A public garden & cultural center

Jeff Slomba

Call & Response | September 10–December 3, 2017

Pyre, 2017, vellum, charcoal made from holly, poke weed, black chokeberry, crepe myrtle, 72 x 48 x 24 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Wave Hill. Photo: Stefan Hagen.

Jeff Slomba’s piece combines two-dimensional drawing with three-dimensional sculpture. In the interest of site-specificity, the artist sourced his materials from Wave Hill’s grounds, making charcoal from sticks and branches collected from the garden’s brush pile. The charcoal is used to draw specimens of the tree species from which the drafting medium was produced. Additional branches were used to create the scaffold that serves as a support for displaying the drawing. As an environmentally concerned artist, Slomba’s materials and process reflect a deep interest in maintaining a sustainable practice.

Alternating Currents
Sunroom Project Space | October 9–November 28, 2010

Alternating Currents, 2010, carved wood, polychrome, hydrocal, stereo amplifier, speakers and digital music players, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist.

Jeff Slomba’s recent work is concerned with invasive species and the effects of world trade and industrialization on regional flora and fauna. The sculptures and recorded sounds in Alternating Currents explore the coexistence of the natural and manmade environments in an ever-increasing global market. Slomba uses the imagery of shipping containers, invasive species and discarded technological devices to create a narrative of cultural production merging with natural phenomena.

In the installation, Slomba displays the shell of a veined rapa whelk made of carved wood in which stereo speakers are ensconced. The large sea snail originated in the East Asian seas and was brought to the Chesapeake Bay in the bilge water of shipping vessels. The invasive species has decimated oyster beds and is disturbing the ecosystem of the Bay. A horseshoe crab, also made of wood, holds a music player and represents the indigenous component that is endangered by coastal development. The perforated shipping containers, which appear to have been eaten or attacked by sea creatures, house amplifiers. Together the audio components of these hybrid objects form a closed circuit that produces the acoustically similar but competing sounds of the shore and of highway traffic. The wall drawings of tire tracks made by sea snail sculptures refer to the I-95 interchange and its proximity to the Sound near the artist’s home in West Haven, Connecticut. Slomba’s work questions whether this arrangement is symbiotic or unbalanced or simply part of a continual system of adaptation and modification. 

Alternating Currents, 2010


Alternating Currents, 2010, carved wood, polychrome, hydrocal, stereo amplifier, speakers and digital music players, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist.

Artist website

The Arts at Wave Hill are supported by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc.; Michael J. Shannon; Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York Community Trust Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; The Pollock-Krasner Foundation; The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; and by the Cathy and Stephen Weinroth Commissioning Fund for the Arts.