An Art-Science Talk by Kristen Orr and Kate Fleming 

MAY 5, 2018
11am – 12 pm
Arts Resource Center


Artists Kristen Orr and Kate Fleming will be in residence at AS IF Center for two weeks this April. They will give an art-science talk titled “In My Backyard” at the Arts Resource Center (second floor of the Spruce Pine Toe River Arts Gallery, 269 Oak Avenue) on May 5 from 11am-12pm. This event is co-sponsored by AS IF Center and Toe River Arts and is free of charge.

During their residency, Kristen and Kate will be creating a series of prints based on an artistic and scientific research trip they took across North Carolina in May 2017. The artists spent a week visiting seven nature preserves, each within a distinct ecoregion of the state—Roan Mountain, Linville Gorge, Uwharrie National Forest, Weymouth Woods, Green Swamp, Black River, and Carolina Beach State Park. They documented the species, colors, textures, sounds, and smells of each location using a variety of artistic and scientific methods. Using the data they collected on their trip, they are collaborating to create imagery that is representative of each location.

It is easy to take for granted the place where you live, and sometimes it takes a bit of distance to notice. It took Kristen several years of living away from her home state of North Carolina to properly appreciate all that it had to offer. At a surface level, this project is about highlighting the diverse ecosystems of North Carolina. But even more so it is a project about place, home, and finding value in the things in your own backyard. Kristen and Kate hope that their project serves as a reminder that you don’t have to go far to find wild, unusual, beautiful places. 

Kristen and Kate are working on their project with scientific guidance from Dr. Peter Weigl, an ecologist at Wake Forest University and from The Nature Conservancy of North Carolina.

At the talk on May 5 at the ARC, the artists will share stories from their epic road trip across the state and describe how they used artistic and scientific methods to capture the essence of an ecosystem. Their collected visual data, including notes, sketches, paintings, color swatches, pressed plants,soil samples, and field recording will also be on display.



About the artists-
Kristen is a multimedia artist and designer from Winston-Salem, NC. She currently works as an exhibit designer for the Museum of Science, Boston and holds a BFA in Industrial Design from the Rhode Island School of Design. Kate is a painter and printmaker based in Arlington, Virginia. She works as an exhibit specialist at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, and graduated from the College of William and Mary. Kristen and Kate met in 2014 while working together at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. Since then, they’ve collaborated on a number of projects that have combined their interests in art, science, and place.

Please RSVP by email to Nancy Lowe at Toe River Arts is a non-profit organization whose mission is to connect the arts in all its forms with the community. For more information about its work, please visit the website, or call 828-682-7215.

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