Wave Hill Exhibits Benjamin Swett’s Photos of New York City Trees
Wave Hill is pleased to present a selection of photographs from Benjamin Swett’s series New York City of Trees, on view in Wave Hill House from June 17, 2015, to March 27, 2016. Fascinated by the trees that make up New York City’s urban forest, Swett has dedicatedmany years to capturing their essence. For this photographer, trees are as much historical artifacts as they are botanical specimens. His portraits of trees throughout the five boroughs, among them the magnificent specimens in Wave Hill’s collection, describe the persevering role that trees play in the fabric of the city. Swett strives to make connections between trees and the neighborhoods where they grow. As he has written, “I have tried to showthe trees as living objects around which … associations may have gathered, and to think about what the places where they grow would be like if they were gone.” His photography workshops at Wave Hill, perennial favorites, address both the aesthetic considerations and technical issues facing nature photographers, helping aspiring artists see our landscape in a new way.
Swett had a previous solo exhibition at Wave Hill in 2001, and has shown previously at BCB Art, Hudson, NY; Arsenal Gallery in Central Park, New York, NY; Arts Center of the Capital Region, Troy, NY, and the Albany International Airport, Albany, NY. His works are in the collections of the Museum of the City of New York, New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts, Montefiore Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital and other public and private collections. As a writer and photographer, Swett has a particular interest in combining images with text. His books include New York City of Trees (2013), The Hudson Valley: A Cultural Guide (2009), Route 22 (2007), and Great Trees of New York City: A Guide (2000). Swett has received grants and fellowships from Furthermore, the Millay Colony for the Arts, and the Breadloaf Writer’s Conference.He has worked as a newspaper reporter and was a writer and photographer for the New York City Parks Department for 13 years before leaving in 2001 to pursue photography full-time. He has worked as a newspaper reporter, and was a writer and photographer for the New York City Parks Department for 13 years before leaving in 2001 to pursue photography full-time.
The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc., Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation, The New York Community Trust, New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.
Wave Hill, Inc. is an independent, non-profit cultural institution governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The buildings and grounds of Wave Hill are owned by the City of New York. With the assistance of the Bronx Borough President and Bronx representatives in the City Council and State Legislature, Wave Hill’s operations are supported with public funds through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; the Zoos, Botanical Gardens and Aquariums Grant Program administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation; and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.