Piece description from the artist
Plein Air painting in a nice nook in Prospect Park. It was far away from others and the smell of BBQ was in the air.
The impressionists were on my mind, and how the invention of lead tubes for paint allowed them to work directly in nature and attempt to document the experience.
I was focusing on a shoreline clogged thick with phragmites, an invasive plant. Invasive species are a problem in many areas, but what makes something invasive? Is it the plant's fault or is it the fault of our relationship to it? How can we encourage a better relationship to these plants? Phragmites have changed the shoreline of the water body in Prospect Park, regardless of the wishes of Olmsted and Vaux, the designers, or the current landscape managers.
Noel Hefele is a talented landscape painter with a diverse background in the arts. Born and raised in Norwalk, Connecticut, he received his BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in 2002 and later earned a MA in Arts and Ecology from a school in England. Throughout his career, Noel has had the opportunity to exhibit his work internationally and has pieces in numerous private collections. He has also served on the board of the non-profit community arts organization PLGarts in Brooklyn, New York and co-teaches a graduate course at Brooklyn College called Human Tracks in the Urban Landscape. In 2013 and 2014, Noel was the Artist in Residence at the Barbuda Archeological Research center in the Caribbean.
Currently, Noel resides and works in the Bronx, New York where he is in the process of exploring Van Cortlandt Park and creating a new body of work. As an artist, Noel believes in the power of art to help us move towards a more responsible and holistic understanding of the environment. He sees the landscape as an entangled field of relationships that includes humans, animals, plants, minerals, and more, and believes that by viewing the non-human world as more than just objects, we can take responsibility for our impact on the planet and recognize that we are not the sole subjects of the Earth's narrative. Through his art, Noel aims to collaborate with the landscape in order to produce effects in himself and others, aesthetically and emotionally reconfiguring the way we see the world.
For more information and to see more of Noel's work, visit www.facebook.com/NoelHefeleStudios.