Co-founder and resident artist Adam Wolpert is in his seventh month of a yearlong project to paint the southwest corner of the OAEC pond. He has created 45 oil paintings–all the same size and from the same vantage point–that demonstrate how the sunlight, the pond, and the surrounding foliage change over the weeks and months. For Adam, this process engages his whole being and deepens his relationship with place:
Fall has come, the colors move me, they are melancholy and beautiful. I am painting the colors and the way they make me feel. I am also watching the water as its level drops. I am painting the drying up of the pond in this fourth year of drought. … The afternoon light falls across the trees and fields. I see a symphony of dots and dashes of bright color and am drawn to the light. I am dazzled by how all surfaces give voice to the light as they reflect it. … I also see relationships: of things to place, the sun and wind, the water gently rising and falling. A place deeply observed will tell the story of its making: the animals and people who plant and mow and trim the trees, and swim and nibble and participate.
Adam’s project reflects one of our core beliefs—that humans are meant to be in “whole relationship” with place, rather than simply owning, stewarding or observing it. Reuniting ecology with art, knowledge with reverence, pragmatism with beauty, and observation with awe are part of restoring this relationship.
Below are images of Adam’s 2015 pond series paintings (oil on board). To learn more about this project and join the conversation about an artist’s relationship to place, process, and the changing seasons, engage with Adam’s new blog.