Tory, received his BFA in painting from Parson’s, the New School for Design in New York City with a minor in non-traditional art histories. While at Parson’s, Tory studied painting under Joan Snyder. In 2009, Tory earned his MFA in public practice as part of the inaugural class of Suzanne Lacy’s Public Practice program at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. Here, his practice developed around the exploration and reestablishment of metaphysical connections between the social and environmental ecologies that shape urban communities. After a temporary relocation to New Orleans, Tory assumed the role of the driver of a vintage armored car for Mel Chin’s Fundred Dollar Bill Project and proceeded on a 19,000 mile journey around the country representing the project. This led to the development of an itinerant art practice that kept him on the road, working from project to project, in New Orleans, Milwaukee, Los Angeles, Death Valley, Colorado and the High Sierra Mountains. In 2012, Tory arrived in New Smyrna Beach, Florida as the inaugural artist for the Atlantic Center for the Arts Community Artist in Residence program, which spawned multiple projects and led to relocation to central Florida. In 2013 he completed a residency in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, collaborating with the High Sierra Wilderness rangers as part of the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act. In 2016, Tory was invited to participate in The Music Box Tampa Bay in collaboration with New Orleans Airlift and University of South Florida, which expanded his work into the realm of sound. Currently, Tory is developing a series of earthworks and sound performances in Wisconsin in collaboration with the Wormfarm Institute. The highlight of these improvisational sound performances, Earthtones, played on instruments converted from farm tools, was a performance at the 2019 Farm Aid festival. Tory currently splits his time between Sauk County, Wisconsin and the Tampa Bay area in Florida. While in Wisconsin he maintains the Sauk County ARK, which was begun in 2020 for the 2020 Farm Art DTour and is growing four acres of experimental perennial wheatgrass. In Florida, Tory is expanding the NEST project, an inhabitable social space and food forest located on two Hillsborough Community College campuses.
2009 MFA Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA
Director- Suzanne Lacy
Thesis Project- subVert; Los Angeles
Internship- Mel Chin Studio, New Orleans, LA
Internship- Steven Appleton Studio, Los Angeles, CA
1992 BFA Parsons School of Design, New York, NY
Painting, with honors
Concentration in non-traditional art history.
Studied under Joan Snyder.
PROJECTS AND PERFORMANCES
Fledgling, Tampa, FL, 2021-ongoing
Fledgling, is a mobile expansion project designed to accompany the two NEST sites at Hillsborough Community College. A pedal power powered, multi-use utility cart, Fledgling will serve to bridge the NEST sites with the surrounding neighborhoods by operating as a mobile seed library, horticultural exchange and cultural accumulator.
Sauk County ARK, Denzer, WI, 2020-ongoing
The Agricultural Recon Kraft, or ARK, is a land art project created for the 2020 Farm/Art DTour focusing on 4 acres of Kernza, an experimental intermediate wheatgrass. Perennial grains, cover crops and an earthwork built from old farm resources serve as a public site for investigation into local farm family histories and new sustainable agricultural practices. The summer of 2021 marked the first harvest of the Kernza from the ARK site.
Sauk County ARK, Upstream, Test Plots, Wormfarm Institute, Denzer, WI, 2021
Test Plots is a series of experimental, outdoor programs presented in the beautiful landscapes of rural Sauk County, WI. The Sauk County ARK will enter its second iteration and season beginning as a host site for summer school programming, Afternoon Magic, through the Tower Rock Elementary School. Through the Test Plots program, the ARK project will continue to expand and explore specific avenues of arts focused agricultural exploration.
NEST, Hillsborough Community College, Tampa, FL, 2020-2021
NEST (Nourishment, Education, Social Terraces)
The NEST involved the creation of two public green spaces/food forests at the Ybor City and Dale Mabry campuses in Tampa. Devoted to student food insecurity, educational student engagement and performance, these two NEST sites were planted with fruit trees, pollinators and Florida native groundcovers, to offer a sustainable and inclusive social space for the HCC community.
Earthtones, Florida & Wisconsin, 2016-2021
Earthtones is an experimental sound art project consisting of the fabrication of hybrid musical instruments from repurposed farm & garden tools and the improvisations performances. Primarily focused on improvisation, the project allows inclusivity by circumventing musical instrument skill, anyone can play them. Earthtones performed as a sideshow act at Farm Aid 2019, Alpine Valley, in East Troy, WI.
