Urban/Environment with Stephanie L. Rogers
Saturday, June 15 The Arts on Chicago celebrations continue into June with a reception forUrban/Environment, a photographic installation by gallery director Stephanie L. Rogers. Urban/Environment features thirty-nine photographs along Chicago Avenue and adjacent side streets between 32nd and 42nd Streets.
Accompanied by descriptive text in English, Spanish and Somali, the installation mimics interpretive signage associated with state parks. The photographs show intimate details that many people see every day but rarely notice or avoid stepping on. They examine the intersections between urban infrastructure and natural organisms. Rogers has captured rabbit tracks preserved in the sidewalk, a branch growing through a chain link fence, and native species flourishing in tiny gardens.
Photographs are installed as close as possible to the places where they were taken. Biogeographers Jacob Richards and Megan Buchanan served as consultants for the accompanying text, which celebrates the natural in the midst of the city while drawing attention to easy ways to improve the environment around us.
***Stephanie L. Rogers is fascinated by insects and plants, the relationship between decomposition and new growth, and the intersection of artistic and scientific processes. These interests were formed during childhood visits to an entomologist grandpa and teenage backpacking trips with the Girl Scouts. A former professor’s statement that, “the best art is always at the intersection between art and something else” continues to resonate. Rogers’ work with Public Art Saint Paul and Wing Young Huie has sparked her interest in art that occurs in public spaces. In addition to the Arts on Chicago project grant, a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board and a 5th year Apprentice Fellowship from St. Olaf College have provided opportunities to focus on these themes. Rogers’ work has been shown at venues including the Northrup King Building, and The Third Place Gallery (both in Minneapolis), the Northfield Arts Guild in Northfield, Minnesota, and Concordia College in Austin, Texas.
*Installation photo by Ben Hovlan