Posts Tagged ‘ecological design’

Dec11

2017 Art + Environment Conference and Unsettled Exhibition: Bonnie Ora Sherk Presents A Living Library in Nevada Museum of Art

  Bonnie Ora Sherk

Since 2008, the Art + Environment Conference at the Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, Nevada, led by William Fox, has been bringing together international artists, researchers, designers, architects, and scholars to create awareness about human interactions with the environment. The triennial event displays the beautiful amalgamation of futuristic artworks in the face of the rapidly changing global environment. This year, the 2017 Art + Environment Conference (Oct 19 - Oct 21 2017) was themed around the Greater West - the geographical region spanning through the west coast of Americas to Australia and New Zealand. The presenters investigated the cultural and environmental aspects of the region through the lens of aesthetics, technology, and imagination. 

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Nov21

Bonnie Ora Sherk and A Living Library Represented at Open Table (Tavola Aperta) in Venice Biennale 2017

Bonnie Ora at Tavola Aperta, Venice Biennale

As part of the 57th edition of The Venice Biennale, curated by Christine Macel, Chief Curator of the Pompidou Center in Paris, Bonnie Ora Sherk, along with Marie Voignier, another artist featured in this year’s Biennale, were interviewed by Maria Pesavento, at the Open Table (Tavola Aperta) on October 07, 2017 at the Venice Biennale in Venice, Italy.

Bonnie Ora at Tavola Aperta

Bonnie Ora discussed her work and installation in the Arsenale, in the Pavillion of the Earth in La Biennale, called, Evolution of Life Frames: past, present, future with the visitors, over a casual lunch at the Tavola Aperta.

Link to full video discussion on La Biennale Website:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3w7wF0CFnKA&t=300s 

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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.

May24

SF Rec and Park’s Partnership With Bonnie Ora Sherk and A Living Library Receive International Acclaim

SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department is proud to announce that its long-time partner, Bonnie Ora Sherk, Founder and Director of A Living Library (A.L.L.) and creator of the prototype, Living Library Nature Walk which links parks, schools, public housing, streets, and other open spaces leading to the currently hidden Islais Creek, is being featured in this year’s Venice Biennale. The international art exhibition in Venice, Italy, began this week and will continue through November. The Living Library Nature Walk will be exhibited as part of Bonnie Ora Sherk’s installation - Evolution of Life Frames: past, present, future.   Bonnie Ora Sherk is a long-time San Francisco and NYC-based artist, landscape architect, educator, and the Founder and Director of Life Frames, Inc., the non-profit sponsor of A Living Library. Her two part installation also features Crossroads Community (the farm), the pioneering, urban agriculture, multi-arts, environmental education, collaborative artwork that resulted in Potrero del Sol Park, incorporated the Chavez/101 Freeway Interchange, and was also one of the first Alternative Art Spaces in the United States. Sherk was the Founding Director and President of Crossroads Community (the farm) from 1974-1980 and made the original drawings for the Park, which will also be exhibited as part of her installation.   SF Rec and Park’s partnership with A Living Library is part of an overall effort to raise awareness of the importance of green space and to encourage community stewardship of neighborhood parks. A Living Library is a powerful and successful prototype for connecting communities in the Islais Creek Watershed, the largest in San Francisco, and aims to expand throughout the eleven neighborhoods of the Watershed, which include: Noe Valley, Mission, Bernal Heights, Potrero Hill, Bayview, Portola, Crocker-Amazon, Excelsior, OMI, Sunnyside, Glen Park - and to also transform its two neglected and flooding freeway interchanges - Chavez/101 and Alemany/101 into Northern and Southern Gateways to the Watershed. A.L.L. also provides multiple opportunities within these resilient landscapes for community and school hands-on education about watersheds and natural systems, flood mitigation, climate change, California native species, environmental justice, green skills job training, ecological transformation, all while creating a sense of place and wonder in the City’s open spaces.   “The Living Library Nature Walk showcases how parks can connect our communities, as well as the innovation of sustainable landscapes that can tackle many environmental challenges including climate change, wild habitat restoration and so much more,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec and Park General Manager. “The fact that this project and the associated SF parks will be on display to receive international recognition, is a testament to Bonnie’s commitment to the coalescence of arts and nature.”   The Venice Biennale has been, for over 120 years, one of the most prestigious arts and cultural institutions in the world. Established in 1895, the Biennale has an attendance today of over 500,000 visitors at the Art Exhibition. The history of the Venice Biennale dates back to 1895, when the first International Art Exhibition was organized. In the 1930s new festivals were born: Music, Cinema, and Theatre (the Venice Film Festival in 1932 was the first film festival in history). In 1980 the first International Architecture Exhibition took place, and in 1999, Dance made its debut at the Venice Biennale.   Bonnie Ora Sherk says, “It is a wonderful honor and opportunity to have my work recognized in this significant international art venue. A Living Library, which links local biological, cultural, and technological systems and resources, and results in place-based, ecological transformation of communities and schools with integrated community programs, is actually a planetary genre. A.L.L. is both local and global in its reach, and is meant to be created in diverse communities of the world, interconnected through Green-Powered Digital Gateways, so we can share commonalities and diversities of cultures and ecologies - near and far. A Living Library is Cultivating the Human and Ecological Garden.”   Since 2002, SF Rec and Park has been in partnership with Bonnie and A Living Library helping to coordinate the Bernal Heights Living Library Nature Walk. The goal of A Living Library Nature Walk is to connect people and places in sustainable, ecological environments, and call attention to the importance of our Islais Creek Watershed, California Native Trees and Understory Plants, diverse wildlife species, and opportunities for ecological transformation of our city.       This summer, STEAM + Literacy With A Living Library, a hands-on Stewardship Camp for children in 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grades will be held in July in the Living Library Nature Walk based at St. Mary’s Park and Rec Center. For more information about the Summer Camp and to enroll, please contact: kentanderson@alivinglibrary.org. For more information about A Living Library, please visit: www.alivinglibrary.org or contact:info@alivinglibrary.org     Please email for additional photos or Bonnie Ora Sherk’s contact information.
Joey Kahn
Media Relations and Policy Manager
San Francisco Recreation and Park Department | City & County of San Francisco
McLaren Lodge in Golden Gate Park | 501 Stanyan Street | San Francisco, CA | 94117
(415) 831  2741 | joey.kahn@sfgov.org
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