Housecleaning and Snow Surveys

Checking on the sculptures east of Reno, NV and cleaning the nests for the season. The snow level is good this year and the runoff in the Sierras should reach the growing willows along the Truckee River in May.

A collaboration with TNC and the Nevada Museum of Art

Our collaboration with The Nevada Museum of Art and The Nature Conservancy in Nevada added five remedial habitat-enhancement sculptures to the Tahoe, Truckee and Carson watersheds.

Created with riparian materials sourced on-site and 2,300 volunteer hours contributed by the generous communities and organizations of Reno and Carson Valley, NV.

Sculpting in a Drought

NPR story on Truckee River sculptures.
Water levels drop. Drought conditions prevail.  Moisture from spring snows doesn't last more than a few hours.

Habitat Enhancements on the Truckee River

Creation of new habitat sculptures on The Nature Conservancy's McCarran Ranch Preserve on the Truckee River began in November, 2014 as part of the Nature of Art collaboration.

The collaboration also includes an exhibition at the Nevada Museum of Art, Center for Art + Environment. This exhibition features conceptual works and maquettes created for the work on the Truckee and Carson Rivers with The Nature Conservancy. Selections from our archives at the Center for Art + Environment also show our remedial installations in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area on the Pt Reyes peninsula.
Photo courtesy Simon Williams, TNC-Nevada

Nature of Art

The Nature of Art project with The Nature Conservancy's River Fork Ranch Preserve in Nevada's Carson Valley. work is situated in the newly restored flood plain of the East Brockliss Slough of the Carson river.  At 360' long and varied heights, with 750 lived-staked willows planted and woven into the sculpture, this work is designed to enhance the riparian habitat in a ranching corridor.

Local TV news coverage

The Truckee & Carson Rivers

Next up are projects with The Nature Conservancy and The Center for Art+Environment of the Nevada Museum of Art in Northern Nevada.

Bay Clay Oyster Reef

In collaboratiion with Bay Area sceintists and conservation organizations, we are prototyping an innovative and aesthetically-minded oyster bed destined for installation in the East Bay near the Oakland Estuary and Lake Merritt.  Using only substances taken from the Bay our sculptures are returned to bay waters to recruit the oyster larvae that will attach and eventually build the large oyster beds that once populated shorelines and protected marshes and acted as storm surge barriers.

Support for this project in made possible by the Headlands Center for the Arts, Alumni New Works  Award 2013, a 2012 Center for Cultural Innovation Investing in Artists Grant, and The Arts and Healing Network.

Line of Defense

An installation aimed at helping local community members of Louisiana’s Gulf Coast restore the storm surge barriers can best be described as creating a technology to help make local efforts to restore wetlands more successful.
Bald Cypress are a keystone species in Coastal Louisiana, as well as the state tree. Their role in creating storm surge barriers is a vital one.  As a first line of defense, Bald Cypress stands allow bayou marshlands to survive.

After three months the planted Cypress survived predation from Nutria, a highly invasive aquatic rodent that decimates unprotected seedlings by pulling them up and chewing their roots. The trees are growing and holding strong on a small island. 

Three years after initial installation.

This project was made possible with support from The Puffin Foundation and Tulane University, Center for Bioengineering Research.