In partnership with the Environmental Arts and Humanities Initiative, the Spring Creek Project invited artists to submit proposals for interactive art projects that radically re-imagine how to live well on an altered planet. The winning artists, soil science professor Jay Noller and graduate student Elizabeth Garton, will be working on their interactive sculpture during the Radical Reimaging Fair at the symposium on Saturday, February 15. Everyone is invited to visit the booth, talk with the artists, and participate in the making of the sculpture. Symposium participants will be encouraged to help create “soil paints” by mixing soil pigments and paint, and then apply them to precut canvas tiles. Participants will also help work wires into leaves, twigs, and branches.

The sculpture, titled “Climate Vān,” will be a free-standing sculpture six-feet high and three-feet wide, constructed of metal, cotton cloth, soil and synthetic paints. The sculpture’s mixed-media components stem in large part from Jay Noller’s “Soilscapes”: paintings made of acrylic and soil that draw attention to ancient, vulnerable landscapes, such as seacliffs and toppling riverbanks, which are “old growth ecosystems” for trillions of soil-borne organisms.

The Climate Vān sculpture will be shaped as a seed and consist of six “whorls” that will spiral about one another when the sculpture is spun on its vertical axis. Each whorl will represent a global soil type that is vulnerable and responding to change, thus calling attention to human connection to the environment. A changing climate will lead to longitudinal, latitudinal and elevational shifts in ecological communities; the Climate Vān will demonstrate these shifts by twisting and deforming this global distribution from current conditions to new, future alignments.

For more information on this project, read the entire feature story, or view the original Call for Artists.


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