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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Environmental Art by Isabelle T.

Environmental Art presented by Hollie Berry:

Today, local artist Hollie Berry gave a presentation focused on environmental art. She has
personally experienced this through her “dew”dles, where she draws a path through the dew in
the grass to create an image. An example of her work is the large lion “dew”dle she drew in
Coolidge Park. She defines environmental art, or Land Art, by describing the main uses, using
the environment as a canvas, medium, or subject. There are many variations of this, including
the Passage by Cornelia Konrads. Some prehistoric to modern environmental art includes
Santa Cruz in 7300 BC, the Nazca lines in 400 AD, and the Serpent Mound in 1070 AD shown

These pieces are so large because they have to survive over time and be noticeable in
aerial view. One type of environmental art we discussed is manipulation, or using all natural
materials to create something within nature. Some examples of manipulation include the Spiral
Jetty, the Andres Amadour Beach Art, and many works by Andy Goldsworthy shown below.

Another type of environmental art is disruption, or using nature as the canvas, adding in
manmade materials. One local example of this is the Cleveland Ear Fungus by Melissa Jay
Craig, which uses manmade materials to create “ears” on trees.

Disruption can also mean bringing the outside in, such as the indoor clouds that artist
Berndnaut Smilde created. Another type of environmental art is interaction, or a personal
encounter with nature, often performance based. Some examples of this include Silueta by Ana
Medieta and Line Made By Walking by Richard Ling shown below.

Intervention, or changing/rehabbing the environment for the better, is another type of
environmental art. An example of this is the Fair Park Lagoon in Dallas, Texas, which was a
sewage pond rehabilitated to be a thriving, beautiful wetland.

Some problems to anticipate when sharing environmental art include the temporality of
it, the rarely archival materials used, the location, which is often remote or hard to access, and
the scale, which is often too large to move or fit in a gallery. Photographs, maps, and
documentation are the key to preserving and sharing environmental art.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Youth Freshwater Summit at TNACI- by Isabelle T.

On January 28th, Tucker River Fellows went to the new Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute for the Freshwater Summit. We heard from many keynote speakers on different areas of conservation and participated in a few activities, such as making a plan for our own institute to solve a problem in our community. 
Here is a summarization of the Keynote Panel topics:
First we heard from Anna George on how to help protect life in Tennessee streams. She discussed how the Southeast has the most biodiversity, but these freshwater ecosystems are being threatened. She suggested a four-step plan on how to help, saying, “1. Discover your connection, 2. Reduce your impact, 3. Offer to help, and 4. Play and enjoy!” Next we heard from the panel, including Sara McIntyer on buffers and the effects of agriculture, Matt Whitaker on sustainable landscape design, and Dr. Kristen Cecala on global climate change. 

We also listened to many speakers discuss fundraising workshops, leadership advise, and how to spread the word through social media.
Some of the hands-on activities we experienced include the Icebreaker, in which we drew plans for our own conservation institute, had skill building workshops, and held small group presentations. We also had guided tours in which we viewed the many rooms of the institute, including the specimen lab shown below: