Industrial Materials

Inspired Garden Created by Students & Tammy Bird

This post comes to you from Green Public Art

Recently I was invited to speak about my work to an Environmental Studies class at Carson High School. As one might expect, I think they taught me more then I them.

Over the past 6 years the students at the high school, under the guidance of Tammy Bird, have transformed a neglected lot on school grounds into a thriving educational garden. The project has been fully funded by small grants or donations. Organizations like Tree People donated over a hundred fruit trees to the neighborhood, many of which found homes in the Carson High School Garden. The organization has also hosted tree pruning events to teach the students how to maintain their orchard. Kellogg Garden Products has donated soil and organic fertilizer.

Tammy likes to operate under the radar which allows her a certain amount of freedom. She encourages the students to take ownership of the projects that take place in the garden. Some recent inventions include re-purposing discarded industrial materials (AC fans, trash cans, a tractor, many of which are found in their schools “graveyard”, a place adjacent to the garden where discarded materials remain until they are taken to the dump) into planters, functional wind machines, and a slow roast pit. Tammy and the students proudly showed off their newly installed windmill (the first in the neighborhood!), functional solar panels (recycled from CAL Trans) to circulate the pump in their micro-climate pond, composting bins, and plans for a green wall and mosaic art wall.

Thanks to maverick teachers like Tammy Bird a population of children in Los Angeles is being introduced to nature in a meaningful way. I am hopeful that there are more stories like this one out in our broken education system. **I failed to take any pictures during my tour (big fail!) but have included these which I found in a google search.


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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Date: October 5-19, 2012

Venue: Sang Arts Village, Sang near Tamale in Northern Region of Ghana

Date: February 10-24, 2012

Venue: Abetenim Arts Village near Kumasi in the Ashanti Region of Ghana

International Land Art Workshop is a two-week group residency.  It is designed to bring together creative persons such as artists, architects and engineers to create works by use of materials from the environment.  The participants will live and work together in an Arts Village in a rural township for knowledge sharing and cross-fertilization of skills over the two-week period.  By land art (or earthworks, environmental art) we imply: (1) Works created with materials from the environment involving air, water, earth, stone, and wood, or (2) Site-specific installation (with natural or industrial materials) within a landscape to create an aesthetic experience.  Thus, the theme is open; but permanency of work is encouraged, ephemeral would be only if it is the most appropriate means to communicating the idea.  The realized work may become a part of the Arts Village or sited in a public space in nearby village.

Organizers will provide accommodation and food; an accepted applicant will contribute participation fee of $100 / €70 toward food.  The international participant is responsible for own travel costs and proposed project.  We suggest that participants apply for travel grants through their national art councils or other sources.  To apply, send CV, statement/sketch of your proposed work, and a sample of your existing work to  Submissions will be reviewed until space is filled.  For details on our projects go to

In Ghana: Nka Foundation, Box Up 1115, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi.

In Burkina Faso: Nka Foundation, 04 BP 399, Ouagadougou 04.

PDF Land Art Workshop