Atelier de la Nature:

Reflecting on the sculpting with Atelier de la Nature and community.
October 2023

    After meeting Dr. Brandon Ballengée at an environmental justice covening in New Orleans earlier this year, I was invited back to Louisiana to be a resident artist for an upcoming Halloween festival at Atelier de la Nature, a nature reserve and eco-education campus in the Arnaudville/Cecilia area he and wife Aurore own and operate.

    During my time there I was able to engage the community in a project that investigated prairie roots. For a little over a week I was able to meet the folks of Cecilia and Arnaudville garnering assistance in a project that asked them to consider the necessity of prairie lands and how the depth of its roots, some reaching as deep as 15 feet, allowed for its perserverance through turbulent weather, including fires.

    We, as a community, utilizing repurposed downed electrical cables and donated yarn wove components that were combined to create a large sculpture representative of a prairie root system.