Ball Snake Ball references a set of instructions that an individual foraging clay from a riverbank might follow. Approximately 80 percent of the earth’s land surface contains clay, and as a rule of thumb, if clay pulled from the ground can be hand rolled into a ball, and then a snake, and back into a ball, it is optimally malleable. This exhibition brings together work by six conceptually-driven ceramicists who collaborate with clay to bring awareness to environmental justice breaches specific to their hometowns. Many of the artists incorporate locally sourced clay in their pieces, grounding their work in knowledge of the earth, while exploring histories of extraction, commodification, gentrification, and colonization. Within these studies, questions of inheritance and identity emerge, specifically, who has the power to occupy, use, and develop land. Artists Include: Morel Doucet (Miami, FL), Rachel Eng (Carlisle, PA), Shannon Goff (Detroit, MI), Natalie Kuenzi (Philadelphia, PA), Roberto Lugo (Philadelphia, PA), and Ruben Olguin (Roswell, NM).
On September 8, 2018, Artspace presented Paying Homage: Soil and Site, a free full-day interdisciplinary summit to promote dialogue on the interplay of environmentalism, social justice, the arts, and community identity. Each panel was kicked off by an artist, whose work grounded conversations with scholars, activists, educators, and civic leaders on basic environmental needs, the consequences of environmental racism on our local communities, and the land as a lasting monument to injustices.
top photos: Installation Views of Ball Snake Ball, on display at Artspace New Haven, July 27 - September 8, 2018. Photos by Jessie Smolinksi.
bottom photo: Panelists Joyce Klein-Rosenthal and Eddie Bautista in conversation at Paying Homage: Soil and Site Environmental Justice Summit, September 8, 2018.