The Forge, Garo, CO, 2018
An interactive earthwork developed as part of Re/Call 2018, a three day art event held at the Rocky Mountain Land Library site, The Forge created a literal land library. Excavated soil from the earthwork was made into mud bricks, imprinted with text from event participants and then re-inserted into the earthwork to build its walls.
Indigo Waves, Maitland, FL, 2018
Indigo Waves involved the fabrication of a public loom for weaving tapestries from recycled denim and fabrics, as well as educational workshops for local student summer programs. The site included the growing of an Indigo garden, a cash crop once grown by the early settlers in the region.
subVert; Denver, Denver, CO, 2017
The creation of mobile mini gardens from derelict shopping carts in downtown Denver served as a collaboration with the Beloved Community Village, a tiny homes community for people experiencing homelessness. The mobile gardens were built and then planted by the Village as a means of providing healthy, sustainable food for the collaborators.
Ixchel Song Garden, Maitland Art & History Center, Maitland, FL 2017-2018
A multi-disciplinary land art project that worked with 30 students from Evans High School in Pine Hills, the song garden featured urban agriculture, student poetry readings and sound performances.
Music Box Tampa Bay, The Lunar Tool Shed, Sulphur Springs, FL, 2016
Hosted by community partner Community Stepping Stones and Developed by USF and New Orleans Airlift, Music Box Tampa Bay was an immersive and interactive village of musical architecture. The Lunar Tool shed, built in the form of a traditional Seminole Chickee hut featured the debut of the Earthtones tools, a hydraulic drum machine and other sound producing architectural features.
Earthtones; Magnolia, Art In Odd Places, Orlando, FL, 2015
A temporary earthwork located on the sidewalk at the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center that featured spoken word from local writers and poets, emanating from interior sound snorkels buried under the earth.
Our Wilderness Heart, John Muir Wilderness, CA, 2013
An environmental art installation made in collaboration with the High Sierra Wilderness Rangers, this project centered around our fascination and love of wilderness areas and included the poetry of 20 wilderness rangers and staff, burned into logs and scrap wood, and organized around a central installation that depicted the breakdown of wood into topsoil, and subsequently wildflowers.
Oasis, New Smyrna Beach, FL, 2012-2013
Sponsored by The Atlantic Center for the Arts, Oasis was an urban agricultural project in collaboration with the New Smyrna Beach High School. Working with over 200 students from 5 different courses of study, a large-scale urban garden and earthwork was created in the interior courtyard of the high school. Utilizing the garden as a social and meditative space, students built and maintained the garden with the produce going to the school cafeteria.
Stargazer Fair, New Smyrna Beach, FL, 2012-2013
This large scale earthwork and community engaged garden project was sponsored by The Atlantic Center for the Arts and featured 13 gardens radiating from a large central earthwork and performance space. Each garden was designed and maintained by different community groups and the entire space was designed according to celestial maps.
The Underground River Project, Beatty/Rhyolite, NV, 2011
In collaboration with fellow artist Faith Purvey, this multi installation was developed around explorations of the Amargosa River, an underground river near Death Valley. URP featured walking tours of the river, a gallery installation as an interpretation of the river, and multiple installations along the river built from detritus collected within.
Homegrown Roadside Culture Stand, Wormfarm Institute, Reedsburg, WI, 2010
This project involved the design and fabrication of Roadside Culture Stand. Deployed in Milwaukee, WI, this large mobile cart was intended to bring local produce and crafts from rural neighbors into urban areas and food deserts.
Bywater Open House, New Orleans, LA, 2009-2010
This earthwork, garden and community space was designed in the form of a traditional New Orleans shotgun house. It was the culmination of the Changing Landscapes residency at A Studio in the Woods.
The Spirit Ferry, New Orleans, LA, 2009
Mobile art-scaping platform developed as part of the “Changing Landscapes” residency through A Studio in the Woods. This mobile steel sculpture featured live gardens and a podium and delivered oak tree seedlings in post-Katrina St. Bernard Parish.
subVert; LA, Los Angeles, CA, 2008-2009
My graduate thesis project featuring the fabrication and sponsoring of F.R.O.G.S. (free-cycled, resident operated garden systems), collaborative community planting/harvesting events, and resource exchange along the Los Angeles River. Derelict shopping carts were pulled from the LA River, repurposed into three tier mobile gardens and then set free back into the community.
