Birds, Bugs, Biodiversity

Birds, Bugs, Biodiversity

September 14, 2017 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Westby Hall room 111
Open to all

International artist, biologist and environmental educator Brandon Ballengée opens the Rowan University Art Gallery season with Sea of Vulnerability, a series of trans-disciplinary installations, assemblages, and mixed media artworks inspired by his ecological field and laboratory research that offer dramatic visual representations of biological species that are in decline, threatened, or already lost to extinction.

An artist lecture takes place on Thursday, September 14 from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. in Westby Hall Room 111 on the university campus, followed by a reception from 5:00 – 7:30 p.m. at the gallery, 301 West High St. in downtown Glassboro.

The lecture is sponsored by the College of Communication and Creative Arts as part of the Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series, in partnership with the College of Science and Math and the School of Earth & Environment.

Concurrently, RUAG presents Ballengée's light emitting sculpture Love Motel for Insects, in partnership with Freedom Prep Charter School and Virtua Camden, at 1000 Atlantic Ave. in Camden NJ. Standing 12' high by 15' long, Love Motel for Insects is an ongoing series of public art installations intended to construct situations between humans and arthropods. The works use ultra-violet lights on large sculpted canvases to attract flying moths and create an opportunity for public interactions with nocturnal arthropods, which are not often seen. The installation is on view from September 14 through March 2018.

Other works in the gallery exhibit include a 9 foot high tower of 26,162 preserved specimens representing 370 species of fish and other aquatic organisms collected from the Gulf Coast impacted by the BP oil spill; an installation of foliage representative of the lush forest habitat of South America; video of a Tennessee warbler that collided with a mirrored glass window in the Wall Street area of Manhattan; larger-than-life size photographs of chemically 'clearing and staining' terminally deformed frogs found in nature; and a series of cut images of missing animals from historic prints and publications printed at the time in history when the depicted species became extinct.

For nearly 20 years, Ballengée has merged his scientific research with ecological art in work that bridges art and science, while engaging in community-based environmental stewardship.

Ballengée's work is inspired by direct observation of amphibians, birds, fish, and insect species found in today's ecosystems and direct experience in scientific laboratory settings. He works in diverse media which include biological materials, large-scale scanner photographs, site-specific installations in gallery and outdoor settings, and participatory community-based trans-species happenings.

The gallery is located at 301 High Street West. Free 2-hour public parking is available in the Mick Drive Parking Garage across the street from the gallery. Admission to the gallery, lecture, and reception is free and open to the public. Regular gallery hours are Monday – Wednesday, 10 am to 5 pm; and Thursday - Saturday, 10 am to 7 pm. Directions can be found on the gallery website. For more information, call 856-256-4521 or visit

Ballengee's work is presented courtesy of Ronald Feldman Fine Arts and the artist. Support for programming at Rowan University Art Galleries has been made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

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