Here are some photos of the Rabbit Island Benefit on June 1st in Brooklyn. It was a huge success! Over 100 people attended and we raised over $4,000. Thank you to everyone who showed their support for art + conservation!
In the near future we’ll rundown our use of benefit proceeds conceptually and mathematically, post more photos, and start building the opportunity to purchase island artwork to fund future conservation projects on a platform kind of like if Kickstarter and the Nature Conservancy got married.
ps. Our first artist of the season arrives next week and our first biologist arrived last week to collect baseline data on island mammal habitat.
Creation and conservation deserve to be linked in principle. The rules of this game will likely be founded in wild spaces, such as Rabbit Island. Above are a portion of the works that will be shown and auctioned to benefit Art + Conservation, June 1st, in Brooklyn. Please join us.
1) Mike Perry. Painting. 24” x 24”. 2012.
2) Christian De Vietri. Cast Bronze. 18” x 3/4” diameter. 2012.
3) Ron Gorchov. Watercolor on Paper. 32” x 24”. 2002.
4) Emilie Lee. Oil on board. 5” x 12”. 2013.
5) Sarah Darnell. Colored pencil on Paper + rock from Rabbit Island. 2012.
6) Rob Gorski. Fabric. The original Rabbit Island Flag. 50” x 36”. 2013.
7) Mary Rothlisberger. Reclaimed fabric. 18” x 18”. 2012.
8) Miles Mattison. Painted drift wood from Rabbit Island. 2012.
9) Nicolas Lemery Nantel. Photograph. 18” x 18”. 2013.
10) Isabella Martin. Photograph of RI performance. 5” x 7”. 2012.
Work from the following artists will be auctioned at the Rabbit Island Benefit supporting our residency program, June 1st.
Ron Gorchov, Mike Perry, Liz Clark, Annie Varnot, Aaron Wexler, Lucy Engelman, Andrew Ranville, Miwa Koizumi, Archie Lee Coates IV, Ports Bishop, Emilie Lee, Peter Buchanan-Smith, Christian De Vietri, Nicole Lavelle, Charlotte X.C Sullivan, Miles Mattison, Sara Maynard, Yuko Oda, Jennifer Maravillas, Leif Parsons, Emily Fischer, Tolland Mansfield, Nicole Lavelle, Meg Whiteford, Marlin Ledin, Kelly Geary, Isabella Martin, Mary Rothlisberger, Hayley Severns, Sara Darnell, Emily Julka, Helen Lovelee and many more.
+ $25 tickets are available here and at the door.
+ Recent ARTINFO piece on the Rabbit Island Artist Residency
"The limited resources require visitors and artists-in-residence to carefully consider what to bring onto the island: everything from what to cook and tools for creation. Nothing can have a by-product that is going to mar the landscape, so it makes it an interesting place to contemplate one’s practice."
This season’s first artist arrives on the island on June 22nd.
“Urban Americans are beginning to re-imagine and re-order the urban landscape, taking advantage of now-malleable understandings of urban space, design and even ownership.”
—Michael Carriere, *The Death and (After)Life of the American City; A Call to the Creators of the City,* Proximity Magazine Issue #6
I’m excited to be contributing to the development of a new project called the Detroit Conservancy, which will give an urban home to the ethos that drives Rabbit Island.
Starting with Rabbit Island’s existing plot of land, 1465 Pennsylvania Avenue in East Detroit, we envision creating a network of reclaimed residential and industrial lots bound together by the common vision of scalable conservation within an urban environment.
The prevailing approach to vacant land in Detroit is use, is to repurpose and rebuild. Houses, office buildings, parks, farms: all are viable possible uses for currently vacant land, but the Detoit Conservancy will add another option to that conversation.
Over time, the Conservancy will restore plots to their natural state through the reintroduction of native grasses and trees, plus soil clean-up and rehabilitation. Or maybe they will simply be allowed to undergo succession. These plots will slowly transform into their former selves. The Detroit Conservancy exhibits public preservation of open space in an effort to illuminate and critique dominant approaches to place-making within the post-subdivision landscape.
The Conservancy will connect purchased plots with neighborhood stewards in an effort to maintain cleanliness, safety, and a sense of presence within the land—factors often lacking in Detroit’s vacant spaces. The initial goal is for these rehabilitated spaces to provide neighborhoods with access to a slice of regional wilderness within a decidedly urban context. The long-term goal is to build a program of organized reclamation, stewardship and interpretation by bringing local and non-local artists to the plots for embedded residencies, where they can make work driven by the concept of conservation within an urban context and create projects and public programming to share with the neighborhood.
Artists will be offered access to time on Rabbit Island to further develop conversation between Michigan’s wild environment and Detroit’s tumultuous urbanity.
I’m excited about this project because it’s an interesting synthesis of seemingly opposing ethics—and while it’s a project mostly driven by ideas at this point, it has the potential to unfold into the most tangible thing that we as bodily beings can experience: land. You will be able to smell this project. You will be able to ride a bicycle to it, see it on a map, sit in it. It’s as simple as that.
On June 1, there will be a benefit art auction to support sending artists to Rabbit Island (75%) and to purchase plots in the upcoming city auction of land in Detroit (25%). If you live in New York, please go. And spend your money. You could help push forward the vision of the Detroit Conservancy.
- Nicole Lavelle, Artist, Portland, Oregon
We’re hosting the first annual Rabbit Island Benefit on June 1st in NYC to raise money for this summer’s Artists in Residence (75%) and the conservation of parcels of land in Detroit during the annual fall tax auction (25%). Over the past two seasons visiting artists have supported themselves while traveling to the island. This year we are attempting to help our residents with a small amount of financial assistance. We’re also attempting to exemplify the idea that doing or making should be tied to conservation. It’s a good formula. Please join us.
Participating Artists include: Ron Gorchov, Mike Perry, Liz Clark, Annie Varnot, Aaron Wexler, Lucy Engelman, Andrew Ranville, Miwa Koizumi, Archie Lee Coates IV, Ports Bishop, Emilie Lee, Peter Buchanan-Smith, Christian De Vietri, Nicole Lavelle, Charlotte X.C Sullivan, Miles Mattison, Sara Maynard, Yuko Oda, Jennifer Maravillas, Leif Parsons, Tolland Mansfield, Nicole Lavelle, Meg Whiteford, Marlin Ledin, Kelly Geary, Isabella Martin, Mary Rothlisberger, Hayley Severns, Sara Darnell, Emily Julka, Helen Lovelee and many more.
+ $25 tickets can be purchased online or at the door.
+ Facebook event page
+ Invitation by Eleni Petaloti and Leonidas Trampoukis of LoT Architecture. Thanks guys.
This print will be available at the upcoming Rabbit Island Benefit in NYC on June 1st, on our online island shop when it launches in the near future (gallery + experiment in commerce + crowd sourcing + preservation), and will hopefully inspire many island dance collaborations. Form expressed beautifully, after all, is a simple and stylish pursuit. Like wilderness, it is classic and will remain graceful and unchanged in perpetuity. Art has often been inspired by wilderness historically, of course, but amidst the modern context of divided land can the creation of wild spaces of scale for their own sake be inspired by art? Can it be considered art? Can it even be done?