Mychelle Moritz is a multimedia sculpture artist and art therapist of more than two decades who incorporates clay and scavenged bits into her works. Creating is a way of advocating for nature while also working through her internal landscape. Mychelle’s art is playful yet provocative and evokes a sense of place and wonder. Each series she creates tells an environmental story, and she is especially concerned about the damage that humans are perpetrating on our wild friends.

Mychelle finds herself blending the world of art and science to communicate to the public about often-overlooked ways that we are contributing to our own natural landscapes’ degradation. She is inspired by books like “Finding the Mother Tree” by Suzanne Simard and nature: the intricate network of communication among trees via mycelium connections.

The heart of Mychelle’s upcoming residency at Pine Meadow Ranch lies in the exploration of invasive species, their migration to Central Oregon, and how they have impacted the local ecosystems. Mychelle aims to challenge the common perception of invasive species as the villains. Instead, she sees them as unwitting participants impacted by human influence, and perpetuated by human processes.

During her residency, Mychelle plans to begin creating an installation that educates viewers about the migration of a selected invasive species — likely a beetle. She envisions replicating patterns and impacts of the species using plaster molds to produce ceramic representations. “Later in my residency, [March 21] I’m going to have an open studio time where people can come and actually help me [make pieces from the molds]. I just haven’t identified exactly which species yet,” Mychelle said before her residency. “But my grand vision is that I’m going to create an installation that is based on education about the migration of this particular species and the damage that it’s done, and then maybe even what we can do to help reverse that damage.”

Mychelle feels connected to the ranch’s mission because of her own origin story. She was raised in a scientifically focused household yet always had artistic leanings that throughout her life that she grew to nurture. By using art to communicate about science in a place that is both home to art and science Mychelle is bridging different pieces of her lived and nurtured inner landscape.

Come learn from Mychelle in person at the Pine Meadow Ranch Open Studio on March 21, from 4-6:00 PM. The event is free but registration is required. Also at the Open Studio, here from other residents, writer Jen Karetnick and writer/historian Natasha Varner.

Resident Bio:
Mychelle Moritz (She/Her) – Portland, OR

Mychelle Moritz is a multimedia sculpture artist who incorporates clay and scavenged bits into her works. Drawing from a narrative base, each series she creates tells a story, and is especially concerned about the damage that humans are perpetrating on our wild. Creating is a way of advocating while also working through her internal landscape.

 

Published On: March 14th, 2024 / Categories: Pine Meadow Ranch, Pine Meadow Ranch Programs /