The Environmental Art project in ER

Posted on April 18, 2011

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Katherine and I begged leave to audit the Environmental Art class that Lindy Bishop is teaching at Cherryland Middle School in Elk Rapids. Last Wednesday was an introductory session for the ten students who signed up–plus the two somewhat more seasoned students from Eastport. We watched part of Rivers and Tides, a documentary about Andy Goldsworthy’s work, and brainstormed the kinds of materials we might use to make our own installation in Elk Rapids. What do we have to work with? What are the natural materials that we relate to, that hold special meaning for this place and its history? And do we know anyone with a front loader?

Katherine was really good at capturing the afternoon of exploring; all the photos in the slideshow are hers. The gorgeous day was laid on special by Mama Nature.

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I was struck by the way the students gravitated to some of the same shapes and elements that are important to Goldsworthy–seedpods (pinecones), egg shapes (cement anchors)–and lovely mud. Mud puddles will have their role!

This week the forecast is for less wonderful weather, but we’ll get out and about in it anyway. Lindy wants to get everyone over to Dam Beach to look at the possibilities for an installation there, and she’s offering a bribe: excellent treats at her Seed Gallery during the break.

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