Catfish Farming in the Delta

Delta Cultural Center - Thursday, April 06, 2017

One of the Delta’s most familiar products, catfish, is the focus of an upcoming exhibit at the Delta Cultural Center, opening Saturday, April 1. On the Pond is the result of a research project by professors Forbes Lipschitz and Justine Holzman. The exhibition seeks to highlight the cultural and ecological significance of catfish farming through digital drawings and mapping.

Lipschitz and Holzman met as professors at Louisiana State University and began turning a research project into an exhibition. They discovered that the Delta is an incredibly important ecoregion for migrating and wintering waterfowl that make their way north along the Mississippi Flyway. This area has undergone major declines to natural, permanent, and seasonal wetlands over the past century. Shallowly drained catfish ponds actually comprise a substantial area of artificial wetland available to waterfowl.

The two professors made several trips to the Delta and visited multiple farmers, including America’s Catch – the largest catfish farm in the country. Drones were used to collect a “bird’s eye” view of the landscape. Inspired by southern landscape paintings and natural history exhibitions, they then created digital collages with the photographs gathered on their visits, creating informative illustrations that evoke the ecological dynamics of the pond.

Forbes Lipschitz is currently an assistant professor of landscape architecture at the Knowlton School at Ohio State University, where she teaches studio and seminar courses in landscape planning and representation. She received her master’s degree in landscape architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a BA in environmental aesthetics from Pomona College in Claremont, California.

Justine Holzman is an assistant professor of landscape architecture at the University of Toronto where she teaches studio courses and seminars in advanced representation and site technologies. She earned a master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University and a BA from the University of California, Berkley.

For more information, interested persons can call the DCC at (870)-338-4350 or toll free at (800)-358-0972 or visit the DCC online at