Art C

Artist Stacy Levy unveils “Straw Garden”

This post comes to you from Green Public Art
Stacy Levy's Straw GardenAs a sculptor, Stacy Levy uses art as a vehicle for translating the patterns and processes of the natural world into the language of human understanding. Her projects are designed so that the site tells the ecological story of itself. Meshing the clarity of maps and diagrams, and the accessibility of science with the visceral sense of the site, Levy tries to create an instant wonder and understanding for the viewer.

Straw Garden is a six month project at the Seattle Center in Seattle, WA. The piece is made of erosion control wattles, in the shape of a baroque garden that spools out into a watershed form; all planted in native species of perennials and shrubs. At the end of the exhibition and the growing season, the garden will be divided and delivered to other landscapes in need of restoration and erosion control.

Straw Garden uses modern landscape restoration materials in a baroque garden configuration. The symmetrical parterre are based on Le Notre’s design for Versailles. The straw wattles are most commonly used for sedimentation control while the coir (coconut fiber) wattles are used for erosion control, on slopes and stream banks. The baroque garden relied on two views, from within the garden and from high above in the manor house. This new garden also has multiple vantages: the lawn, and the elevated views from the monorail and space needle. This temporary work will have a second life as a plant source for landscapes that need restoration and native plant diversity. In several years the wattles will biodegrade, while the native perennials continue to take root and thrive.

Straw Garden is part of The Next Fifty Seattle Center 2012, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, exploring critical issues affecting the Pacific Northwest and the world, and creating synergies that inspire a shared future vision.

Rebecca Ansert, founder of Green Public Art, is an art consultant who specializes in artist solicitation, artist selection, and public art project management for both private and public agencies. She is a graduate of the master’s degree program in Public Art Studies at the University of Southern California and has a unique interest in how art can demonstrate green processes or utilize green design theories and techniques in LEED certified buildings.

Green Public Art is a Los Angeles-based consultancy that was founded in 2009 in an effort to advance the conversation of public art’s role in green building. The consultancy specializes in public art project development and management, artist solicitation and selection, creative community involvement and knowledge of LEED building requirements. Green Public Art also works with emerging and mid-career studio artists to demystify the public art process. The consultancy acts as a resource for artists to receive one-on-one consultation before, during, and after applying for a public art project.
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CFP: The Two Cultures: Visual Art and Science c.1800-2011

The Two Cultures: Visual Art and Science c.1800-2011
Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Conference, 26 April 2012

History of Art Department, University of York

It is bizarre how little of twentieth-century science has been assimilated into twentieth century art. C.P. Snow, 1959

In his 1959 lecture “The Two Cultures” C.P. Snow asserted that the intellectual life of western society was increasingly being split into two polar groups: the sciences, and the humanities. The notion that visual artists and scientists are two entirely isolated strata of human activity and experience has proliferated since the nineteenth century, and continues to plague academic institutions and political policy today. The term “scientist” was coined in 1834 as a means of designating those who worked professionally in the various sciences. The “scientist” was described by direct analogy to the artist; suggesting that these now seemingly dichotomous areas of scholarship were in fact intended to exist in direct relationship to one another.

This conference seeks to challenge Snow’s separatist assertion, and explore the ways in which visual artists have acknowledged, appropriated and assimilated the ideas and theories of the ever-expanding field of “science” in their work since c.1800, the moment at which the professionalization of the sciences engendered a seemingly irrevocable split in the academy. As a result, we hope to recoup a sense of interdisciplinary fluidity amongst the international fields of visual arts and sciences, in order to build as complex and nuanced a picture as possible of the exchanges and interconnections between the “two cultures” over the past two centuries.We invite abstracts for papers of 20minutes by postgraduates that address the theme of relationships between the visual arts and the sciences 1800-2011. We welcome submissions from students working across the humanities, fine arts, social sciences, and applied sciences, but ask that the papers specifically address such relationships from the perspective of visual or material culture. Possible themes for discussion might include, but are by no means limited to:

  • Collaborations and communications between artists and scientists.
  • Representation and/or use of scientific concepts, vocabularies or technologies by an artist in the creation of works.
  • Modern medicine and representations of the body.
  • Representations of warfare, machinery and technological development – their physical and psychological effects/treatments.
  • The influence of post-Darwinian structures/theories on the visual realm.
  • The effect of/responses to new media such as photography, film, and internet.
  • The advent of cybernetics and computers, from early experimental use to contemporary digital media.
  • The ways in which the relationship between art and science intersects with issues of class, gender, sexuality and ethnicity.
  • The attitude of art education to science and vice versa.- How established genres such as landscape and still-life have responded to scientific developments.

Abstracts should be no longer than 300 words. We ask that applicants also submit a brief biography in addition to their abstract. The deadline for submission is February 24th 2012. All submissions should be sent to Kirstin Donaldson and Robert Sutton at along with any questions regarding the conference or abstracts.