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Linda Stillman, an artist in Hillsdale, N.Y., was inspired during and by the COVID-19 pandemic to learn more about the non-native invasive plants that threaten our environment. Photo by Linda Stillman​

Art and the Danger of Invasive Plants

Artist and gallerist KK Kozik opens her ICEHOUSE Project Space in Sharon, Conn., again on Saturday, Aug. 14, with a project by Linda Stillman called “Bitter/Sweet.” 

Invasive non-native plants are a source of concern to anyone who loves our local landscape. Stillman has constructed an installation from the very plants about which she aims to raise consciousness.

“During the coronavirus lockdown, I found refuge in daily walks along my street in Hillsdale. Trying to identify the roadside plants, I discovered that almost all of them were non-native invasives. My growing awareness of the dangers of these plants coincided with our growing understanding of the invading virus. 

“Learning to identify and name the plants and distinguish them from similar benign species was the first step in my research. I eventually narrowed my focus to the 12 most destructive invasives in our area. In the tradition of the amateur artist/naturalist, I painted images of the plants on round canvases with their common and Latin names, outlined in orange. These tondi are arranged in a clock-like circle, hinting at the urgency of preserving biodiversity.”

The opening reception for “Bitter/Sweet” will be Aug. 14 from 4 to 6 p.m. The exhibition will run through Sept. 18 and can be viewed by appointment only. Get details on the location and make appointments by calling Kozik at 917-488-8740.     

— Cynthia Hochswender

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