Visual Art

The Center for Strategic Art and Agriculture proudly presents, promotes, and supports emerging visual artists whose work engages its viewers in a civic dialog and challenges preexisting assumptions about the world around us.


Invasive Pigments

a garden and gallery exhibition by Ellie Irons

Opening Friday, November 7

7- 9

eirons-2014-10-06-1000 copy

On Friday, November 7 from 7 to 9pm, the Center for Strategic Art and Agriculture is pleased to present Invasive Pigments, a garden and visual art exhibition by Ellie Irons.  Exploring the migration and proliferation of certain plants in tandem with dense human populations Invasive Pigments is a research-based project in which Irons gathers weeds and other “unintentional plants” found in urban centers. She then mines them for pigments, which are used to construct map-like portraits and pigment diagrams. The maps detail species’ points of origin and migration. The pigment diagrams demonstrate connections, both metaphoric and actual, between plants, pigments and urban habitats.

Through this project, Irons is reinventing the tradition of the intrepid naturalist hunting exotic species abroad by seeking the non-native, alien and invasive here in New York City. Rather than placing specimens in a Wunderkammer for contemplation, she subjects them to a studio-based process of pigment extraction. Through gathering, cultivating and processing wild and feral species on an intimate scale, she hopes to engender dialogue around the wider implications of labeling species as “alien”, “exotic” or “invasive.”

Ellie Irons is an interdisciplinary artist and educator. Her work explores the interplay of humanity and ecology through drawings, environmental sculpture and new media. She has done workshops and exhibitions at Wave Hill, The Bronx Museum’s AIM Biennial, the Queens Botanical Garden and Trade School, NYC. Recently she has been an artist in residence at the Institute for Electronic Arts at Alfred University and the SVA Nature and Tech Lab.

Over the summer she cultivated an Invasive Pigments garden at the Center for Strategic Art and  Agriculture at Silent Barn in Bushwick and presented a solo project at Flora Arts and Nature in  Bogotá, Colombia. Irons teaches part time at the City College of New York and Brown University and is a member of the collaborative group Future Archaeology. She studied Environmental Science and Art at Scripps College in California and received her MFA from Hunter College in 2009.

And Freedom For
How Soon Is Now? A Precarious Environment Roots in Art
Painting with the City’s Invasive Plants
New York Times: Using Nature to Depict Itself