Artist-in-Residence Jackie Skrzynski made a series of artworks based on her observations of invasive and native species in Black Rock Forest during her sabbatical from Ramapo College as an Associate Professor. Her frequent hikes through the woods provided inspiration and a sense of connection with a larger natural system. By depicting invasive plants, she brought attention to their prevalence and helps viewers identify them in their own neighborhoods. This project supported the mission of Black Rock Forest by fostering a better understanding of the natural world through the intersection of art and science and public education through public programs.
Throughout her career, Jackie Skrzynski (skrin-ski) has been making art that challenges the arbitrary physical and psychological boundaries between humans and nature. She earned her undergraduate degree in Art from UNC-Chapel Hill, including a pivotal year in Spain, and her MA and MFA from the University at Albany, NY. Her artwork has been widely exhibited at universities and galleries, including Mount Saint Mary’s College, University of Nevada, the Seligmann Center, and Morehead State University. She has received grants from the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, the New York Foundation of the Arts (SOS), and is a 4-time recipient of the Orange County Individual Artist award. She contributed a chapter to the anthology Reconciling Art and Mothering and has had her own artwork appear in several publications.
Beyond her studio practice, Skrzynski is interested in bringing art to the community in creative ways. She is the founder of PUG Projects, through which she curates temporary art exhibits in transitional, economically diverse spaces. She also created the yearlong outdoor collaborative piece Silent Walks on the Half Moon documented in a blog by the same name, which has been exhibited at the Dorsky Museum at SUNY New Paltz. Skrzynski is an Associate Professor of Drawing and Painting at Ramapo College of New Jersey.