Stream Banks

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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