Who’s Adapting? Panel Discussion & Book Signing
Join us for a special program with award-winning ecologist Carl Safina and featured artists James Prosek and Walton Ford, who will address the relationship between animals, humans, and the natural world, and help to promote the necessity of living with native animals in our urban midst and developing mutually rewarding relationships. Their practice in the visual arts, ecology, animal behavior, and environmental activism speak to the themes of Un/Natural Selections: Wildlife in Contemporary Art.
Carl Safina will be signing his newest book, Alfie & Me: What Owls Know, What Humans Believe, about the profound bond he and his wife formed with a rescued owl. James Prosek will be signing two of his exhibition catalogs, Ocean Fishes: Paintings of Saltwater Fish and Art, Artifact, Artifice. A sampling of Walton Ford’s publications, including Walton Ford. Pancha Tantra. Updated Edition and PaleoArt: Visions of the Prehistoric Past, 1830–1980 will be on display, and guests who have previously purchased books by Ford are encouraged to bring them to be autographed by the artist.
Carl Safina’s lyrical non-fiction writing explores how humans are changing the living world and what the changes mean for all beings. His work fuses scientific understanding, emotional connection, and a moral call to action. The author of ten books, Safina has won a MacArthur Fellowship, book awards from the National Academies, and medals from John Burroughs, just to name a few. He is now the first Endowed Professor for Nature and Humanity at Stony Brook University and is founding president of the not-for-profit Safina Center. He also hosted the PBS series Saving the Ocean.
James Prosek, whose painting Southern White Rhinoceros, Zimbabwe is featured in Un/Natural Selections, has been named by The New York Times as “the Audubon of the fishing world.” Prosek published his first book, Trout: An Illustrated History, at nineteen and has proceeded to write award-winning books about eels and ocean fishes. His work has been shown nationally and internationally, including at The Royal Academy of Arts in London and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, with solo exhibitions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, among others. He has been an artist-in-residence at the Yale University Art Gallery and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Prosek has written for The New York Times and National Geographic Magazine and won a 2003 Peabody Award.
Walton Ford is an American artist whose work examines the relationship between humans and animals in the wild. These creatures, he believes, “would rather be left alone.” He makes paintings and prints in the style of naturalist illustrations, often depicting extinct species, three of which are featured in Un/Natural Selections. His works are complex allegorical narratives that critique the history of colonialism, industrialism, politics, natural science, and humanity’s effect on the environment. Each painting is a meticulous, realistic study in flora and fauna filled with symbols, clues, and jokes referencing texts ranging from colonial literature to folktales and travel guides.
Support provided by Art Bridges.