Feral Hues of the Hudson Waterfront (Wednesday, March 1)

Artist Ellie Irons offers a paint-making demo and painting session featuring watercolor paints made from the feral and weedy vegetal life inhabiting current-day Hudson’s South Bay. The event will also include the launch of a paint-making handbook with instructions for making weedy watercolor paints, and including natural/cultural histories of plant species common along post-industrial stretches of the Hudson River waterfront, and a series of feral plant solidarity postcards for visitors to paint and take away.

This event will start in the newly redesigned Ecotopian Collection space at the Hudson Area Library. The Ecotopian Collection is a set of books, objects and interactive projects designed to inspire thought and action to achieve an ecological future in Hudson. It is a partnership between the Hudson Area Library and Toolshed, a Hudson-based organization that gathers and shares tools for living ecologically and was originally conceived by artist Mary Mattingly in collaboration with Sayler/Morris.

Date/Time: Wednesday, March 1, 5:30 – 6:30pm

Location: Hudson Area Library Ecotopian Collection and Community Room

Registration: No registration required.

Funding for this event and for the handbook, which will become part of the Ecotopian Collection, is provided by Toolshed. Ellie’s work with pigments at the Hudson waterfront came out of a residency at Basilica Hudson supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Council for the Arts and Toolshed.

Ellie Irons is an artist and educator living and working on Mohican land in current-day Troy, New York, USA. From foraged watercolor paintings to un-lawning experiments, her work combines socially engaged art, ecology fieldwork, and embodied learning. She is a co-founder of the Next Epoch Seed Library and the Environmental Performance Agency, collaborations investigating relationships between humans and spontaneous urban plants (aka weeds). Her solo and collaborative work has been part of recent exhibitions on contemporary environmental art, including The Department of Human and Natural Services at NURTUREArt, Ecological Consciousness: Artist as Instigator at Wave Hill, and Unsettled Nature at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Her work has been covered by publications ranging from Art in America to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Irons received a BA from Scripps College in Los Angeles and an MFA from Hunter College in New York. In December 2021, She completed a PhD in arts practice at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, focused on socially engaged environmental art. She is currently a community science educator and lab manager at the Sanctuary for Independent Media’s NATURE Lab, and an artist in residence with Toolshed’s Ecotopian Library. Toolshed is a platform to gather and share tools that empower individuals and communities to live ecologically. It consists of a tool lending library (Toolshed Exchange); the Ecotopian Collection at the Hudson Area Library; and an on-line journal that will become a publication (tool-shed.org). It was founded by artists Susannah Sayler and Edward Morris (Sayler/Morris) in collaboration with Timothy Furstnau.