MCLA Gallery 51 | 51 Main Street
Join Gallery Manager, Julia Morgan-Leamon as she leads a conversation with four panelists as they discuss their perspectives on, and interactions with, plants in their respective professional fields.
Melanie Mowinski, an associate professor of visual art at MCLA, created “The Tree Portraits” and the “Tree Meditation” installation for the “Winter Green” exhibit. They are part of her ongoing work to examine the relationship between walking, nature and creative practice. Through this work, Mowinski gives voice to the tree’s story and how it intertwines with her own. It also reflects her desire to create an inside space that inspires the peace that sitting in nature can provide.
Joan Edwards, a professor of biology at Williams College in Williamstown, is recognized for her discovery of the world’s “fastest plant.” Edwards and her students research pollen and spore dissemination processes that happen too fast for the naked eye to see. Edwards’ photography and video, exhibited in “Winter Green,” showcase the high-speed movement of these plants.
Sharon Wyrrick opened Many Forks Farm in 2012 after spending 25 years growing vegetables and thinking about farming on a larger scale. The farm is situated along the North Branch of the Hoosic River in Clarksburg. Many Forks provides a relationship between a farmer and community members who commit to receiving a share of the farm’s harvest each week of the growing season. The CSA relationship insures the survival of small, local farms and connects community members.
Shannon Toye is a certified traditional herbalist who is fascinated by wildcrafting, plant medicine, traditional folk remedies, holistic health and wellness. She owns and operates a small local business, “Out of the Woods Wildcrafting.” Toye encourages people to adopt practices of preventative care by nourishing the systems of the body with plant-based products created from traditional wildcrafting methods, through sustainable harvesting, and by native local medicinal plants.