Sometimes, it helps to remember that trees are more than nitrogen, carbon, biomass, productivity. For artists participating in the multimedia exhibit “Rot: The Afterlife of Trees” at the Corvallis Arts Center, they are inspiration. And perhaps the resulting art–which included paintings, photography, sculpture, installation, performance art and contemporary music–will serve as inspiration for budding scientists and for new ways of seeing the ecosystems that LTER researchers study.

The exhibit, which ran January 21-February 25, 2016, was the brainchild of Dr. Mark Harmon and Charles Goodrich, director of the Spring Creek Project at Oregon State University. Working with Hester Coucke, exhibition curator at The Arts Center, the brought groups of artists on field trips to the H.J. Andrews Forest and talked with them about the dynamics of trees, forests and decomposition–then let them explore and gather inspiration.

The exhibit continues at the World Forestry Center in Portland Oregon through May 1, 2016.

impressionistic painting of forest floor