What comes to mind when you think of a wastewater treatment plant? I would bet it’s not a LEED Platinum rated building housing a science center and award-winning education programs. The LOTT Clean Water Alliance in downtown Olympia is pretty unique, and is recognized internationally as a utility of the future. This means we pioneer innovative technologies and cutting-edge practices, with a focus on resource recovery, efficiency, sustainability, and community engagement.
At the beginning of March, I kicked off the Less Waste, More Food Art in Action Project with 4 design workshops, involving 100 students, at Salish Middle School and North Thurston High School. In these workshops, I presented about the problems of wasting food. In the US we waste 40% of the food we grow! This wasted food has huge social and environmental impacts, including:
I recently updated my artist statement for a proposal and thought I would share! My artworks explore the interface between participant, viewer, and subject, resulting in immersive works that compel change. They are process oriented, drawing from relevant environmental and social issues. The finished artworks themselves are multi-layered, pulling the viewer in. The underlying collaboration and community participation is Art in Action.
It is exciting, and a little scary, to embark on this collaborative art-venture with the Thurston County Food Bank. There are so many unknowns. I know that it will result in a permanent exterior art installation and involve over 1,000 people along the way.
I am thrilled to share this news with you: I was chosen to lead a groundbreaking project for the Thurston County Food Bank, as their Artist in Residence! This would not have been possible without the support of so many amazing people.
Thanks to a waste prevention grant from the Department of Ecology, we are embarking on a collaborative, multi-faceted Art and Action project. The focus of the project is:
One of the wonderful aspects of the Pollinator Project was learning a new art medium, ferrocement. Ferrocement is essentially concrete mortar over a metal armature. Using a metal armature and mesh makes the concrete much stronger, allowing shapes and forms that would be impossible with concrete alone.
Over the summer, we celebrated the unveiling of an art sculpture and pollinator garden. At the event, there were local beekeepers, a live observation hive, honey vendors, education stations, a pollinator photographer, musicians and even a juggler! It was so much fun that we are thinking of making it an annual day-long education and family fun event.