New York City Urban Field Station

Featured Product

SWALE. NYC Urban Field Station artist-in-residence Mary Mattingly has created a floating food forest that invites the public to cultivate fresh food as the barge travels through NYC harbors and acts as a setting for conversations about food and public policy. (Courtesy of A Blade of Grass Foundation’s Fieldworks).

Featured Event

Care as Culture
Queens Museum
Feb 12, 2017
Mierle Laderman Ukeles and Rebecca Solnit moderating
Including Swale, Featuring Mary Mattingly, YMPJ, and NYC Urban Field Station as panelists

Arts and Humanities Residency Program

The goals of the NYC Urban Field Station's Arts and Humanities Residency Program are to bring perspectives from the arts and humanities to urban social-ecological systems and to incubate new relationships with artists and writers to inform our research and land management.  We seek to explore and communicate the value, diversity, and wonder of urban nature, reaching members of the public in new ways.  Through their affiliation, artists will have opportunities to be embedded with Urban Field Station staff, projects, and sites, and will share their own work via internal brownbag talks and Science of the Living City public seminars.


An inaugural cohort of New York City-based artists were selected  in June 2016 because of their work at the intersection of art, urban ecology, sustainability, nature, and design. These artists explored ideas that can be incubated via relationships with public agencies working at the nexus of research and natural resource management. 


Our second cohort of artists was selected in June 2017 in response to a Request for Proposals. The call emphasized innovative perspectives on the following topics:

  1. 1) Urban environmental stewardship; an urban land ethic; understanding the role of civic engagement in environmental systems and community resilience; strengthening cross-cultural and diverse engagement in environmental stewardship;
  2. 2) Fostering urban ecological health through biodiversity and connectivity, nature-based resilience, and nature as source of inspiration and creativity; advancing the discussion on nature’s benefits to local communities such as clean air and water; and
  3. 3) Restoration, creation, and management of NYC nature.

2017 Artists-in-Residence

Katie Holten

[photo:] Katie Holton, Photo by Dillon Cohen, 2016

Katie Holten is a visual artist based in New York. She grew up in rural Ireland and studied at the National College of Art & Design in Dublin, the Hochschule der Kunst in Berlin, Cornell University in New York, and the Santa Fe Institute.


In 2003 Holten represented Ireland at the 50th Venice Biennale. She has had solo museum exhibitions at the New Orleans Museum of Art (2012); Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, (2010); The Bronx Museum, New York (2009); Villa Merkel, Esslingen, Germany (2008); Nevada Museum of Art, Reno (2008) and the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (2007).


Deeply committed to social causes, especially as they pertain to environmental issues, she makes drawings, sculptures, installations, books, public artworks and ephemeral actions that function as poetic alterations to the everyday. Holten often works on site to explore the history, ecology, and other invisible aspects of an environment. At the root of her practice is a fascination with the contingency of life's systems – organic and man-made – and the inextricable relationship between man and the natural world in the age of the Anthropocene. Recognizing a crisis of representation as our species adapts to life in the Anthropocene, her book About Trees considers our relationship with language, landscape, and perception. She created a Tree Alphabet and used it to translate a compendium of well known, loved, lost and new writing. The result is an astonishing fusion of storytelling and art, which celebrates trees and our understanding of them, their past and their future, their potential and their ubiquity.  


Matthew Jensen

[photo:] Matthew Jensen Matthew Jensen’s multi-disciplinary practice combines photography with walking, collecting and rigorous site-specific explorations of landscapes. His projects strive to connect people to places by expanding the traditions of landscape photography to include a range of mediums and actions. Each body of work develops from time spent in publicly accessible landscapes or by examining the way different technologies transform this experience.


In 2016 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in photography and a Peter S. Reed Foundation grant for photography. He has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts for his projects Park Wonder in 2016 and The Wilmington Center for the Study of Local Landscape in 2013. His photographs are in major public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art and the Brooklyn Museum. In 2015 his solo show, Feels Like Real, debuted at Yancey Richardson Gallery in New York. His site-specific projects and walks have been supported and commissioned by the High Line, the Queens Museum, Kenpoku Art Festival, the Brandywine River Museum of Art, the Delaware Contemporary, Storm King Art Center, Wave Hill, and Brooklyn Bridge Park, among others.


