The Pine Rockland is a critically-threatened South Florida habitat that harbors many of of the plants listed on Florida’s Federally Endangered Plant List. To learn more about this dwindling ecosystem, in 2017 and 2018 Viridis Art Collective initiated self-directed research events at the Deering Estate and at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. After those trips, each artist chose a plant to showcase, created an original work, and then printed limited editions at two local print studios. The result is a portfolio of eight prints, highlighting each artist’s unique style - from representational to abstract - unified by size, color, medium and technique.
The installation for "We ♥ the Pine Rocklands" alludes to a family room wall lined with framed images of those things to which we connect, things that we cherish and preserve. We designed the red toile wallpaper to highlight the unexpected allure of this native habitat in a domestic setting. For us, this project translates to a renewed and urgent sense of stewardship for the environment in light of the alarming habitat loss in Florida, and the sense of community that seeks to find creative solutions to these problems.
Each of these works was made by combining art elements of eight artists using Duralar, acetate, sewing, acrylic, graphite and watercolor. First, we worked separately with our materials to create “art bits”, or pieces made specifically to be shared, cut, and layered. Though we used a strict set of materials, each “bit” contains a piece of the originating artist’s hand and style. Then, we came together to combine our art bits, letting the ideas and the pieces flow from hand to hand until finished pieces began to emerge from a veritable sea of colorful shapes, patterns and images. Twelve pieces were created with a common thread of nature and space woven throughout.
The Mending Tree: Call to Install
Following The Mending Tree event at Cypress Creek Natural Area, the wishes were lovingly dismantled and re-installed in the gallery space for the 2016 Call to Install group exhibition at the Cultural Council of Palm Beach in Lake Worth.
2016, The Mending Tree, Mixed-media, dimensions variable
The Mending Tree: Cypress Creek Natural Area
On May 15, 2016, the Viridis Art Collective, in cooperation with The Environmental Resources Management Department of Palm Beach County (ERM), invited the public to add a wish to the Mending Tree at the Cypress Creek Natural Area. A hand-woven vessel sat in the grass filled with blank, square canvases for writing the wishes. Long strands of red, purple and pumpkin-colored thread wound around the trunk and across one of the low-hanging branches of the "Mending Tree", an oak tree at the natural area chosen for the event. From 9am to 10am guests wrote wishes down on the blank canvases and tied them to the strands on the tree, and then at 11 went with rangers from ERM to clean up trash from the natural area, removing 175 pounds of trash and invasive plants.
2016, The Mending Tree, Cypress Creek Natural Area, May 15, 2016, mixed-media, dimensions variable