During the summer of 2023, Maria Uhase was commissioned to create a piece for our See Also partnership program with Cleveland Public Library. The annual series presents innovative and thought-provoking temporary works of art at various Library locations across Cleveland.

From the Artist

Ensemble is an image that reflects the passage of time. Rather than a timeline that depicts actual data or historical events, it is a collection of symbols in an imagined projection for the future of humanity, culture, ecology, and the general well-being of our planet. In this illustration, invasive insects to this region – like spotted lanternflies and emerald ash borers – attack native paw paw tree branches. They leave nothing behind but lifeless wood that is unable to support anything else to thrive there.

Moving through the image to the middle, frogs and birds begin to eat those invasive insects, stopping their damage from spreading. A lush ecosystem of leaves, fruit, small animals, and native insects begins to return and take over. The unlikely collaboration of species halted the progression of damage to this microcosm, and its future is preserved.

During these turbulent times, where many of us feel overwhelmed and pessimistic about our future (especially regarding the state of the environment), it can be hard to imagine that things might turn out all right. It is courageous to dream that we could have a positive world in the future, but it is possible through unlikely collaborations of people and solutions.

Maria Uhase

Meet the Artist

Maria Uhase

Maria Uhase is an oil painter and illustrator living and working in Northeast Ohio. She completed a BA Studio Emphasis with a Minor in Painting and a Minor in Drawing from the Myers School of Art at the University of Akron (OH) in 2019. She creates ...

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