Environmental News: Media Center
ST. LOUIS, MO (July 29, 2014) – Acclaimed artist Jenny Kendler will debut a provocative new piece at this week’s Marfa Dialogues in St. Louis, her first public project since being chosen to be the founding participant in the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Artist-in-Residence program.
In St. Louis, Kendler will unveil a mobile food cart entitled “Milkweed Dispersal Balloons” that will tackle the vexing issue of pollinator declines in the Midwest. As climate change and increased pesticide use kill plants like milkweed, monarch butterflies and other creatures that rely on them pay the price. With once abundant monarch butterfly populations crashing, Kendler will spotlight the issue by taking a food cart for butterflies throughout the city distributing biodegradable balloons filled with milkweed seeds along with instructions on how to disperse the seeds to create monarch food patches.
The novel work is typical of her art, which often explores people’s view of nature and blur the line between art and advocacy. During the residency, she has been working side-by-side with NRDC’s Land and Wildlife program out of the organization’s Chicago office in direct collaboration with lawyers, policy experts and scientists working on an array of issues in the hope that resulting artworks will help translate and contextualize NRDC’s wildlife advocacy in new and engaging ways.
Public engagement is at the core of both NRDC’s Artist-in-Residence initiative and Kendler’s work. The food cart will appear at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation (3716 Washington Boulevard in St. Louis) on Wednesday night, July 30 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. It will also appear at the Tower Grove Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning from 8:00 a.m. to Noon.
Balloon mock-ups and butterfly images are available upon request.
- Kendler talked about her work and the “Milkweed Dispersal Balloons” in this short video produced when she was profiled for a Chicago Reader cover story last month: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQyz35ZbQZI
- Images of Kendler’s artwork and an artist statement are available on her Web site www.jennykendler.com
- More on Kendler’s work and the Marfa Dialogues at http://stl.marfadialogues.org/participants/natural-resource-defense-council/ and http://stl.marfadialogues.org/#about-md
- More on the issue of monarch butterfly declines at http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/sfallon/monarch_butterfly_population_h.html and http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/sfallon/glyphosate_and_monarchs.html