It’s a warm October morning on the farm, and as rows of fall veggies eagerly stretch toward the sun, their beautiful form is being reimagined with ink and paper in The Ecology Center’s Print Lab. The humble, open air structure attached to the farm house isn’t much to look at most days, but today, it’s buzzing with activity as artist-in-residence Cody Hudson runs a squeegee across the surface of a screen, imprinting dazzling red-orange hues onto a sheet of archival paper. “I wanted to keep an open mind and not have much planned for the prints ahead of time, to really let them be inspired by being at The Ecology Center, so I spent a lot of time at first just walking the farm with Evan [Marks, The Ecology Center founder], taking notes and doing little sketches of plants,” says Cody. “It was a really interesting process to just experiment on new things and color combos and overlaps while working with Casey [The Ecology Center designer] for a few days. The pieces all feel pretty abstract, but also tie in closely to the feelings I was having while on the farm while also highlighting shapes found in nature.”
The world-renowned, Chicago-based artist is no stranger to The Ecology Center—his rainbow sculpture welcoming the community into our Market Garden has long been a visitor favorite. But this is the first time he’s been able to spend time on the farm, which just so happens to align with a visit from Nereo Zago, our Rio de Janeiro-based creative director. Needless to say, the creative juices are flowing. By the time the dust settles, four designs and over 40 unique prints will have been made over the course of two days. The work will be shown in our farmhouse-turned art gallery for a free community event in December, and many prints will make their way onto our online shop, so anyone can bring Cody’s vision of abundance home.
As for the print lab? Things are only just getting started. “We’re really excited to have the Print Lab as a space where creativity can blossom and where we can collaborate with deeply knowledgeable artists and makers like Cody,” says Evan. “And in the end, that creative energy trickles down to our children, who will find inspiration in this work and be able to use the same tools to explore their creativity as well.” Want a unique piece of farm-inspired art for your home? Check out the “Print” section of our online store, which is stocked with beautiful hand-screened art from Cody’s residency at our Print Lab.
“I like that every person who sees my work can take away something different from it. Sometimes it might brighten a person’s day or make them think back to a memory of nature. Or the combination of shapes might make them think of something totally unrelated to what I was feeling when I was making the work. I like that I can’t control how the viewer feels when they see something and that allows for the viewer to bring a little bit of themselves into the work.” —Cody Hudson