Homer Plessy Day, New Orleans, LA, 2008
A collaborative, multi-disciplinary performance project developed with NOCCA, Crescent City Peace Alliance, Transforma Projects, Douglas High School, Students at the Center and Otis College of Art and Design MFA Public Practice program, this project was developed to commemorate the landmark 1892 civil rights case of Plessy vs. Ferguson and initiate action on the Plessy Park site.
Ramp, Santa Monica, CA, 2008
An interior living earthwork, Ramp was fabricated at the 18th St. Art Center and designed to serve as a handicapped accessible ramp consisting of earth and live grass.
Muse Barrow, Los Angeles, CA, 2007-2008
Built on Otis College main campus, this earthwork was designed to transform and develop social space for the Otis College community within the austere concrete environs of the campus.
Eco-Urban Land Arts Residency, Maitland Art & History Center, Maitland, FL, 2017-2018
Aldo & Leonardo Wilderness Research Institute/Colorado Art Ranch Research Residency,
John Muir Wilderness, CA, 2013
Inaugural Community Artist In Residence, Atlantic Center for the Arts, New Smyrna Beach, FL, 2012
Goldwell Open Air Residency, Beatty, NV, 2011
“Changing Landscapes Residency”, A Studio in the Woods, New Orleans, LA, 2009
Residency Manager, Wormfarm Institute, Reedsburg, WI, 2019-2020
Fabricator, USF Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, FL 2016
“Extracted”, fabricator for Claire Pentecost’s soil-erg project including cast soil ingots and vertical garden towers developed at local community gardens.
Site and performance supervisor for “Music Box Tampa Bay” project.
Project Manager, Otis College of Art and Design, Santa Monica, CA, 2012
Bonnie Sherk’s “Portable Parks IV, A Flower Unfolding”, as part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time’s Public and Performance Art Festival. Responsible for building a temporary, living garden and food forest installation within Santa Monica Place Mall.
Instructor of Installation and materials practices, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA, 2012
Fabricator/Performance Artist/Driver, Mel Chin Studios, New Olreans, LA, 2009-2010
Driver, public representative and on-site artist/technician for Mel Chin’s “Fundred Dollar Bill Project”. Drove and maintained a vintage armored bank truck for 19,000 miles over five months speaking on behalf of the public, lead remediation project at over 100 schools, museums and community centers.
Teaching Assistant/Studio Tech, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA, 2008
Sculpture/New Genres III, under Dana Duff.
Studio Technician, Linda Burnham Studios, Los Angeles, CA, 2004-2007
Advisory Panel, Arts In Society Grants, Redline Art Center, Denver, CO, 2020
Studio Assistant, Fundred Reserve, Mel Chin Studios, Washington D.C., 2017
Graduate Thesis Show Advisor, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA 2015
“I Hope the Wind Don’t Blow”, Lancaster Museum of Art and History, Lancaster, CA, 2015
Juror, A Studio in the Woods, New Orleans, LA, 2014
“Flint and Steel” residency, collaborations between artists and Tulane faculty.
3D Judge, Deland Fall Art Festival, Deland, FL, 2013
Logistics Manager/Engineer, The Atlanta Arts Festival, Atlanta, GA, 2007-2015
Logistics Manager, Dogwood Festival, Atlanta, GA, 1998-2006
Engulfed, Gallery 221, Hillsborough Community College, Tampa, FL, 2021
2020 Farm/Art DTour, Sauk County, WI
Recalling Re/Call, The Dairy Arts Center, Boulder, CO, 2019
Happy Hour, Woolen Mill Gallery, Reedsburg, WI, 2019
Re/Call 2018, Redline Art Center, Garo, CO, 2018
Land Trust, Redline Art Center, Denver, CO, 2017
Amplified: Reverberations From The Music Box, USF Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, FL, 2016
Art in Odd Places, Orlando, FL, 2015
Between Fact and Fiction, Gallery At Avalon Island, Orlando, FL, 2014
P.I.E. (Public Interventionist Exhibition), Graduate Thesis Exhibition, Otis College of Art and Design Public Practice Program, Santa Monica College Gallery, Santa Monica, CA, 2009
SELECTED HONORS AND GRANTS
Artists in Communities Grant, United Arts of Central Florida, 2016