Artists in Residence in Everglades, AIRIE, presents its latest Wild Billboard, with artwork by Anne Blazejack and Geddes Levenson. Soaring high above Interstate Highway 95 in downtown Miami is Swamp Reclaims the Pool, bringing attention to the mission, artists and impact of AIRIE, and interrupting the traditional commercial messaging along the city’s concrete arteries.
This Wild Billboard will be on view November 24, 2019 to January 5, 2020, spanning high tourist season, and viewed by an estimated 3.3 million people.
We, Geddes Levenson and Annie Blazejack, are in a long-term committed art-making collaboration. We both grew up in Miami, FL, and our work responds to the precariousness of South Florida’s environment as sea levels rise. In our recent paintings, the Everglades is rendered as an alien landscape. The wildness of the swamp seeps into the city of Miami. Headlamp-wearing suburbanites interrogate their pools at midnight. Half-alligator women swim through backyard pools overgrown with murky weeds. Our subjects survive a changing climate by transforming themselves. (As things fall apart, let us re-assemble them in improbable ways.) The paintings weave a feminist, environmentalist sci-fi.
– Annie Blazejack and Geddes Levenson
Geddes Levenson and Annie Blazejack grew up together in Miami, FL. They have been showing work together for over a decade. Blazejack received her MFA from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston / Tufts University in 2013, and Levenson received her MFA from Pratt University in 2014. While pursuing their graduate degrees, they decided to make all their work collaboratively.
Blazejack currently lives in Raleigh where she is a Brightwork Fellow at Anchorlight. Levenson is based in Brooklyn, where she is a member at BKLYN Clay. They recently spent a month making work together at AIRIE (Artists in Residence in Everglades). Notably, they have installed solo shows at The Carrack, in Durham, NC, The Art and Culture Center, Hollywood, FL, Placeholder Gallery, Miami, FL, The Deering Estate, Miami, FL, and the White Page Gallery in Minneapolis, MN. They have also shown at the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh, NC, Howard Art Projects in Boston, MA, Locust Projects, Miami, FL, and Norte Maar Art Space in Brooklyn, NY. Their work was featured in the Art Basel edition of Indulge Magazine, 2016, the Miami Herald, August 12, 2018 and Miami New Times August 28, 2018.
About Wild Billboards
The billboard is part of AIRIE’s larger initiative, Wild Billboards – a project that takes over the traditional marketing outlets of commercial billboards to provide thought-provoking environmentally conscious art from AIRIE fellows in unexpected places. AIRIE Fellows spend up to a month living and working in the wilderness as an Artist in Residence in Everglades. They are introduced to park rangers, scientists, environmental advocates and community leaders during their stay to gain a multi-level understanding of the Everglades ecosystem and the issues facing this fragile, beautiful landscape.
The Wild Billboard project first debuted in 2015 with the support of a Knight Arts Challenge award from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Since then, AIRIE has presented billboards on highways and urban locations in Midtown Miami, Wynwood, Hialieah and Little Haiti.