December 23, 2019

Brooklyn Library names Mary Mattingly as 2020’s Artist in Residence


Every year the Brooklyn Public Library hosts an Artist in Residence to connect local artists to the library and its patrons. According to the library website, the program offers library patrons the chance to participate in workshops and watch the artists at work. Then at the end of the summer, they can view the art. Very cool!

According to ArtForum, Mary Mattingly has been selected to serve as the library’s Katowitz Radin Artist in Residence for 2020. Peter Libbey, reporting for the New York Times, describes Mattingly as “an artist whose work focuses on the ecological spaces and resources that people share.”

Mattingly is arguably most known for her project Swale, an edible landscape on a barge in New York City.

Docked at public piers but following waterways common laws, Swale circumnavigates New York’s public land laws, allowing anyone to pick free fresh food. Swale instigated and co-created the “foodway” in Concrete Plant Park, the Bronx in 2017. The “foodway” is the first time New York City Parks is allowing people to publicly forage in over 100 years. It’s currently considered a pilot project.

Libbey reports that Mattingly will start her residency with a joint exhibition, “Stars Down to Earth,” at the library’s main branch on January 13.

Her contributions will include a spherical sculpture embedded with plant fossils from the Eocene epoch and living plant life, as well as a window display of photographs focusing on the industrial supply chain. Intricate and carefully researched sculptures by Mr. Robleto will supply the cosmic dimension.

The exhibition opening will include a talk with the artists and a reception, to be followed by more programming throughout the year.



Amelia Stymacks is the former director of digital marketing at Melville House.