Email Lee Ann
My doctoral research focuses on knowing changes in our environment, issues pertinent to ecological sustainability through methodologies that do not rely on the dominant Western scientific paradigm of logic and reason. I have developed and put a name to these intentional methods of art making and call it, art-based perceptual ecology (Woolery, 1999).
In the art-based perceptual ecology practice, the image, like metaphor, provides a breakthrough into a dimension of intelligibility previously inaccessible, offering a new language, a new understanding of the phenomenon being studied. The job of the image is to fix the place in time and space. The image is the container — it holds the space. The image created in the intentional art making represents one moment in the evolutionary history of the land, representing time frozen on the journal page. The image created in this intentional art making practice becomes a graphic record of the intelligence of one’s body in relationship to place, embodiment of the knowledge held within this one landscape. Knowledge held within landscapes can be understood by considering biology, which is the science of life and living organisms. Biology defines the life process of organisms as it involves growth about a point in space. If we recognize a point is a record of, or the static result of dynamic equilibrium, then we know multiple points become patterns. Patterns are the tangible record of interactions between and amongst organisms in the landscape (Allen & Hoekstra, 1992; Vernadsky, 1998). Making images through art-based perceptual ecology practices brings one to an awareness of the patterns found at multiple scales in the landscape. The land’s patterns, known as the codes of the land’s communication system, when revealed, yield the language of place or stories in the land. Ability to read the patterns provides one with clues to the evolutionary history of the landscape.
Recognizing that our problems need to be addressed in as many ways as they are experienced and understood, preliminary results of the researchers autoethnographic arts-based research study suggest that art-based perceptual ecology offers a pluralistic discourse, which may generate new questions and make available new solutions to ecology research.
PhD Environmental Studies, Antioch University New England, Keene, NH (2006)
Desert Ecology Field Study Abroad—Sonora, Mexico, Antioch University New England, Keene, NH
MAAT Art Therapy, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
The Artist in Latin American Art and Culture Study Abroad — Brazil, South America, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Magazine Publishing Program, Texas Monthly Magazine, Rice University, Houston, TX
BA, Graphic Design, with honors, Columbia College, Columbia, MO
Honors & Grants
Chicago YMCA Creative Program Award for site-specific programming: Urban Children in Crisis and Recycled Art Workshop for Inner City Youth
Guggenheim Scholarship, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Columbia College Scholarship for Artistic Merit, Columbia College, Dean’s List
Research Experience and Exhibitions
Art-based Perceptual Ecology as a Way of Knowing the Language of Place, WA, MO, AZ, NH, IL, Sonoran Desert, Mexico.
The Research Ambassador Program: Empowering Scientists to Communicate Research to Public Audiences, NSF grant — Nalini Nadkarni PhD, research scientist; Inquiry-based youth educational representative — IslandWood, Bainbridge Island, WA.
The White Dress Project: An action research project exploring art-based discourse applicable to public environmental policy making supporting clean water, Chicago, IL and IslandWood, Bainbridge Island, WA.
Alternative monitoring methods in the assessment of rainfall and vegetation in a Ciénaga Community, Sonoita Creek, Patagonia, AZ and Sonoron Desert, Mexico.
Building Environmental Values through Nature Experience and Artmaking, Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, FL
The White Dress Project, IslandWood, Bainbridge Island, WA
Community, Nature & Spirit, Antioch University New England, NH; Seeding the Snow: Women Connecting with Nature, McHenry Nature Center, Crystal Lake, IL
Seeding the Snow: Women Connecting with Nature, Women Made Gallery, Chicago, IL
Truth. Artist’s Personal Visions, Gallery 312, Chicago, IL
Bainbridge Island, WA
I manage a multi-faceted arts program, which includes an artist-in-residence program, commissioned art program, yearly residential education conference for teachers, professional development workshops and the integration of the arts in the residential school overnight environmental education program for fourth and fifth graders. IslandWood is an environmental learning center, which provides inquiry-based learning for children, adults, and teachers that integrates art, science, and technology.
Bainbridge Island, WA
Adjunct faculty to University of Washington, I teach a graduate level course, “Integrating the Arts into the Curriculum” in the Education, Environment and Community graduate program, IslandWood, Bainbridge Island, WA; Professional Development for Teachers, “Blurring the boundaries between art and science” at IslandWood Graduate Program on Education, Environment and Community.
