I recently finished a family residency at beautiful Stoneleaf Retreat, along with Ellie Irons as Next Epoch Seed Library. Photos are from studio visit with Helen Toomer, the director. Ellie and I each brought our toddlers, spouses, and parents/in-laws. What a great way to support female artists and mothers.


by Timothy A. Schuler

"The pandemic has forced many of us to reevaluate our relationships to productivity. I’ve come to see that our cultural and aesthetic preference for landscapes that are neat and tidy is part of a larger cult of order and optimization. Weeds intrude on the narrative that we have it all together. We may not always recognize what a particular fallow period—whether an afternoon, or the interminable pause in which we currently find ourselves—is providing. But claiming time for ourselves is, itself, an act of liberation. As the artist Anne Percoco put it, 'Weeds serve their own purposes.'"

For the Next Epoch Seed Library, I’ve installed Lawn (Re)Disturbance Laboratory at two sites at Seton Hall University, in concert with the exhibition, New World Water, opening in November, and curated by Samantha Becker and Jeanne Brasile. I’ll be monitoring these sites through the fall and documenting what species grow.

The Next Epoch Seed Library is grateful to receive a grant from the Puffin Foundation to fund our 2019 activities.

See page 32. Thanks Simone!

I’m presenting at this conference, on Sunday afternoon!

For the past two weeks I’ve been in residence at Mass MoCA’s Studios. I’m revisiting my Parallel Botany project, extrapolating the leaves into whole plants, via collage. Photos by Dylan McLaughlin.



Ellie Irons and Anne Percoco want you to rethink weeds. The artists run the Next Epoch Seed Library, a seed bank stocked with specimens from vacant lots, sidewalks, and superfund sites in the New York City area. The plants tend to get torn out or doused with herbicides—but they also help stabilize soil, suck up carbon, and keep cities cooler as the climate changes.

Wild city plants also help support pollinators like bees in urban areas—which is why the seed library is part of a new exhibit called Nectar: War upon the Bees at Pratt Manhattan Gallery.

“We’re trying to help validate and help people engage with these wild plants that are often called weeds," says Irons. "And to think about them as habitat, think about them as these really valuable parts of green infrastructure . . . that would also be beneficial for a whole suite of nonhumans, including bees.”

The Next Epoch Seed Library will be in residence at Wave Hill this January!