Todd Gilens is a visual artist working with the National Forest Foundation’s Lake Tahoe West project to provide alternative visions of forest health and future ecological conditions in the Lake Tahoe basin. These tree sections are studies for a temporary public artwork in which a ‘forest’ of sayings can be browsed by visitors in a public space near the lake. Through research and dialogue, he bridges art and science communities, developing public artworks that reward close attention and reflective thought in everyday life. In this series of drawings, paraphrases from the literature of forestry, ecology, religion, history and art are used, as if embedded in the time sequences of tree rings.
Todd teaches ecology courses at the Academy of Art University, San Francisco, and holds a master’s degree in landscape architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Grants, fellowships and residencies include research grants from Dumbarton Oaks Library, Washington DC, the Jiji Foundation for field research in the Sierra Nevada, and an international artists residency at Digital Arts Studios, Belfast, UK. He lives in Berkeley, California.