Sarah Bird at the Historical Society

Thu, 07/18/2019 - 4:00pm

Trees are rare on Block Island. Agricultural deforestation in the 18th and 19th centuries had left the land relatively low and bare. Perhaps as a consequence, the oldest trees on the island take on remarkable stature.

And so we present the portraits of Sarah Bird, an artist dedicated to “the beauty and complexity of these great protagonists in our web of being.” Under the advisement of the Historical Society, Bird has photographed Block Island’s most iconic actors in the landscape: trees located at familiar landmarks or on historic properties. Some mark sentimental journeys or points of transition in the use and treatment of the land. All carry stories of island history: long-term residents and partners in the life and preservation of the island. The show will be on display from Thursday, July 25 through October. The Opening reception is on Thursday, July 25 from 6 to 8 p.m.

The exhibition consists of nine works installed in the newly renovated galleries in the Museum’s second floor. While this group of artworks depicting beautiful, historically noteworthy trees is by no means exhaustive, it is rather a jumping off point to examine trees’ unique role in the overlap of natural and social history of Block Island. 

Limited edition prints are available through purchase at the Museum Shop.

Sarah Bird is an interdisciplinary artist whose work investigates relationships between humans and the natural world in an attempt to catalyze us to protect our planet’s precious bio-diversity. She is based in Brooklyn, N.Y. and Santa Cruz, Calif.

Susan Sellers organized the exhibition. An island summer resident, Sellers is Partner and Creative Director at New York City design firm 2x4, and former Head of Design at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.