Max Bard’s creative practice is a reflection of his family’s Appalachian heritage, and homesteading traditions he learned growing up from his mother and aunt. Bard’s work is a unique visual language that speaks directly to the complex relationship between industry, rural communities, and the American landscape.
Born in Massachusetts, Max studied at Massachusetts College of Art and Design (BFA 2013), and Boston University (MFA 2019). He was named one of “2019’s Artist to Look Out For” by the Boston Globe. That year Max also attended the Sam & Adell Golden Art Foundation Residency and received the Ester B. Kahn Award, for his conservation-based art practice and environmental activism.
For years Max worked as an arborist and Park Ranger for U.S. Fish & Wildlife. Max has developed various conservation based projects to create site specific sculptures for companies, public parks, and educational institutions, including Google (Cambridge, MA), Golden Paints (New Berlin, NY), The Kennedy Children Center (Manhattan, NY), The deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Build Lab IDG Capital Student Innovation Center (Boston, MA), and The Muddy River Reservation State Park (Boston, MA). In 2020 Max was a speaker and panelist alongside Annie Leonard (VP Green Peace) at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. In 2021 Max was the head carpenter, responsible for building all of the sets for an upcoming Mika Rottenberg (Hauser & Wirth) feature film. The production’s main set is a 2000 sq. ft. futuristic “luxury green apartment”. Max’s own personal art is also featured in the movie.
For the last three years Max has traveling around Northern Appalachia, performing conservation work, creating art in the landscape, and working as an arborist. He spends most days picking up trash and providing sanative arbor work in neglected forests. At night Max resides in his Ford Ranger pickup, which is almost exclusively parked at, Walmart, Dunkins, or a wooded portion of a client’s property. Max sleeps in a canvas bivy sack with a wool blanket, eats mostly canned beans with fry bread, cooked over fire in a dirty pan.