Brandon Ballengée

I am both an artist and a biologist. As a biologist, I am an amphibian specialist working in a fish lab at Louisiana State University. In the fall of 2021, I will begin working at Tulane University’s Royal D. Suttkus Fish Collection (the second largest preserved fish collection on Earth) in Belle Chase. Here I will research missing Gulf of Mexico species while working with Plaquemine Parish residents. As an artist, I am constantly inspired by nature. And as an environmental advocate, I want my art and science to inspire people about the diversity of life on this wonderful tiny planet. My concerns are for communities both human and non-human affected by the ecological impacts of the Anthropocene. Today’s environmental problems are global in scale and complex. To face this milieu of issues, we need the creativity of artists, scientists and those focused on other disciplines combined to creatively address such challenges we and other species currently face. The underlying goal of my art is to increase overall awareness that each of us as individuals are part of and can make a difference to our biological community. The art itself is made from diverse mediums including large-scale light sculptures to spotlight arthropod diversity along with trans-species happenings, living plants and animals displaced in temporary enclosures to highlight local flora and fauna, large-scale high-resolution scanner photographs, micro-imaging and billboards of unique organisms to represent the individuality of non-human individuals, depictions of species ‘cut’ from history because of extinction and framed to frame their absence, and many others. In 2016, in partnership with my wife sustainable food educator Aurore Ballengée and our two children we began the Atelier de la Nature an eco-educational campus and nature reserve in Arnaudville, Louisiana.