Vision Box Project
Beginning in early June.
Ana Flores is the first Schumann Foundation Visiting Artist at the University of New Haven’s Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts. She is an award winning “ecological artist” probing the relationships between the human and natural history in different geographies. One of her goals as an artist is to encourage the public’s awareness of their local landscapes, deepening their connections to place because if we don’t care about something we will not help protect it.
At Lyme this spring she has been teaching Environmental Art, introduciing students to ecological artists and having them create projects that involve ecology, community engagment, and activsim. She has also been exploring the unique environment of OLd Lyme in preparation for a public art project. The Old Lyme landscape, with its conjunction of river, marshes, fields, and forests served as the inspiration for the American Impressionist movement in the early 20th century. For over three decades well known painters traveled here to document the esturary landscape with its particular quality of light. Flores believes there is a connection between the sustained gaze of these artists and the extraordinary efforts in concservation in the area. “The artists gave the land value for its irreplaceable natural beatuy and since the mid 1960’s Old Lyme citizens have been working hard to preserve some of the habitat that lured artists here.”
Working in collaboration with non-profit land trusts, the open space commission, individual stewards and local artists, Flores has designed the Vision Box project .The Vision Box project reminds us that we cannot take for granted open space, mature trees, or a clean river, they exist only because of visionary stewardship and in the case of Old Lyme, inspiration from artists’ vision.
Beginning in early June, the public can follow the trail of the Vision Boxes installed at four sites throughout Old Lyme. The boxes will be up for three months, at the end of the project the boxes will be auctioned. The resulting funds will be contributed to programs that bring urban youth to visit wilderness parks or refuges in the local area and give them the opportunity to draw in the field.