I was first drawn into the exhibit by the seeming dissonance of animal against human landscape -- an owl nestled in an I-beam? As I delved farther, though, the sculptures and paintings became none-too-subtle messengers of a simple fact so many people forget: these animals were here before us, and it's our responsibility to ensure they have safe, clean, natural places to live. Most nature art supports that message, but Tricia's work leads you to think beyond the typical forest and water settings to our own backyards, literally and figuratively.
Especially in Northern New Jersey, our open spaces are at a premium and whatever we can do to preserve them will have a positive impact for animals, plants and humans alike. In addition to her art, Tricia's working on the reforestation of Essex County's South Mountain Reservation, with more than 40 sites currently in the program. Ivan, as I've mentioned earlier, is working to improve the health of the Hackensack Watershed through Hackensack Riverkeeper. Through these and other organizations around the state, all of us can participate in one-time or extended volunteer efforts to clean up, preserve and restore our environment.
Tricia's work will be shown at the State Museum until February 19. She very graciously granted permission for us to share a few of her works on Hidden New Jersey, and you can check out more of her work and philosophy on her website.