432 native plant and animal species are protected under the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act (MESA), which turns 31 this year. In celebration of this milestone, Curation 250 gallery has teamed up with local artist Sophy Tuttle, and will showcase 4-6 pieces of her work highlighting various species from the MESA list.
Sophy studied illustration as an undergrad, working with small ink drawings. Then, over a period of time she began using color. Simultaneously, she became interested in environmental justice and began working around those themes. That led her to earn an MFA in interdisciplinary art with a focus on social and environmental justice. During an artist residency in Oaxaca, Mexico–a city full of colorful murals–she fell in love with the ability of walking down a street and being fully immersed in art all around her on a large scale. When she returned to New England she began to find opportunities to create murals locally like she had created in Mexico.
Her upcoming art installation, titled MESA 30+1 is a collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Wildlife as they have allowed her the resources to research which species to highlight. The show is being funded by a grant from the Lowell Cultural Council.
These installations could include mural elements, wooden cutouts, paper elements, light/shadow, and sound. They will allow the urban viewer to step into the habitat and life of the species, learning about its diet, habits, and the threats to its continued existence. There will be an opportunity for the viewer to react and reflect, creating the space for a collective catharsis and space for mourning. Within the gallery space, there will also be information on ways these species can be helped, closing the loop of awareness, reaction, and action.
“As New Englanders we are accustomed to learning about endangered species in, for example the Amazon or more sensitive environments and ecosystems and we don’t really think about the species in our back yard. There are 432 species on the list which are Massachusetts specific. I want to introduce people to these species and maybe peak their interest in learning more about the species in their own backyard that are endangered.”- Sophy
MESA 30+1 will open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays 10-4pm from June 12 to July 31 at Curation 250 on the 5th floor of Mill No. 5.