A Studio in the Woods

A Studio in the Woods, a program of Tulane University located in an endangered bottomland hardwood forest on the Mississippi River in New Orleans, is dedicated to forest preservation, science-inspired art education and providing a peaceful retreat for artists and scholars who are interested in tackling challenging issues with imagination, power and resourcefulness.

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Category:Arts & Culture
ASITW focuses on three interrelated issues. (1) Southern Louisiana can be seen as a microcosm of the global environment, manifesting both the challenges and possibilities inherent in human interaction with urban and natural ecosystems. ASITW offers artists and scholars the opportunity to explore these interactions through residencies, contributing to the global dialogue on the arts and the environment. (2) The need to restore the diminishing bottomland hardwood forest ecosystem, our botanist works to eradicate invasive species and foster growth of native grasses, shrubs, vines and trees. (3) The need for people of all ages to experience nature first-hand and develop an appreciation for it. Through public programs and summer camp, the Studio offers invaluable opportunities to interact with nature.
Visual Artist, Isabelle Hayeur writes about her experience as an Artist in Residence. "Knowing in advance that Southern Louisiana had experienced environmental disasters, spending much of my time at A Studio in the Woods made me experience something different. I saw dying and disappearing ecosystems, but I also saw that it was possible to change that non-harmonious relationship. The whole place-the house, the land, and the people at the Woods serve as an example for people to see that another relationship is possible."

Nina Nichols is a Performing Artist who produced costumes, puppets and props for an operetta during her residency at the Studio. "I think that Lucianne said it best when i was working on a puppet and she said, 'you want it to looks if it just grew there.' You always her about site-specific installation, but this time I feel like I have had the opportunity to finally make something true to the land and that the intensely diverse and colorful ecosystem here has become part of the way I smell, feel and see."

Alex Harris, Photographer, spent his residency editing, Why We Are Here: Mobile and the Spirit of a Southern City, a book he co-authored with world-renowned naturalist E.O Wilson. Harris wrote of his time in the woods "I was being offered the opportunity to enter another world entirely: a unique natural landscape and human environment where my work would be supported and where I could put aside all distractions and truly focus on the writing project I had not been able to do at home."