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Wave Hill exhibits Benjamin Swett's photos of New York City trees
Post Oak, 20”. Hunter Island, Pelham Bay Park, Bronx. March 7, 2012. Archival Pigment Print. Courtesy of the artist.

BRONX, NY.- Wave Hill is presenting a selection of photographs from Benjamin Swett’s series New York City of Trees, on view in Wave Hill House from June 17, 2015, to March 27, 2016. Fascinated by the trees that make up New York City’s urban forest, Swett has dedicated many years to capturing their essence. For this photographer, trees are as much historical artifacts as they are botanical specimens. His portraits of trees throughout the five boroughs, among them the magnificent specimens in Wave Hill’s collection, describe the persevering role that trees play in the fabric of the city. Swett strives to make connections between trees and the neighborhoods where they grow. As he has written, “I have tried to show the trees as living objects around which … associations may have gathered, and to think about what the places where they grow would be like if they were gone.” His photography workshops at Wave Hill, perennial favorites, address both the aesthetic considerations and technical issues facing nature photographers, helping aspiring artists see our landscape in a new way.

Swett had a solo exhibition at Wave Hill in 2001, and has shown previously at BCB Art, Hudson, NY; Arsenal Gallery in Central Park, New York, NY; Arts Center of the Capital Region, Troy, NY, and the Albany International Airport, Albany, NY. His works are in the collections of the Museum of the City of New York, New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts, Montefiore Hospital, Mount Sinai Hospital and other public and private collections. As a writer and photographer, Swett has a particular interest in combining images with text. His books include New York City of Trees (2013), The Hudson Valley: A Cultural Guide (2009), Route 22 (2007), and Great Trees of New York City: A Guide (2000). Swett has received grants and fellowships from Furthermore, the Millay Colony for the Arts, and the Breadloaf Writer’s Conference.

He has worked as a newspaper reporter, and was a writer and photographer for the New York City Parks Department for 13 years before leaving in 2001 to pursue photography full-time.

Wave Hill, Inc. is an independent, non-profit cultural institution governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The buildings and grounds of Wave Hill are owned by the City of New York.

A 28-acre public garden and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades, Wave Hill’s mission is to celebrate the artistry and legacy of its gardens and landscapes, to preserve its magnificent views, and to explore human connections to the natural world through programs in horticulture, education and the arts.

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