USA: Beauty in public park to generate climate awareness

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Along Chicago’s newest park, the 606, sculptor Frances Whitehead, along with engineers and landscape architects, has designed an installation that will bring trail users face-to-face with the effects of climate change.


Trees will bring the public face-to-face with the unpredictability of climate change, through something as simple as a flower’s budding.

“Sustainability is a cultural problem and artists can help find the solution.”

“What if through beauty we can teach? Could beauty replicate science data, can beauty generate awareness?”
Frances Whitehead, sculptor and professor of sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

“If it’s recorded year-by-year, it will create a climactic centennial for the city. I’m not aware of any other projects like this.”
Mark D. Schwartz, professor of geology at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, who created the climate model for the 606

According to Lori Rotenberk on Grist, Frances Whitehead’s project for the 606 “will transform three straight miles of an abandoned rail line into parks, bike and running trails, and pedestrian walkways.” Through planting 453 apple serviceberry trees along the park and trail area and digitally tracking their blooming each season, “Scientists and the public will be able to track the blooming year-to-year, thus keeping a running diary of shifts in climate.” In other words, the installation “will bring trail users face-to-face with the effects of climate change” as the blooming season changes in accordance with temperature from year-to-year.

Continue reading:

Grist – 4 Deember 2013:
When it comes to climate change, this artist lets the trees do the talking
Article by Lori Rotenberk

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