Visiting Artists & Designers

Patterson Clark

Patterson Clark Patterson Clark is an artist who seeks to restore ecological balance through his work by using local invasive plants as subject matter and material. Clark is also the creator, writer, and illustrator of a weekly column in the Washington Post called Urban Jungle. A few years ago, he became concerned about invasive plants choking out species like American beech and tulip poplars that are native to his area around Rock Creek Park, and he got a license from the National Park Service to remove the invasive plants there. But ripping out the plants and throwing them away felt destructive and wasteful. With an undergraduate degree in biology, followed up by an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, he knew that these plants had useful properties. He started bringing the plants he liked into his basement studio, and over the last several years, he's been perfecting the process for turning invaders into paper, ink, and, ultimately, art.