Piece description from the artist
Plein air painting along the Prospect Park Lullwater in Brooklyn. This body of water is fed by the same source as New Yorkers' drinking water. It's an artificial water course, initially designed in the mid 1800's by architects Olmsted and Vaux. I find the artificial constructed aspect fascinating. Many folks view this area as "nature" yet it is inextricably tied together with our culture. The water is recently overrun with green algae, a byproduct of some type of phosphorous added to the city water system to mitigate the effects of lead pipes. The explosion of green algae is called "eutrophication" and can adversely effect the health of the water body.
The designers of the park utilized views to give an illusion of unending space. I spent the day here at the edge of the body of water under the cloud covered sky and observed, lost in the unfolding elements of nature in the city.
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.
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