FORESTival fundraiser highlights artists’ creative work

The seventh annual FORESTival, a fundraiser for A Studio in the Woods, takes place Saturday, Nov. 11, with new and returning events.
FORESTival appeals to a wide audience, with activities specifically for children and ones meant for adults, such as those that showcase the creative work inspired by the grounds, said residency technician Grace Rennie.

“It only takes 20, 25 minutes to get here, but you feel like you’re in a different world.”

Grace Rennie

Then, the allure of almost 8 acres of bottomland hardwood forest in Algiers is attractive on its own.
“It’s a lovely day in the woods outside of the city, and that appeals to a lot of folks. It only takes 20, 25 minutes to get here, but you feel like you’re in a different world,” Rennie said.
This year’s FORESTival schedule includes participation by former artists-in-residence Byron Asher, a musician, who will perform his original composition, and Benjamin Morris, a poet, who wrote the first draft of his newly published book, Ecotone, there. Morris will read from Ecotone as well as lead a guided tour.
“I knew that there would be work waiting for me on that plot. I could feel it,” said Morris of the grounds. “Learning how to ‘read’ a forest – understand the tree growth and species ecology … enabled me to write this book.”
Another FORESTival activity is “Building a Clay Forest,” during which attendees shape trees out of raw clay and sticks to make an original, collaborative sculpture.
The suggested donation is $10 per person. Children are admitted free. Proceeds benefit A Studio in the Woods’ programs.
The schedule also includes art exhibits, puppetry, a full music lineup, food and drink available for purchase, a silent auction and guided tours of the woods by Tulane scientists.
Morris will lead one tour to the places that inspired his poetry. But he invites visitors to look for their own inspiration.
“The woods yield their secrets to anyone who is patient enough to observe them,” he said.

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