Darlene Farris-LaBar is an associate professor of art at East Stroudsburg University. Her educational background includes a MFA from the School of Art and Design at SUNY, Purchase College, a BFA at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and an AAS in Digital Media Arts from the College of Technology in New York City. Her art requires scholarly research through environmental interaction and the studying of a variety of eco-systems. It focuses on preserving various plant species of the natural world through the use of 3D digitally designing and printing.
My inspiration begins within protected and preserved lands. It is there that I observe various indigenous plant species significant to the surrounding area. I am greatly fascinated by how nature has engineered its endless forms and colors. Each life form posses a specific role and function that is meant to keep the natural environment thriving. In an attempt to shift my audience’s experience about the environment and transform the way they value it, I use 3D printing and software technology to recreate flower and plants into art. These works are intended to promote protected lands bringing awareness about the importance of each plant species to the ecosystem and preserving them for future generations. My art serves a diverse community that provides awareness about a changing culture and vulnerable environment. During a critical point in time, with our planet currently existing in a fragile ecological state, these topics are incredibly valuable to the world we all depend upon.
The experience of connecting to nature and the interaction with art has a measurable effect on cognition. As humankind draws toward technology, it moves away from the natural world. The result is potential devastation in the form of entire ecosystems injured and destroyed. My work combines art with technology to promote the natural environment. My work encourages the meaningful use of technology while simultaneously providing opportunities for thoughtful immersion in nature to deepen the understanding of delicate balances within ecosystems. This contemplative engagement with the exhibit illustrates the social irony of technology; the very thing from which we wish to escape provides the refuge from itself as the 3D printed sculptures lead guests directly to nature.