Professional Development Workshop at Art, Literature and Science Project, Red Butte Gardens, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
Visiting Professor and CPS Lecture Series speaking on “Building Environmental Values through Nature Experience and Artmaking” at Environmental Studies Department at Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, FL
Guest Lecture speaking on “Art and Ecology”
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Graduate Program, Chicago, IL; Facilitate “EcoArt Workshops: Merging Creativity, Imagination, and Science”, professional development for teachers, grades 4–7, Chicago, IL
Mentor at the PEACH Club/Gallery 312, Cultivating the human nature bond through the practice of art and ecology, Chicago, IL
Environmental Consultant to videographer, Claudia Courbon on two films
Mazamorreo – In search of memory: A multilayer documentary which addresses anthropological, folkloric, sociological and contemporary issues facing Afro-Colombian communities of the Pacific Lowlands of Colombia, South America and Women of Gold – Opening up new paths: A documentary exploring different ways Afro-Colombian female leaders organize their communities to preserve their cultural heritage amidst the political climate in Colombia. Their goal is to revitalize and recognize the role Afro Colombian women of the Cauca department play (and, have always played) in community building, environmental protection and, local knowledge conservation.
Artistic and Program Director
The P.E.A.C.H. Club. The P.E.A.C.H.Club/Gallery 312 is a creative arts and mentorship program employing art as the vehicle to develop self-awareness and empowerment in culturally diverse inner-city children, ages 7–14, Chicago, IL
Program Director and Artist-in-Residence
YMCA of Metro Chicago. Created and facilitated art/nature curriculum for urban youth and environmental public art sculpture, Chicago, IL.
“Art-base perceptual ecology as a way of knowing the multiple scales of the landscape”. Poster Presentation at the ESA-INTECOL joint meeting, Montreal Canada; “Art-based inquiry of place – Exploring non-traditional inquiry methods of monitoring ecological systems through art-based perceptual ecology”- Workshop presentation at ArtCultureNature Conference: Earth Matters: Imagination and Practice in Sci-Arts Eco-Cultures, University of Washington, Bothell, WA; “Investigations of ecological systems through art-based perceptual ecology” — Workshop presentation at EEAW and EEAO joint conference; Sound to Steens, Connecting Deserts to Oceans, Environmental Education and the Natural World, Vancouver, WA; “Arts as Assessment: Arts as Evidence of Learning” — Workshop at Pacific Education Institute’s Literary Arts and Environmental Education, Seattle, WA.; “Conversations at the confluence of art and science” – Invitational symposium at IslandWood, Bainbridge Island, WA.; “Using the Visual Arts to Teach Science” Workshop presentation at 2nd Annual Improving Learning through the Arts with an emphasis on math, science and language arts conference, IslandWood, Bainbridge Island, WA.
“Art-based perceptual ecology as a way of knowing the language of place” – Workshop Presentation at Association of Nature Center Administrators Summit X, Bainbridge Island, WA.; “Using the Visual Arts to Teach Science” — Workshop presentation at 1st Annual Improving Learning through the Arts with an emphasis on math, science and language arts conference, IslandWood, Bainbridge Island, WA.
Studying the effects of human and natural disturbances on canopy biota composition through traditional scientific inquiry methods and non-traditional inquiry methods with Karen Matsumoto, M.A., The Art/Science Chautauqua, Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA.
“Blurring the boundaries: Exploration at the intersection of art and science” paper presented at North American Association for Environmental Education Conference, Boston, MA
“Ecology and art: Creativity cultivating the human-nature relationship” — Workshop presented at Community, Nature & Spirit Conference, Antioch University New England
The Life-Death-Rebirth of flowing water — Paper presented at University of Minnesota Duluth Interdisciplinary Conference, The Bonds Between Women and Water; “The White Dress Project: An exploration of art-based discourse applicable to public environmental policy making” — Presentation at University of Minnesota Duluth Interdisciplinary Conference, The Bonds Between Women and Water.
“Addressing psychological loss in adolescent girls through EcoArt Therapy” paper presented at American Art Therapy Association Workshop, Portland, OR; “EcoArt Therapy, Making Art as if the whole world mattered” paper presented at Naropa Institute Ecopsychology Conference, Boulder, CO.
“Art and Nature as a way to wholeness” paper presented at Illinois State Art Therapy Assoc. Annual Conference, Chicago, IL
Art-based Perceptual Ecology as a Way of Knowing the Language of Place in New Horizons for Learning Journal