Posts Tagged ‘community revitalization’

Nov21

Roosevelt Island Living Library & Think Park : June to September 2017

Roosevelt Island Day, June 17, 2017 at Roosevelt Island, NYC

The Native Americans called Roosevelt Island, Minnehanonck, meaning ‘It’s nice to be on the island’. Once infamous for its prisons and asylums, the two-mile-long island in New York City’s East River, located between Manhattan Island and the borough of Queens on Long Island has slowly emerged as a home to high-rise residential buildings. Right in the middle of the town, on an L-shaped plot just south of 504 Main Street, there lies a beautiful patch of green — the Roosevelt Island Living Library & Think Park, an ecological artwork created by Bonnie Ora Sherk, her non-profit organization Life Frames, Inc., and community members that engages the local schools and adults; educating them about gardening, ecology, multi-arts, literacy, nutrition, and local history through hands-on, standards-based Common Core learning programs.

Bonnie Ora Sherk with a group of enthusiastic kids and their parents on Roosevelt Island Day, June 17, 2017 at Roosevelt Island, NYC

Keep Reading

Sep08

Bonnie Ora Sherk and A Living Library Receive International Recognition at Venice Biennale 2017

Venice Biennale 2017

Bonnie Ora Sherk and A Living Library (A.L.L.) have been recognized and featured in one of the most prestigious contemporary art exhibitions in the world, The Venice Biennale 2017. The 57th edition of La Biennale, also known as the Olympics of the Art World, opened on May 10, 2017 and will continue through November 26, with an estimated attendance of more than 500,000 visitors. A Living Library is exhibited as a part of Bonnie Ora Sherk’s installation Evolution of Life Frames: past, present, future, in the Arsenale in the Pavilion of the Earth, dedicated to the environment, ecological, and communitarianism movements one of the nine themed sections of the exhibition curated by Christine Macel, also Chief Curator of the Pompidou in Paris, France.  Additionally, Bonnie Ora has been invited to return to Venice and La Biennale to give a public talk on her work on October 7, and then will give another public talk and workshop on A Living Library in Zurich, Switzerland on October 12 and 13th at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste / ZHdK.

Her two-part installation in La Biennale also features Crossroads Community (the farm) — a pioneering collaborative artwork involving urban agriculture, multi-arts, and environmental education — that resulted in Potrero del Sol Park, adjacent to the Chavez/ 101 Freeway Interchange. From 1974 to 1980, Sherk was the Founding Director and President of Crossroads Community (the Farm) which has been recognized as one of the first Alternative Art Spaces in the United States. Her installation includes the original drawings she made for the Park. A video featuring her and her way of working has been published on the official website of The Venice Biennale 2017.

Keep Reading
Aug05

Bonnie Ora Sherk Presents Lecture On Funcshuional Art In Museum Of Arte Útil’s Escuela at Yerba Buena Center For The Arts

Bonnie Ora Sherk, long-time ecological artist, landscape architect, planner, educator, and Founder & Director of Life Frames, Inc. & A Living Library, presented a lecture on Funcshuional Art as A Living Library at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on August 2 as part of Escuela d'Arte Util (School of Useful Art), part of Tania Bruguera’s Exhibition of the Museum d'Arte Util at YBCA. Her talk was live-streamed on the YBCA's website (see below). Bonnie Ora Sherk's work was also featured on a KQED radio broadcast and appears on the KQED website about the Exhibition and Arte Util.

Presentation Part 1 Presentation Part 2

Below are a few pictures from the presentation.

Bonnie Ora Sherk presents this week’s lecture on “usership” at Escuela de Arte Útil at YBCA. Bonnie Ora Sherk presents this week’s lecture on “usership” at Escuela de Arte Útil at YBCA. Bonnie Ora Sherk presents this week’s lecture on “usership” at Escuela de Arte Útil at YBCA. Bonnie Ora Sherk presents this week’s lecture on “usership” at Escuela de Arte Útil at YBCA.
Jul29

Bonnie Ora Sherk – Public Talk at SFAI 2017 Summer Symposium

Funcshuional Art

Bonnie Ora Sherk, long-time ecological artist, landscape architect, planner, educator, and Founder & Director of Life Frames, Inc. & A Living Librarypresented  her pioneering work at the San Francisco Art Institute 2017 Summer Symposium, I Object !  Self Organization + Political Agency as Aesthetic Practice, in conjunction with Cuban Artist,  Tania Bruguera and others, on Saturday, July 15, at the San Francisco Art Institute.  This Symposium was also in conjunction with Bruguera’s exhibition at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.

Bonnie Ora Sherk will also give another lecture at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on August 2, 6:30 pm as part of  Escuela Arte Util (School of Useful Art), also part of Bruguera’s exhibition, and was additionally featured on a KQED radio broadcast and website about the exhibition and Arte Util.

At the SFAI talk, she presented her local and global, planetary genre, A Living Library, as Funcshuional Art, a term she invented, that marries East and West, North and South, with it’s multiple, practical, systemic processes, creative solutions and strategies that transform the environment, address climate change and flood mitigation among other benefits, while also educating all ages about natural systems and ecological stewardship.

Her presentation at SFAI included examples of Branch Living Library & Think Parks in the Islais Creek Watershed, the largest in San Francisco, including the OMI/Excelsior Living Library & Think Park that is transforming four contiguous SFUSD schools and campuses with integrated learning for PreK-12 students (Leadership High School, San Miguel Early Education School, James Denman Middle School, Balboa High School), and the prototype Bernal Heights Living Library & Think Park Nature Walk that is interconnecting multiple schools, parks, public housing, streets, and other open spaces through development of a new, narrative resilient landscape of California native trees and understory with interpretive signage leading to the currently hidden Islais Creek at the south side of St. Mary’s Park and Highway 280.

This Nature Walk will be expanded throughout the Watershed, to interconnect its eleven neighborhoods:  Noe Valley, Mission, Bernal Heights, Potrero Hill, Portola, Crocker-Amazon, Excelsior, OMI, Sunnyside, Glen Park.  Also proposed is transformation of the currently derelict and flooding, Chavez/101 Freeway and Alemany/101 Freeway Interchanges into Northern & Southern Gateways to the Watershed.

Please come to Yerba Center for the Arts in SF on August 2 at 6:30 pm to learn more about Sherk's work with Funcshuional Art and A Living Library.  This talk is free and open to the public.

Jun04

Site Meeting With CA Natural Resources Agency For Living Library Seneca Avenue Transformation – A BIG Success !!

Principals, City Agencies, Neighbors, Parents, Funders, Friends, ALL:

Your participation was greatly appreciated on June 5, 10-12 noon. We met onsite in front of San Miguel Early Education School, 300 Seneca at 10 am.

Our proposal had been shortlisted by CA Natural Resources Agency for a sizable CA Prop 1 grant to redo the whole Seneca Avenue Sidewalk on the SFUSD property side from San Jose Avenue to Cayuga (shown in green below)  into a series of California Native Learning Zone Rain Gardens that will completely transform and beautify the street, as well as create multiple learning opportunities for students, including learning about the Islais Creek and the Islais Creek Watershed, in which the site is located.

This is still a competitive grant process. The more participants at this meeting was extremely important, so the great attendance was imperative to show the 7 State Representatives that the schools, parents, community, and city agencies actively support this work to be done.  It was a success !!

We had a great event !  Multiple city agencies, our D11 SF Supervisor and staff, school district officials including school principals participated as well as many community residents and groups from the neighborhood.

If awarded, this grant will provide a significant influx of resources for this D11 community and the students.

The sidewalk on Seneca is currently a barren, wide heat island that drains directly into the overflowing sewer in the Cayuga Valley where the Islais Creek still runs underground. Our plan is to create Native Rain Gardens that will allow rain water to percolate into the aquifer as well as be used to water native trees and colorful, understory plants.

The work on Seneca will also complement the work we will be doing in the rear yard of Denman creating CA Native Learning Zones with a CCG Grant from the City. Additionally, the Seneca Avenue Transformation and its parallel Oneida Streetscape Transformation, which began in 1999, by Life Frames, Inc., and all of the Living Library Gardens, including the new one for Denman’s Rear Yard, is envisioned to become part of the expanding A.L.L. Islais Creek Watershed Nature Walk throughout this Watershed, the largest in San Francisco, that interconnects 11 neighborhoods including: Crocker-Amazon, Excelsior, OMI, Sunnyside, Glen Park, Noe Valley, Mission, Bernal Heights, Potrero Hill, Bayview, Portola.

Brief description of proposed project submitted for Prop 1 funds:

OMI/Excelsior Living Library & Think Park Seneca Avenue Streetscape Transformation/Islais Creek Watershed Restoration

Seneca Avenue between San Jose and Cayuga Avenues is currently an extremely long, wide, sterile and barren, concrete and hilly expanse, with very little visual or ecological relief, that delivers great amounts of stormwater during rain events directly into the sewer system. The rain comes down the long hill from San Jose Avenue into the flooding Cayuga Valley, where it overpowers the already overburdened sewers and adds to flood problems under Balboa High School and in many homes in the path of the historic Islais Creek, which still flows here. 

However, this situation actually provides an extraordinary and exceptional mitigation opportunity:

Seneca Avenue borders on four SFUSD schools and affords an extremely significant ecological LID transformation opportunity to create a continuous California Native Drought Tolerant Learning Zone for all ages of the thousands of primarily low-income, culturally and linguistically diverse students – PreK-12 – from all of these schools: Leadership High School, San Miguel Early Education School, James Denman Middle School, and Balboa High School. Our proposed, resulting OMI/Excelsior Living Library Seneca Avenue Streetscape Transformation will function as a series of rain gardens with deep infiltration that will help divert stormwater from the sewer system and use instead for beautiful California native landscapes of trees and colorful understory plants, bringing cheer, delight, and health to this current concrete desert, as well as providing habitat for diverse species of wildlife, and mitigating the heat island effect, which will save energy from nearby school buildings and homes in the area.

Our goal is to plant California Native Drought Tolerant species in mulched, good composted soil, that will divert stormwater away from the sewer while also beautifying the currently bleak environment for students and the whole neighborhood along Seneca Avenue. It will become a California Native Learning Zone for students, who will participate in the planting and maintenance of the trees and understory plants, and also contribute greatly to the further development of the OMI/Excelsior Living Library & Think Park Master Plan developed by Life Frames, Inc., led by Bonnie Ora Sherk in 2000-2001, and currently being implemented in stages in the area.

This Living Library Seneca Avenue Streetscape Transformation and the already existing Living Library Oneida Streetscape Transformation on the eastern parallel side of the Schools' complex completed in 1999, will additionally together become part of the expanded A.L.L. Islais Creek Watershed Nature Walk that is being developed to interconnect multiple schools, parks, public housing, streets, and other open spaces throughout the Islais Creek Watershed, the largest in San Francisco. This Watershed frames and interlinks eleven communities: Crocker-Amazon, Excelsior, OMI, Sunnyside, Glen Park, Noe Valley, Mission, Bernal Heights, Potrero Hill, Bayview, Portola. (Please see attached existing Bernal Heights Living Library Nature Walk Master Plan and Islais Creek Watershed Map showing expanded Nature Walk throughout the Watershed)

Although the total, approximately 9 acre SFUSD complex of the four schools, bordered by San Jose Avenue on the northwest, Cayuga Avenue on the southeast, Oneida Avenue to the east, and Seneca Avenue to the south, has many acres of dry and dusty, non-permeable asphalt and concrete, it also has historical flooding problems from the underground Islais Creek that runs under Balboa High School, as well as from large storm events. This Streetscape Transformation will help to mitigate these issues.

© 2017 Life Frames, Inc. & A Living Library

A Living Library, Life Frame, Think Park, & A.L.L. are registered trademarks

Follow us Facebook Twiter Flickr YouTube RSS