The CoyWolf Collective


The CoyWolf Collective
Tides of Extinction

Tides of Extinction is second in a series of outdoor CoyWolf Collective sculptures addressing the impacts of climate change. Polar icecaps are melting, and oceans are rising.  A multitude of species are being silently eradicated or displaced from overfishing and loss of habitat. To help us understand and work with the vitality, beauty, and grief that accompanies the transience of life in the 21st Century, the CoyWolves feel an urgency to generate images and installation work that reveals nature’s disappearing environments and animals.

Illustrating the special connection of the sturgeon to cleaning our waterways and rivers, Tides of Extinction honors the resilience of the species. Emerging 240 million years ago and surviving the cataclysmic demise of the dinosaurs, sturgeons live in the Atlantic Ocean and spawn in freshwater rivers and estuaries. The Connecticut river was once a major source of food (fish like Atlantic salmon, trout, sturgeon) for both native peoples and arriving Europeans. This sculpture reflects the strength of the sturgeons’ existence as an important part of our earthly history. The sculpture acknowledges the native peoples and lands surrounding these waters with an eye on restorative efforts towards a natural balance.

Photo credit: Debra Vilen


About the Artists

Inspired by the Coywolf, a canid hybrid descended from coyotes and eastern wolves, the CoyWolf Collective is a trio of sculptors and photographic artists merging their diverse skills to address issues of nature’s fragility and resilience in the era of extreme climate change.

We create hybrid sculptures which communicate the forms and images of nature rapidly disappearing. Combining photography with sculptural constructions reminiscent of geological formations, our installations take on a commanding physical presence. For example, piercing eyes of wild birds in flight emerging from jagged geographical structures engage the viewer physically and emotionally.

The Coywolf Collective strives to illuminate the sense of urgency as time is running out for life as we know it on planet Earth. Upheavals in our collective environment are echoed in our personal life experiences. In addition to making art that calls attention to the problems of climate change, the CoyWolf Collective connects to the natural world by volunteering to protect nesting sites in NYC, maintaining protected areas, participating in clean-up events for local parks and supporting land trusts.

Unfortunately, thousands of wildlife species near human development are being silently displaced or eradicated by rising oceans and loss of habitat. Our work strives to educate, understand, and work with the grief, beauty, and vitality that accompanies the transient aspects of all types of life in the 21st Century.

Elizabeth Knowles is a visual artist based in Norfolk, CT and New York, NY. Utilizing a variety of media, her work reveals both static and dynamic patterns in nature recurring on differing scales of perception. Born and raised in St Louis, MO, Elizabeth earned a BA from Pomona College, in Claremont, CA and an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, IL.

Knowles has recently completed site specific installations for  Morningside Park, New York, NY, Unesco’s Artistes + Science, Monaco, Allen Street Mall, NY, NY, Pelham Art Center, NY, The Mount, Lenox, MA, Rockrose, NY, NY, the Flat Iron Prow Art Space, NY, NY Chashama, NY, NY, the New Canaan Sculpture Trail, CT, NYU Langone, NY, NY and Montefiore Hospital, Bronx, NY.   Other projects include installations for Bank of America Plaza’s Green Exhibit, Charlotte, NC, the Housatonic Museum, Bridgeport, CT, Artspace, New Haven, CT, Denise Bibro, NY , NY, the Painting Center, NY, NY, Five Points Art Center, CT, Studio 80 +Sculpture Grounds, Old Lyme, CT, the Kingston Courthouse and Police Building, Kingston, NY, Greenwood Gardens, Short Hills, NJ, Chesterwood National Trust for Historic Preservation, Stockbridge, MA and Governor’s Island, NY, NY.  In addition, she has collaborated on fashion projects with Saks Fifth Avenue on window installations for their flagship store and VOGUE magazine for the “Last Look” page.  Knowles has received numerous grants and residencies including MASS MoCA’s Assets for Artists program, Weir Farm Art Center, the Puffin Foundation, the Miami Beach Cultural Council, the Millay Colony, Yaddo, the Banff Centre, the E. D. Foundation, Artist’s Space, and the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation. 


Steven Phillip Harris is a New York based artist living in Brooklyn. He holds an MFA in Studio Art and is currently teaching photography at Queens College and at SUNY/Empire State College. The surrealist relationship to camera-less photographs became a focus for Harris as he experimented with the chemical process and materiality of the black and white photographic medium. This work plays with modes of perception in an unexpected spontaneous style. Harris has exhibited at the Atlantic Gallery, NYC, The Factory, LIC, Indianapolis Art Center, Marymount Manhattan College in NYC, Plaxall Gallery in LIC, NY, AHA Fine Art in Brooklyn, NY, Mana Contemporary gallery in NJ, Sideshow gallery in Brooklyn, and in the New York State Museum in Albany, NY, SUNY/Empire State College in NYC, and at Queens College/CUNY, Flushing, NY. Clients include work produced for the artist Marina Abramovic, video projects for the Sculpture’s Guild, and images produced for Sean Kelly NY artist books and exhibitions at Whitney Museum of American Art and the Sarasota Museum of Art. Harris continues to explore, exhibit, teach and pursue the limits of the photographic process. In addition, Harris has collaborated on numerous installation work producing public outdoor art projects.


Debra Vilen is a New York based artist living in Brooklyn. She holds a BA in the Fine Arts from the State University of New York and works in the contemporary art world in New York City.  Her photographic landscapes are inspired by the natural world.

In her recent work, On the Wing, Debra captures vignettes of urban wildlife and their existence within the confines of a densely populated metropolitan environment. In light of the loss of 3 billion birds in North America since 1970, her works highlight the fragile nature of our collective existence.  Combining a hybrid approach, Debra experiments with digital techniques and alternative mediums that harken back to early historic photographic processes.  Debra’s work was recently included in the exhibition, Other Ways of Seeing, Alternative Processes in Photography curated by Orestes Gonzalez and Pierre-Yves Linot at CultureLab LIC at the Plaxall Gallery.