Area of Concern

Area of Concern

Organized by Mike Curran and Tom Bierlein at Crosby Farm Regional Park, Area of Concern is a public program that includes a site-specific installation, live happenings, and a publication centered around the emerald ash borer—an insect introduced to Minnesota in 2009 that is expected to cause the functional extinction of ash trees.

The Installation

On View 09/10/2022 — 10/09/2022

The installation site is situated a 5-minute walk from the primary parking lot at Crosby Farm Regional Park, which is located in St. Paul at 2595 Crosby Farm Road. The exact location is pinned here

Assembled by Tom Bierlein, the structure is built from the wood of two infected ash trees that were felled at a nearby home in Apple Valley in August 2022. Functioning as both a temporary gathering space and a quiet place for reflection, it offers a site to sit with the forest as it adjusts to the loss of its leading tree. The structure’s plain, exposed heartwood mirrors the bare bark of the trees it foregrounds, evoking something like a memorial while also subtly suggesting an architecture made from the mess of our past.


Basketmaking Demonstration with April Stone

09/17/2022 | 10am–1pm

April, a member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Ojibwe, is widely recognized for her working knowledge around weaving baskets made from the fibers of black ash trees. During this demonstration, visitors will be invited to learn about this process and tradition, gather splint material from an ash log, and try their hands at weaving. Visitors are welcome to join the demonstration anytime between 10am–1pm. 

Attuning to

09/24/2022 | 10–11am 

"If you zoom in close enough, could you still see the place where your feet end and the soil begins? What if you zoom out far enough?" In a performance from dance artist Kaya Lovestrand, audiences will be invited to tune into the sights, sounds, and smells of the floodplain forest, cultivating an attentiveness useful for navigating the feelings of ambiguous loss that accompany both personal and ecological grief. A talkback with Lovestrand will follow the performance. 

Plant Walk with Hope Flanagan

09/27/2022 | 5:30–7pm

Hope, a Seneca elder and the community outreach and culture teacher at Dream of Wild Health, will lead an educational plant walk through Crosby Farm. Participants will learn more about the cultural connections between this place and Indigenous peoples, and expand their understandings of the numerous plant relatives beyond the ash tree that are found throughout the park, highlighting the interconnectedness of this floodplain forest ecosystem. 

 *Limited space, advanced registration required. Register here

For more information visit the Area of Concern website

Image: April Stone

Find out what's up every week.

No spam. Just local art news and events straight to your inbox.