Meet the 2022 Ecotopian Toolmakers!

April 8, 2022

We are delighted to announce our 2022 Ecotopian Toolmakers for Delaware Watershed Justice! Our jury reviewed an exceptionally strong pool of applicants, and selected a cohort of five interdisciplinary creators who will be holding public workshops at the Independence Seaport Museum (ISM) in May and June. Their research proposals and outcomes will feature in public workshops at ISM and in the Museum's community gallery exhibit, as well as in a fall 2022 workshop at the University of Pennsylvania that will lead to the creation of a print Catalog for Ecotopian Tools and companion digital exhibit.

Read on to learn more about our Toolmakers and see images of their past work–and we hope you will join us at their workshops at the Seaport Museum!


Nancy Agati, “Basins and Borders”

Nancy Agati (she/her/hers) is a Philadelphia artist whose multidisciplinary work includes works on paper, sculpture, textile, site-specific installation, and public art. Agati holds a BFA from Alfred University, School of Art & Design, NY, and an MFA from The University of the Arts, Philadelphia. She has exhibited her work widely throughout Philadelphia and nationally, with exhibitions at the Philadelphia Art Alliance, Fairmount Water Works, Philadelphia, PA; Hillyer Art Space, Washington, DC; Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, Staten Island, NY; and The Calandra Italian American Institute, NY. Recent sculptural installations about nature and the environment were created for the New Jersey Coastal Climate Resilience Project in Atlantic City, the FLOW exhibit at The Independence Seaport Museum, Philadelphia; and We All Fall Down at The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, Philadelphia. 

Patterns, movement, and the flow of water have been recurring subjects of Agati’s work and have led to several public art projects. Agati’s essay, entitled “Noticing Water”, was published by Cleaver Literary Magazine in 2014. Her work is in several public collections, including recent acquisitions from the Pennsylvania Convention Center and Temple University, Fox School of Business. Agati has been a recipient of a Windows of Opportunity Award From the Leeway Foundation and has been awarded artist residencies at the Santa Fe Art Institute, New Mexico; Lo Studio dei Nipoti, Calabria, Italy; Main & Station, Nova Scotia; and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Center at Meadowbrook Farm. In 2014, as a Hemera Foundation Tending Space Artist Fellow, Agati began investigating mindfulness meditation in relation to her art-making practice.


Eli Brown, “Trans Species Database (working title)”

Eli Brown (they/them/theirs or he/him/his) is an interdisciplinary artist working in sculpture, comics, and community organizing. Eli’s work explores queer and trans intimacies through time and cross-generational dynamics. They are especially interested in asking what the future of human evolution could look like if we reimagined reproduction as a queer, ecological strategy. Recent work has been featured at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston Huntington Library, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, and Creative Time Summit X. Most recent work is flown at Tailgate Projects in Tampa, FL.


Juan Hurtado Salazar, “Watershed Mobile Nursery”

Juan Hurtado Salazar (he/him/his)  is an interdisciplinary artist concerned with using craft processes, collaboration and emergent technologies in order to link the social and public, with the speculative and slightly implausible. Through his work Hurtado attempts to create the tangible elements visualizing the distance between the present and the challenges inhibiting collectively speculated futures.


Jacques-Jean “JJ” Tiziou, "Walk Around Philadelphia: Ecotopian Toolkit"

Jacques-Jean “JJ” Tiziou (he/him) creates public art experiences, hosts house concerts, and works as a Licensed Massage Therapist. He has walked the full perimeter of the city (nine times.)

JJ has been recognized as one of Philadelphia’s “Creative Connectors” by Leadership Philadelphia, and is the recipient of the Spiral-Q Artist Activist Award; his 85,000 sq. ft. How Philly Moves mural at PHL International Airport was recognized as one of the nation’s best public art projects by Americans for the Arts in their Public Art Network Year in Review.

Based at The Cedar Works in West Philadelphia, JJ uses his work to celebrate community & cultivate connection. You can find more of his work online at,, and there's a message that he'd like to share with you at At, he invites you to join him in exploring the city’s edge.


Fereshteh Toosi, "Water Radio: Delaware River"

Fereshteh Toosi (they/them) designs experiences that pose questions and foster animistic connections through encounter, exchange, and sensory inquiry. Their artwork often involves documentary processes, oral history, and archival research. Immersive performances are produced in conjunction with small sculptures, short films, installations, scores, and poetry, often situated outdoors in gardens, parks, and waterways.

In 2022, Fereshteh is in a residency program with Solar Power for Artists. In 2021, they participated in the Montréal/Miami New Narratives Lab hosted by the National Film Board of Canada, O Cinema, MUTEK, and FilmGate Interactive. They also earned a Knight New Work 2020 award for their project Oil Ancestors, and a Miami Live Arts Lab Alliance residency to develop Metaphysical Hotline, a performance by telephone for an audience of one. Water Radio, a series of contemplative canoe and kayak outings, was supported by The Ellies Creator Award in 2018.

Fereshteh lives and works in El Portal, Florida on stolen lands still stewarded by the Miccosukee and Seminole people, and previously by the Calusa and Tequesta tribal bands. They are an Assistant Professor in the Art and Art History Department of the College of Communication, Architecture, and the Arts at Florida International University. Read more at