Jensen is part-time assistant professor of photography and studio art at Parsons School of Design at the New School. He received his MFA from the University of Connecticut and BA from Rice University.

Heidi Neilson

[photo:] Heidi NielsonHeidi Neilson is an interdisciplinary artist interested in giving visual and sensible form to the connections between people on the ground and above-earth conditions and infrastructure. Her work includes, recently: Ground Station, a project exploring the detection and use of earth-orbiting satellites using ham radio techniques; SP Weather Station, where weather data-gathering instruments serve as a hub for various activities addressing earth’s atmosphere; and Menu for Mars Supper Club, a series of events to envision and emulate cuisine on Mars. Her often collaborative and publishing-based work is included in over 60 museum and university collections, and her activities have received support from many organizations for exhibitions, production, publication, residencies, and travel, including: the Art Matters Foundation, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Center for Book Arts, the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York Foundation for the Arts, Queens Council on the Arts, Wave Farm, and Women's Studio Workshop. Born in Oregon, Heidi and lives and works in New York.




2016 Artists-in-Residence

Mary Mattingly

[photo:] Mary MattinglyMary Mattingly creates sculptural ecosystems in urban spaces. With the NYC Urban Field Station, she is working on a floating food forest for New York called “Swale”. She also recently completed a two-part sculpture, “Pull,” for the International Havana Biennial with the Museo National de Belles Artes de la Habana and the Bronx Museum of the Arts. Mattingly’s work has been exhibited at the International Center of Photography, the Seoul Art Center, the Brooklyn Museum, the New York Public Library, deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, and the Palais de Tokyo. In 2009 Mattingly founded the Waterpod Project, a barge-based public space and self-sufficient habitat that hosted over 200,000 visitors in New York. In 2014, an artist residency on the WetLand launched in Philadelphia. It is being utilized by UPenn's Environmental Humanities program. She has been awarded grants and fellowships from A Blade of Grass, the James L. Knight Foundation, Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology, Yale University School of Art, the Harpo Foundation, NYFA, the Jerome Foundation, and the Art Matters Foundation.

SWALE. NYC Urban Field Station artist-in-residence Mary Mattingly has created a floating food forest that invites the public to cultivate fresh food as the barge travels through NYC harbors and acts as a setting for conversations about food and public policy. (Courtesy of A Blade of Grass Foundation’s Fieldworks).

Lize Mogel

[photo:] Lize MogelLize Mogel is an interdisciplinary artist and counter-cartographer. Her work intersects the fields of popular education, cultural production, public policy, and mapping. She creates maps and mappings that produce new understandings of social and political issues. Her work connects the real history and collective imaginary about specific places to larger narratives of global economies. She has mapped public parks in Los Angeles; future territorial disputes in the Arctic; and wastewater economies in New York City. She is co-editor of the book/map collection “An Atlas of Radical Cartography,” a project that significantly influenced the conversation and production around mapping and activism. Exhibitions include the Sharjah (U.A.E.), Gwangju (South Korea) and Pittsburgh Biennials, “Greater New York”at PS1, and “Experimental Geography”, She has lectured extensively about her work nationally and internationally, including at the 2013 Creative Time Summit. Lize has received grants from the Graham Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, and the Danish Arts Council. She has been an artist in residence at Headlands Center for the Arts and a Fellow at the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie-Mellon University.

Adam Stoltman

[photo:] Adam StoltmanAdam Stoltman is a photographer, editor, media developer and consultant who has been involved in traditional and digital media for over 30 years. At the New York Times Magazine, he was part of the team which produced award-winning visual coverage of world events including the Fall of the Eastern Bloc, the First Gulf War, Tiananmen Square and the oil fires in Kuwait. At the daily newspaper, he was instrumental in the transition from analog to digital production processes for the photo report. His photographic work has appeared in most major publications. He has covered 12 Olympic Games, and has also photographed long term feature stories on cultural figures and artists, including Maya Lin, and Leonard Bernstein. Some of his work is in the permanent collection of the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, in Rochester, New York. He has also worked for, and with companies such as Time Warner, Eastman Kodak and The Walt Disney Company, and has advised cultural organizations, foundations and corporates on the intersection of content, culture and technology. In the late 1990's, he co-founded and co-published Journal E, an award-winning online publication, and one of the first to regularly present streaming media content on the internet. Presently he is working on a long term photographic documentation project on the relationship between Parks and People in New York City.