Past Exhibition – Oona Stern: the reluctant naturalist

Oona Stern: the reluctant naturalistJan 24 – Feb 26, 2011Work based on her residency at Palmer Station, Antarctica, awarded by the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program.

Gallery Talk: Wednesday, February 2, 11 am – 1 pm

Oona Stern, untitled (lichen plaid), 2009, mixed media on paper, 8.5” x 11”
In January 2009 Oona Stern travelled to Palmer Station in Antarctica as a fellow with the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program. The study of ice and its structures was the focus of Stern’s Antarctic research, and the reluctant naturalist is the first solo exhibition of work based on her residency.Palmer Station, on Anvers Island in the archipelago of the Antarctic Peninsula, offered easy observation of many forms of ice – from calving glaciers to fields of brash ice drifting on the tide out to sea. Motoring daily to different sites in a Zodiak boat, Stern produced dozens of field drawings and shot thousands of photographs. This research data is the source material for the work exhibited. The exhibit, which ranges from sketchbooks to sculpture, reveals both the visual tapestry of this rarely visited region, as well as the range of support services that make such research possible.The National Science Foundation created the Antarctic Artists and Writers Program to facilitate work in the arts to promote the Antarctic heritage of humankind, increasing public understanding of the region. An interview with the artist can be found at:

Oona Stern has been exhibiting her architectural installations internationally since receiving her MFA from The School of Visual Arts in the late 1990s. She has had solo shows at Galerie Reinhard Hauff in Stuttgart, Diaz Contemporary in Toronto, White Columns and Elizabeth Harris Gallery in New York City. She has been shown at Feature Inc, Von Lintel Gallery, Sara Meltzer Gallery, The Drawing Center, and the Islip Art Museum, as well as university venues including the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, The University of Rhode Island, and The University of Alabama. Recent public installations have included the sound of grass growing at the Bloomberg headquarters in New York, and reSurfacing, a street intervention ongoing since 2005 at the parking kiosk under the Zigfield marquee on 54th ST, NYC. deDomination was installed in the New York City subway in 2008-09.

Ms Stern received Pollock-Krasner grants in 1999 and 2002, a NYFA Fellowship in 2003, an Artists’ Space Independent Project Grant in 2005, and Manhattan Community Arts Fund Grants in 2005 and 2008. Residencies have included the Edward Albee Foundation, Dieu Donné Papermill, and the LMCC Workspace in New York. In 2008, she was awarded an Antarctic Artists’ and Writers’ Program residency by the National Science Foundation. Ms Stern has taught or lectured at several colleges and universities, including Middlebury College, Fashion Institute of Technology, and the University of Rhode Island.

Oona Stern lives and works in New York City. Her next endeavor will involve sailing through the Svalbard Archipelago in the Arctic Circle. Adfreeze Project, a collaboration with the sound artist Cheryl Leonard, is a series of daily artworks combining sound and form to explore the region.