Ashley Kidner is a Baltimore based environmental artist. Kidner’s work reflects issues such as global warming, habitat loss, sea level rise and the decline of pollinators. Kidner likes to work with natural materials like stone, wood, plants and water when doing earthwork installations in different locations around the world. When in the studio Kidner works with a variety of mediums ranging from watercolors and printmaking to encaustics.
In addition to environmental artwork Kidner has worked in landscaping for over 35 years. With his company, International Landscaping and Design, Kidner installs gardens with an environmental bias; Pollinator/wildlife gardens, rain gardens, native plantings, hugelkultur, living walls using reclaimed wood along with fine stonework.
Kidner was born in Norfolk, England and grew up on a farm in the hamlet of Thwaite St. Mary. Kidner studied and worked in Geology while living in London for 8 Years. While on field trips and traveling Kidner became fascinated by the prehistoric art found throughout the British Isles, especially the stone circles unique to that part of the world. These ancient structures have had a huge influence on his work, with stone often playing a central role in his art and landscape work.
In 2023 Kidner added another installation to the Art in the Park exhibition in Leakin Park, Baltimore. Kidner also devoted many hours to ensure the book bindery building in Hampden, Baltimore was not developed without historic designation, thus saving the chimney which houses thousands of chimney swifts during their fall migration. Also in July of 2023 Kidner attended the NES artist residency in Skastrond, Iceland. While there Kidner divided his time between designing and installing a large installation on the cliffs of Skasastrond, drypoint printing, watercolors and keeping up sketchbook practice. Kidner is attending the residency again in July 2024.
In 2021 Kidner designed and installed an outdoor classroom and nature playspace for Hampden Elementary and middle school in response to the need for open air spaces during the Covi-19 pandemic. In 2019 Kidner and his company ILD designed and installed a fully immersive nature playspace in the Druid Heights community on the site of 2 knocked down and abandoned row homes. In one of his last public appearances Elijah Cummings officially opened the space. Kidner was featured in the IIDA Breaking Boundaries "Loving the Earth" event giving a stoop story about helping native bees.
In 2018 Kidner had 2 of his Pollinator Hexagon installations on display for Art on the Waterfront in Baltimore and the Artists in Dialogue with nature show at Adkins Arboretum on the eastern shore. He also installed a pollinator garden at the Peale Center in Baltimore in 2018 as well as being part of the Birdland and the Anthropocene exhibit shown there in 2017.
Other work has been shown at the Montpellier Arts Center in Laurel, MD and also the Fieldwork exhibition for Artscape 2017 in Baltimore. Kidner has also shown work in Thailand and Vietnam. In 2002 Kidner’s company ILD installed a stone wall for Jannis Kounellis as part of the Arte Povera show at the Hirshhorn Museum in DC. ILD has also done work for Icelandic artist Olifur Eliason. In 2014 Kidner's work appeared in Gallery 788 in Hampden, Bog Tinkers Gallery in Ellicott City and Towson Arts Collective where he won first prize in the Bridges (in science) show. He currently has a number of installations on display as part of Nature Art in the Park in Leakin Park and Art on the Trail in Lake Roland Park. Kidner is also currently working on a pollinator/wildlife garden for University of Maryland.