The Mobile Field Station is a national mobil art and ecology project created by artist Marion Wilson. Using a renovated RV (MLAB) as a drawing and botany lab, Wilson, in partnership with Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer, expert bryologist and writer of “Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses,” are creating a national herbarium of moss—a most overlooked, but ecologically significant form of plant life. This mobil art and ecology project celebrates attentiveness to place, smallness, and indigenous ways of knowing, which Wilson believes to be ecological, spiritual, scientific, artistic, and (like art) restores wonder to viewing. MLAB: The Mobil Field Station is filled with moss species, macro and micro drawing stations, and engages the public in a full interactive art/botany experience.
(Made possible in support by Syracuse University School of Education, Humanities Center, and Pastabilities)
Marion Wilson is an artist who lives and works in Syracuse, New York and maintains a studio in New York City. She has had exhibited and held completed public commissions for New Museum of Contemporary Art, NYC; Frederieke Taylor, NYC, Kasia Kay Art Projects, New Orleans; Dorsky Gallery, NYC; Shroeder Romero Gallery, Exit Art, Cheryl Pelavin Fine Arts and Sculpture Center, NYC; in addition to Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, Buffalo, NY; SPACES, Cleveland Ohio; and SCOPE Miami/Art Basel, Miami, Florida. Wilson has been awarded funded residencies at Millay Colony for the Arts (Nancy Graves Award); International Studio Program (NYSCA and Elizabeth Foundation) and Sculpture Space in Utica, NY. Wilson received her B.A. from Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT; M.A. from Columbia University, NYC; and her M.F.A. from University of Cincinnati, OH. Wilson is an Associate Professor and the Director of Community Initiatives in the Visual Arts at Syracuse University. She started MLAB and 601 Tully, a collaborative design team of art, architecture and design students at Syracuse, as a result of her belief in the revitalization of urban spaces through the arts.
Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, writer and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York. She is the founding Director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment, whose mission is to create programs that draw on the wisdom of both indigenous and scientific knowledge for our shared concerns for Mother Earth. Kimmerer is an enrolled member of the Citizen Band Potawatomi. Her writings include numerous scientific articles and the books Gathering Moss, which was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for nature writing in 2005, and Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, released in October 2013. As a writer and a scientist, her interests in restoration include not only restoration of ecological communities, but restoration of our relationships to land. She lives on an old farm in upstate New York, tending gardens both cultivated and wild.
Annie Martin or “Mossin’ Annie,” as she calls herself, has been a moss lover ever since she was a child. Growing up in western North Carolina, Martin witnessed constant development of natural landscapes for commercial properties. With this development came a devastation of one of the things she loved most: moss. While moss might not be the obvious first choice for a favorite plant, Martin loves it for a variety of reasons. She loves it so much, in fact, that she turned her passion for bryophytes into Mountain Moss Enterprises, a nursery—“mossery”— she has run since 2008. Annie Martin provides the Mobile Field Station project with moss species from her moss rescues at her nursery in North Carolina.
Ryland Heagerty is a graduate student in Art Education at Syracuse University. She works as a Graduate Assistant to Marion Wilson and has participated in planning and fundraising for MLAB/ Mobile Field Station projects.
Alex Mantzoros recently completed her undergraduate work at the Syracuse School of Architecture, and is now a graduate student at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. She will be getting her Master’s in Advertising.