Katie Holten collaborates with Western New York cultural organizations Artpark, Talking Leaves…Books, Western New York Book Arts Center, and Hallwalls to present a free Tree Workshop and launch the publication of The Language of Trees
Buffalo, NY and Lewiston, NY, Friday, April 21, 2023 —Irish born, Brooklyn-based artist and activist Katie Holten will visit Western New York in May for two engagements: a book launch at Hallwalls in Buffalo on Friday, May 19, 2023 at 7pm, and a special Tree Workshop and book signing on Sunday, May 21, 2023 from 11am-2pm at Artpark in Lewiston. These two events are organized on occasion of the U.S. launch of her stunning new publication The Language of Trees (Tin House). Both events are free to the public.
Inspired by forests, trees, leaves, roots, and seeds, The Language of Trees: A Rewilding of Literature and Landscape invites readers to discover an unexpected and imaginative language to better read and write the natural world around us and reclaim our relationship with it. In this gorgeously illustrated and deeply thoughtful collection, Katie Holten gifts readers her tree alphabet and uses it to masterfully translate and illuminate beloved lost and new, original writing in praise of the natural world. With an introduction from Ross Gay, and featuring writings from over fifty contributors including Ursula K. Le Guin, Ada Limón, Robert Macfarlane, Zadie Smith, Radiohead, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, James Gleick, Elizabeth Kolbert, Plato, and Robin Wall Kimmerer, Holten illustrates each selection with an abiding love and reverence for the magic of trees. She guides readers on a journey from creation myths and cave paintings to the death of a 3,500-year-old cypress tree, from Tree Clocks in Mongolia and forest fragments in the Amazon to the language of fossil poetry, unearthing a new way to see the natural beauty all around us and an urgent reminder of what could happen if we allow it to slip away.
The Language of Trees considers our relationship with literature and landscape, resulting in an astonishing fusion of storytelling and art and a deeply beautiful celebration of trees through the ages.
On May 19 at 7pm, Holten will be in conversation with Patty Krawec, author of Becoming Kin: An Indigenous Call to Unforgetting the Past and Reimagining Our Future at Hallwalls (341 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14202). Both Holten and Krawec will sign books after the talk. Hallwalls and Talking Leaves have supported the creation and presentation of literary arts in Western New York for over 40 years and are proud to do so in partnership. Decades of collaboration include book readings and signings, writer residencies, literary festivals, film screenings and a variety of immersive programming.
On May 21 from 11am to 2pm, Artpark will host Holten’s Tree Workshop. Participants of all ages are invited to Lewiston to consider art, nature and creativity through a series of special guided, drop-in events (450 S 4th St, Lewiston, NY 14092). Free activities include:
- Screen Printing and Bookmaking, in collaboration with Western New York Book Arts Center
- Tree Drawings utilizing the artist’s “Tree Alphabet”, a font Holten designed to consider our experiences of language and nature
- Tree Walks, guided by Mark Gallo, Professor of Biology at Niagara University
- Discussion between Holten and writer Patty Krawec, author of Becoming Kin: An Indigenous Call to Unforgetting the Past and Reimagining Our Future
- Book signing with Holten, Krawec and others, in collaboration with Talking Leaves…Books.
Through this Tree Workshop, Holten encourages park-goers to adopt a greater understanding of the natural environment and consider the urgent issues associated with the climate emergency.
The specially conceived Tree Workshop at Artpark is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. The Language of Trees in the United States is also supported by Culture Ireland.
About Katie Holten
Katie Holten is an artist and activist. In 2003, she represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale. She has had solo exhibitions at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Nevada Museum of Art, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, and Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane. Her drawings investigate the entangled relationships between humans and the natural world. She has created Tree Alphabets, a Stone Alphabet, and a Wildflower Alphabet to share the joy she finds in her love of the more-than-human world. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Artforum, and frieze. She is a visiting lecturer at the New School of the Anthropocene. If she could be a tree, she would be an Oak.
Artpark is a park and a cultural institution located on the Niagara Gorge, USA. Established in 1974, Artpark is a collaboration between the New York State Parks and the cultural nonprofit institution Artpark & Company. Artpark is currently programmed and managed by an independent nonprofit Artpark & Co. and is widely regarded as a summer outdoor cultural venue. Artpark delivers 150+ events attended by 150,000+ visitors, on 150+ acres of land over 110 days of summer. Ninety of these events are community & family programs delivered to over 50,000+ people at low or no cost. Artpark & Co. programming delivers $13-Million in estimated annual economic impact on the community.
About Talking Leaves…Books
Talking Leaves is Buffalo's oldest independent bookstore, bringing together readers and writers, ideas and issues in our community since 1971, with a diverse and idiosyncratic selection of books for readers of all ages.
About Western New York Book Arts Center
The WNY Book Arts Center (aka ‘Book Arts’) is a non-profit visual arts organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of printmaking and the art and craft of the book. Book Arts' downtown Buffalo location features an artist workspace, residency and exhibition programs, youth and adult education programs, a community accessible print studio, and a retail artisan market. Onsite and within our community, in-person and virtually, Book Arts provides opportunities for artists, youths and community members to participate in a range of creative activities.
Hallwalls mission is to recognize and serve a vital community artistic presence which is global in its outlook, challenging in its ideas, pluralistic in its concerns, and diverse in its expression. Hallwalls' twofold mission is to serve artists by supporting the creation and presentation of new work in the visual, media, performing, and literary arts, and to serve the public by making these works available to audiences. Hallwals is dedicated in particular to work by artists which challenges and extends the traditional boundaries of the various art forms, and which is critically engaged with current issues in the arts and—through the arts—in society. Finally, Hallwalls believes that the right of freedom of expression for artists, and for free access to their works by interested individuals, must be protected as a fundamental and necessary condition of our mission.
Tree Workshop at Artpark is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.
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