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.
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.
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.
“What is that? Some crazy space scene?” I smiled at the question, secretly pleased. You see, the organisms in the mural I was painting do look completely out of this world. The iridescent shapes on the mural, standing out from the dark, black background, look like nothing other than bizarre space ships flying through space.
This spring, I partnered with LOTT Clean Water Alliance to create an engaging and educational art piece about water for the WET Science Center. I teamed up with LOTT and more than 1,200 Thurston County students and adults to create the new piece titled “One Water – The Infinite Journey” that debuted as part of Spring Arts Walk on April 22 at LOTT’s WET Science Center. The result of this project is not just an art installation; it is a story of water.
Located in the wetlands exhibit area at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, this installation creates the illusion of being inside of a wetland while interpreting the important function of wetlands and the necessity to limit the use of plastic bottles. Visitors are immersed in this beautiful and solution-based piece in a setting where they can view and connect to the animals that are affected by this issue. The experience leaves them more open to taking tangible action to conserve wetlands and reduce their use of plastic bottles.
As part of my Artist Residency at Sherman Elementary School, in Tacoma, we created this Student Collaborative Art Project. During the project, students created hundreds of shimmering Pacific herring from up-cycled Capri-sun pouches. The school of herring is suspended in the shape of two harbor porpoises. Stabilized by student created clay shells that are native to the region, this artwork looks closely at the relationship of plastics and how we impact the earth.
This Leatherback Sea Turtle was commissioned by the Oregon Country Fair (OCF), summer 2015. It was a collaboration between myself, Annie Douglas, and many amazing volunteers! The intention of the piece was to shed light on some of the problem materials at OCF. The shell of the turtle is made from Asceptic containers (soy milk and the like), other upcycled materials, and bamboo. Inside the turtle is a…