Part of Tulane University’s ByWater Institute, A Studio in the Woods has hosted artists, scientists, scholars and students for residencies for more than 15 years on eight forested acres on the Mississippi River.
The Studio is located at the nexus of the City of New Orleans, a larger 5,000-acre bottomland hardwood forest, the Mississippi River’s lower reaches, the Gulf of Mexico, and the largest swath of alluvial wetlands in North America. Each of these systems has undergone profound changes over the past several decades. This not only creates a dynamic context for artists but affords a wide range of opportunities for experimental and applied research, education, public engagement and science communication, and of course interdisciplinary collaboration. In order to advance scientific activities on the site we recently established the ByWater Biological Field Station within our woods.
Since its inception A Studio in the Woods has offered thematic residencies designed to change over time to stay relevant, impactful, and connected to current events. Our most recent completed residency series titled “Flint and Steel: Cross-disciplinary Combustion” was designed to allow artists to join forces with invested academic partners. Each selected artist was paired with a Tulane or Xavier University faculty member to inspire each other in the development of new work, to excite the public, and to ignite social change.
We are now in year two of a three-year residency cycle, “Adaptations: Living with Change,” which invites artists to examine how climate driven adaptations large and small, historic and contemporary, cultural and scientific, are shaping our future, responding to the human and ecological impact of historical and ongoing anthropogenic change. Topics include climate migration and indigenous communities, environmental justice, reinterpretations of engineering and policy solutions or ecological ramifications. All residencies have a public engagement component supported by staff who have developed an extensive network of arts, environmental and educational partners.
This interdisciplinary, collaborative community, provides extraordinary outreach opportunities to inspire change through methods of contemporary art and scholarship.
Amy E. Lesen, Ama Rogan, Michael J. Blum,
Science Communication Through Art: Objectives, Challenges, and Outcomes
Trends in Ecology & Evolution, Volume 31, Issue 9, 2016
- A Studio In The Woods
- ByWater Institute
- Centro de Arte La Regenta
- New Orleans Center for the Gulf South
- Newcomb Art Museum
- Prospect New Orleans
- Pelican Bomb
- The Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain