Public Art and Ecology: A Watershed Project for The Confluence
Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts
Steinberg Hall, Review Room, Washington University, St. Louis
January 29 - March 6, 2010, visiting hours are 8:30am - 5:00pm
Celebratory event in the gallery, February 19, 5:30 - 7:00
Public Art and Ecology: A Watershed Project for The Confluence is a community-based, landscape scale public art project that will contribute to the cultural development of St. Louis, create a greater understanding of environmental issues related to the Mississippi River watershed, and serve as a functioning work in the watershed. The project is a collaboration
between The Confluence Partnership, Washington University's Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts, and St. Louis ArtWorks. The project is being coordinated by Via Partnership.
The exhibition at Steinberg Hall presents the concepts developed as a result of the community based planning process. The concepts have been developed by students at the Sam Fox School for Design and Visual Arts and by apprentices in the Creative Futures program with St. Louis ArtWorks with input from community members. More than 300 people were involved in the conceptual phase of this project.
This project, conceived by ecological artist Jackie Brookner, and co-led by Brookner and landscape architect Rick Kacenski from HOK, is intended to activate individual and collective creative agency through a deep community process, where the concept, design and entire process of bringing the project to fruition come from the collective decision making of a diverse
community of participants and stakeholders.
The process began with a public lecture by Brookner at Washington University followed by a public workshop at North Riverfront Park on Saturday, September 26, 2009. Brookner and Kacenski worked with neighborhood residents, graduate students from Washington University, apprentices with St. Louis ArtWorks, technical advisors and other interested citizens to develop a conceptual plan for the project. The concepts were developed over the next two months with two more public meetings where the Washington University graduate students and Artworks apprentices presented their proposals and received further review and critique for their developing ideas from the residents and stakeholders.
North Riverfront Park is located in St. Louis City along Riverview Drive, two miles south of the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge. The Confluence Partnership identified North Riverfront Park as the site for its access to the Mississippi River, its viewsheds from Riverview and an active neighboring community engaged in creating a more dynamic and satisfying park experience. Concurrently, the City of St. Louis Parks Department is embarking on a North Riverfront Park master planning process. The ideas generated through this collaboration will be shared with the master planners and the community engagement will serve as a starting point for this process.
For more information about The Confluence Partnership, seehttp://www.confluencegreenway.org
. For more information about Brookner's work, visit http://www.jackiebrookner.net