LABVERDE: Art immersion in the Amazon

Artist Ashley Cecil participates in LABVERDE

Big news: I’ve been invited to participate in LABVERDE this August in the Amazon rainforest. The art immersion program is based at the Adolpho Ducke Forest Reserve in Manaus, Brazil. It was “created to strengthen the limits of art through a broad array of experiences, knowledge sets and cultural perspective involving art, science and nature. The program’s main goal is to promote artistic creation through a constructive debate about environmental issues generated by both theory and life experience in the Amazon rainforest…LABVERDE promotes an intensive experience in the rainforest mediated by a multidisciplinary team of highly qualified specialists in art, humanity, biology, ecology and natural science.”

In 2017, 210 submissions were received from 36 different countries. 30 artists were accepted, including myself. Sadly, I had to defer my participation because I got pregnant between submitting my application and being accepted (it wasn’t safe to travel to the country of origin of Zika given the circumstance). Luckily, the program organizers held my spot for the 2018 so I wouldn’t miss the opportunity to be a part of this niche program is so well aligned with the theme of my work.

While at the Adolpho Ducke Forest Reserve, I’ll conduct research by collecting photographic reference, attending ecology seminars, completing group assignments and going on guided tours in the Amazon rainforest both on foot and via boat. Topics covered will include, “landscape representation, climate change and environmental impacts, wild edible plants, entomology, botany and natural history of organisms.” All of this will serve as inspiration that I’ll later use to create new work that piques your curiosity about nature and environmental stewardship.

Special thanks to the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council for awarding me an Artist Opportunity Grant to support this endeavor.

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