estate he called Eothen–meaning “from the east”.
Best known for his long-exposure photographs, Relle immerses his images in haunting color and light that invite the viewer to slow down and experience seemingly ordinary trees as the miraculous beings they are.
The exhibition includes more than 80 artists from over 20 countries around the world, including Renate Aller, Joseph Ayers, Susanna Bauer, Fabienne Berthaud, Graeme Black, Scott Bluedorn, Meghan Boody, Michael Butler, Philippe Cheng, Franco Cuttica, Lieven De Boeck, Domenico DeCarlo, James DeMartis, Jeremy Dennis, George Digalakis, Laurie Dolphin, Leonardo Drew, Timothy Duffy, Idoline Duke, Eliot Elisofon, Robbi Firestone, Gay Gay Vincent von Furstenberg, Charles Gaines, Margaret Garrett, Jim Gingerich, Linda Adele Goodine, April Gornik, Damien Grant, Lama Gyurme, Harvey Herman, Michelle Jaffe, William King, Maria Klabin, Jack Leigh, Donald Lipski, Jaime Lopez, Claire Lucas, Kathryn Lynch, Alen MacWeeney, Kurt Markus, Roberta Marroquín, Christine Matthäi, Hugh Mbayiwa, Rifka Milder, Algernon Miller, Beth Moon, Mr. StarCity, Arlo Namingha, Dan Namingha, Michael Namingha, Shirin Neshat, Beth O’Donnell, Kryn Olson, Leila Pinto, Ron Pokrasso, Norman Reedus, Frank Relle, Alfred Richard, Dan Rizzie, Peter Rosenthal, Lionel Sabatté, Edwin Schlossberg, Michael Scott, Stuart Shapiro, David Benjamin Sherry, Jonathan Snow, Nakazzi Tafari, Barbara Thomas, Aurelio Torres, Diane Tuft, Sebastiāo Salgado. Amazônia, presented by TASCHEN, Michael Scott, Marcelo Silveira, Kiki Smith, Ned Smyth, Sibylle Szaggers Redford, Camilla Webster, Dan Welden, Amy Wickersham, Mark William Wilson, Hans Van de Bovenkamp, Freeman Vines, Andy Warhol, Prince Michel de Yougoslavie, Francisco Zapeda and more.
A CELEBRATION OF TREES is partnering with the non-profit Archangel Ancient Tree Archive (ancienttreearchive.org), whose mission is to create living libraries of old-growth trees for the purpose of functional reforestation. The organization focuses on propagation, reforestation, archive and education.
During the course of the exhibition, which will be on view through Sunday, December 18, SAC’s galleries will be open Friday through Sunday from 12 to 5 PM. Gallery admission is free. Films are free for members.
SAC continues to follow all New York State and CDC guidelines for all programs and events. Select Southampton Arts Center programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature. A CELEBRATION OF TREES is presented by Simone & David Levinson. Additional support is provided by Tim Davis and media partner is The Southampton Press. FILM @ SAC is sponsored by Brown Harris Stevens. The SAC Summer Stage 2022 is sponsored by Primary Care and Reproductive Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian. ECO Programs at SAC are made possible by Dorothy & Michael Reilly. Wellness @ SAC media partner is The Purist. Financial Literacy Partner: J.P. Morgan Private Bank. General operating support is provided by Bank of America.
SOUTHAMPTON ARTS CENTER
Southampton Arts Center is committed to community building through the arts. We present and produce inspiring, inclusive, socially and regionally relevant programs across all disciplines–welcoming, connecting, and collaborating with the diverse members of New York’s East End community and beyond. SAC is a not for profit 501(c)(3) organization.
For more information about Southampton Arts Center, located at 25 Jobs Lane, Southampton, New York 11968, visit southamptonartscenter.org or call 631.283.0967.
Follow SAC on Facebook and Instagram @southamptonartscenter.
AAQ / Resource