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Gallery Talk and Performance for To Understand a Tree

March 2 @ 11:00 am - 1:00 pm


Gallery Talk and Performance for To Understand a Tree | Sat, March 2, 2024 | 11 am – 1 pm ET | In-person at the Museum for Art in Wood

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Join us for an in-depth conversation with interdisciplinary artist Gina Siepel and a performance with composer Vernon C David on the exhibition To Understand a Tree. 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.” This multidisciplinary exhibition is comprised of an immersive video installation, functional and sculptural greenwood chairs made from trees killed by invasive insects or storms, and site artifacts that emerged through direct engagement with tree and the surrounding ecosystem. It includes many collaborations and public engagements with artists, ecologists, students, and other specialists, including the composer and cellist Vernon David and the naturalist Kate Wellspring, who has been a key participant of To Understand a Tree since the initial observation stages of the project.

The talk will begin at 11:00 am with Ginal Siepel, and at 12:15 pm, the performance will take place with Vernon C. David.

Pictured above: Gina Siepel, To Understand a Tree (Time): One Year, video still composite image, 2020


Portrait of Gina Siepel

Gina Siepel is an interdisciplinary artist, designer, and woodworker, based in Greenfield MA (Pocumtuc land). Their artistic practice reflects an engagement with place, history, queer experience, and ecology, and their work integrates conceptual concerns and craftsmanship with a focus on wood as a natural and a cultural material. Gina’s works have been shown in museums and galleries nationally, she is currently a MacLeish Field Station Artist-in-Residence at Smith College, and a 2023 recipient of a Teaching Artist Cohort Grant from the Center for Craft.


Portrait of Vernon C David

Vernon C David is a Massachusetts based composer studied Cello at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore Maryland with Mihaly Virizlay and has a Masters in Composition from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (MA, USA). He studied chamber music at the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music and at the Johannesen International School of the Arts in Vancouver BC.  He participated at the Buffalo Festival as a composer where his music was performed by the Arditti Quartet. Recently (2023), the Ligeti Quartet played his compositions at Lincoln College, University of Oxford. His chamber music has been performed in UK, France, Greece, Italy and the United States.


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.


Questions? Please contact Katie Sorenson, Director of Outreach and Communications at [email protected].


March 2
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Event Category:


Museum for Art in Wood


Museum for Art in Wood
141 N 3rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106 United States
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