Join us at the Museum for Art in Wood for First Friday and the opening of Gina Siepel: To Understand a Tree. To Understand a Tree is inspired by a desire to contemplate a living forest tree and its immediate habitat from the perspective of a queer-identified woodworker, in a way that challenges and provokes an often-assumed binary between living tree and dead wood. It links legacies of 19th-century transcendentalism with contemporary biological understandings of forest interconnection, ecofeminism, queer ecology, eco-philosophy, and Indigenous teachings about human-nature relationships. These studies, along with many hours spent in the forest, encourage a shift in the consideration of the tree as a subject rather than simply an object, which fundamentally impacts ideas of woodworking practice and our ecological responsibility. Involving collaboration, public engagement, site-based study and contemplation, video documentation, and woodworking, To Understand a Tree functions as a small-scale way of exploring big questions about the place of humans in the environment, the scale and speed at which we consume natural resources, and which organisms are included or excluded in a definition of “community.” Forests are complex and interconnected systems, and in that spirit, To Understand a Tree connects material practice and object-making to questions of forest ecology, climate change, and more than human personhood. To Understand a Tree is an ongoing project of Gina Siepel as an artist in residence at the Smith College MacLeish Field Station.
Remarks will take place at 6:30 pm.
This event is free to the public. The Museum for Art in Wood interprets, nurtures, and champions creative engagement and expansion of art, craft, and design in wood to enhance the public’s understanding and appreciation of it. A suggested donation of $5 per person enables us to provide programs and exhibitions throughout the year.