NCLT Welcomes Artist Will Close

NCLT is excited to announce an exciting new project  with artist Will Close out of Concord, MA. This budding educator, naturalist and accomplished artist has an artistic mission to “create a greater connection between people, community, and nature.”   

Beginning on the 2021 spring equinox, Will Close joined North County Land Trust as our first artist for our inaugural artist residency. As a graduating senior at Mass College of Art, his thesis revolves around bringing attention to the parts of nature often overlooked.  His idea is to make multiple works of art that depict what is below our feet or right in front of our noses and then, inversely, right above our heads.  

Close and NCLT’s Executive Director, Anna Wilkins, connected last yearWilkins invited him to use NCLT conservation areas for his investigation and subject matter.  He has volunteered to use his project and discoveries to raise awareness about NCLT’s work and the importance of natural areas. He is personally interested in the educational aspect of teaching people about nature and NCLT anticipates continued collaborationIntegrating the arts into our work helps broaden our reach and engage conversation.  

Close reflects, 

“Growing up in Concord, Massachusetts, a place steeped in rich early American history and significant natural beauty, I developed a love and reverence for my local landscape and those across New England. This deep appreciation and wonder for life, community, place, and the history which ties it all together, has served as the driving force behind all my endeavors. As a result, I have devoted years of study in tracking wildlife throughout the Northeast and exploring numerous American wildernesses, leading to an aggregation of nature-based wisdom. 

Through all of this study I have learned to look and listen deeply. 

Ultimately, my research and experience have given rise to the realization that nature binds everything together: individual, community, and place, but today in the modern world, many of us are disconnected from nature and the ties which sustain balance. 

At the center of my inquiry is a dedication to shift away from the “nature versus man” mindset, to embrace the biome mindset—seeing any community as inclusive of the naturally occurring flora and fauna that presently occupy any respective biome. My work assumes the form of natural history illustration, assemblage, collage, and film, each inviting you to slow down, reconnect, and awaken your awareness.” 

Close made his first visit from March 18-24, 2021 on North County Land Trust’s Mt. Watatic property in Ashburnham and Ashby, MA. He journaled field observations, met with visitors, and is in discussion with fellow artist, educator of biomimicry, and industrial designer  Daniela Esponda, discovering nature-based design solutions on the landscape.  

The display of Close’s work and artist talk will be organized and announced at a later date. 

About the artist: Will Close is currently a senior at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, pursuing a BFA in fine art painting. His experience at the NCLT’s Watatic property will form the basis for his senior thesis project at MassArt. Close is the founder of Will Close Studios, a Massachusetts-based prints and note card business whose mission is to create a greater connection between people, community, and nature. In addition, Close is the Co-founder of Biome “Biome is an evolving group of individuals that have formed in response to a shared mission—creating conditions for regeneration between self, community, and nature.” Biome Co-founders: Will Close, Todd Bartel, Anna Wilkins, Daniela Esponda.