Interdisciplinary artist and sculptor Philip Ross will speak at Ursinus
on Friday, Feb. 6, at 4:30 p.m. in Musser Auditorium, Pfahler Hall. Ross is a Visiting Professor at Stanford University and the San Francisco Art Institute as well as a Senior Lecturer at the California College of the Arts. His work readily appropriates the aesthetics at work in varied biological and environmental science practices. The event is free and open to the public without tickets or reservations.
Along with his work as an artist, Ross is an amateur bio-engineer and a member of the San Francisco mycological society, North America's largest local amateur society formed to promote the study and exchange of information about mushrooms. Ross uses living organisms, such as mushrooms and oysters, as the inspiration for his art, and he designs and creates highly controlled environments in which he manipulates, nurtures and transforms a variety of living species into sculpture.
Ross has worked collaboratively with a number of institutions. As artist in residence for the Life Science Department of San Francisco’s Exploratorium, he designed and constructed a hydroponic garden and fountain for its Traits of Life exhibit. At a California oyster farm, he devised a method of growing a colony of oysters onto an armature, a three-year process that produced a 20-foot- long architectural structure composed of a mass of fused oyster shells.
Working at the disparate intersection of homegrown technologies, folk art, materials science and design-it-yourself cultivation techniques, Ross has grown and exhibited a series of Reishi mushrooms in a highly artistic form and created self-contained survival capsules for single living plants.
His international exhibitions include Bios4 at the Andalusian Centre of Contemporary Art, Seville, Spain, and Biennial of Electronic Arts in Perth, Australia. In the United States, his numerous exhibitions include GardenLab at the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, Calif., and he curated the exhibition, BioTechnique at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, Calif.