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SCAN sponsors an exhibition space in “Our rivers. Our landscapes. Our community” at 531 Valley Street in Scottsville, Va. Here, our intent is to exhibit visually articulated environmental research and analysis to the Piedmont Region and beyond.


our rivers . our landscapes . our community

The driving concept of this storefront is constructing a space for making and showcasing work that advocates for tending the health of our communities, our landscapes, and enriching the relationships between the two from a variety of perspectives. 


Tuesday and Thursday 11-5, or by appointment


exhibition no. 1

mineral medium.jpg


Air and water entering abandoned coal mines in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania mix with pyrite exposed in the mineshafts and oxidize the iron found therein. When this acidic rust bleeds into adjacent streams it coats their beds in a thick layer of orange ochre known locally as yellow boy. The displacement and transformation of this vibrant mineral is the subject of this series of drawings. 

The concentration of iron oxide in several of the streams I visited in the Susquehanna watershed is so great that the precipitate can be harvested and used as a pigment. I scraped small quantities of the solid from rocks along the streambank and returned to the studio to draw. The mineral is, thus, twice displaced: first from its entombment underground, and again from the rivers it brightly and catastrophically colors. 

Some of the drawings exhibited here deploy iron oxide diluted with water to tint the paper’s fibers. Others preserve the pigment’s grain by layering mineral and adhesive over and over until a thick cake of material coats the page as it does the riverbed. And in several drawings a piece of plywood is dipped in iron oxide solution and pressed into the paper. 

The resulting stamps are unique: a result of inconsistencies in both the composition of the iron and the grain of the plywood. 

Iron oxide’s toxicity is contingent on context and concentration. These drawings negotiate the beauty of the mineral’s hue and the impact of its dislocation. Each drawing probes a fundamental condition of the ecological devastation occurring in Pennsylvania: despite remediation efforts, local experts believe many tributaries of the Susquehanna River will run orange for the next 250 years.


Katherine Jenkins is an assistant professor of landscape architecture at The Ohio State University and cofounder of the interdisciplinary design-research group, Present Practice. Her research applies theory, techniques, and media from contemporary art to the analysis and design of landscapes. She has conducted fieldwork in California’s agro-industrial valleys, Utah’s alkaline deserts and Alaska’s Arctic, examining the aesthetics of extensive infrastructure as it responds to unique geologic and atmospheric conditions. Her current work utilizes the inscription of walking as a design instrument for landscape architecture. Prior to joining the Knowlton School, Katherine taught in the Department of Landscape Architecture at Cornell University. She has an MLA from the University of Virginia and a BA in painting and printmaking from Yale University.


Exhibition Opening

Exhibition Opening

Boys and Girl’s Sketchbook Club visits the exhibition

Boys and Girl’s Sketchbook Club visits the exhibition