Art Gallery Exhibition: Trees Also Speak

Event date: 

Monday, April 2, 2018 (All day) to Saturday, April 28, 2018 (All day)


Amelie A. Wallace Gallery, Campus Center
Flyer for Trees Also Speak Art Exhibition



Opening Reception: Thursday, April 5, 2018, 4 – 7 pm

Public Programs:

  • Artist Talk: Courtney Leonard, April 5, 4:30pm
  • David Martine: Curatorial Research Fellow, American Indian Artists Inc. April 11, 4 – 5 pm
  • Artist Talk: Desert Art Lab: April 23, 4 – 5 pm


The Amelie A. Wallace Gallery at SUNY College at Old Westbury presents Trees also Speak, an exhibition curated by Dr. Catherine Bernard that features the work of six Native artists from the United States, including two artists from Long Island. The works cover a diversity of mediums: film, video and photography and mixed media installation. The artists in Trees Also Speak act as storytellers who create narratives that examine the colonial and neo-colonial practices that govern the exploitation of indigenous lands, whether it is tourism, mineral extraction, water contamination, and underline the need for sustainable and shared strategies for land use. In many ways their work is about recovering a collective memory and environmental responsibility. They look for alternative models of thinking that stress and honor our interdependence and connectedness with the lands that we rely upon and on which we stand.

In a 1997 study, ecologist Suzanne Simard discovered that trees interact with one another through underground networks, showing that cooperation is a paradigm found in nature, one that counterbalances the competitive evolution model and argues that interdependence is an intrinsic character of living things. In his book of essays, The Relative Native, Brazilian anthropologist Eduardo Viveiros de Castro discusses a conception of the world as being inhabited by different sorts of beings, humans and non-humans, who apprehend reality from distinct points of views.

Both analyses inspired Trees Also Speak, whose artists affirm our interconnectedness with the natural world and underline our responsibilities for its stewardship with works that acknowledge the exploitation of native lands, the assault on the natural environment in indigenous communities, and the need for a shared awareness and common solutions. They understand that a sustainable future must take into account cultural and political claims specific to native peoples rooted in the present and not only the past.

For further information , please contact the gallery at yih [at] or 516-876-2709/3056.