The Photosynthesis Project was an invitational endeavor for artists and writers who reside in SW Michigan, conceived by Linda Rzoska – owner of Ninth Wave Studio in Kalamazoo. Participants were asked to consider and explore the subject of photosynthesis and respond to it artistically. The first exhibit of this project was at the November Art Hop 2019 at the Center for New Media (KVCC). This second exhibit is an edited version of the original, which also included sculptural pieces and writing.

Artists included here in its second exhibit are Melody Allen, Susan Badger, Tamara Hirzel, Alexa Karabin, Elizabeth Kerlikowske, Helen Kleczynski, Dave Middleton, Lynn Pattison, Linda Rzoska, and Joe Smigiel.

Subject of Photosynthesis

In a nutshell, virtually all organic material on planet Earth has been produced by cells that convert energy from the Sun into energy-containing macromolecules. This process known as photosynthesis is essential to our planets global carbon cycle.

Photosynthesis is largely responsible for producing and maintaining the oxygen content of our planet’s atmosphere and supplies all of the organic compounds and most of the energy necessary for life on Earth.

How the project came about

Linda Rzoska’s artwork focuses on creating imagery that moves the viewer to re-establish their ancient connection to nature and the Earth. After hearing the following quote by Robin Wall Kimmerer her interest in the subject was sparked.

“I have photosynthesis envy. The ability to take these non-living elements of the world, air and light and water, and turn them into food that can then be shared with the whole rest of the world — to turn them into medicine that is medicine for people and for trees and for soil, and we cannot even approach the kind of creativity that they have.”

Rzoska realized that the exploration of the subject of photosynthesis would be a necessary progression for her work’s focus. She planned to establish a body of work based on this magnificent concept – and began her research by studying various writings on the subject of photosynthesis along with the topics of “environmental justice”, “biosphere consciousness” and the Joseph Campbell’s writings on the “new mythology”.

Rzoska’s hope was that this research and her preliminary artwork studies would give her a foundation knowledge to have a solo exhibition. She soon realized that the concept was too vast and to do it justice, so the idea of a collaboration with other artists emerged.

Artist Reception

There will be an Artist Reception with light refreshments on March 29 at 12:15 p.m. The exhibit will be available for viewing through the end of April, 2020.

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