ephemeral art 9.28.2017

I visited an outdoor art exhibit last week at the Farley Center for Peace and Justice. On view daily, sunup through sundown, through October 15th, it’s titled “Sanctuary 2017: Environmental Art at the Farley Center.” I’m not sure why it’s advertised as “on view” until a certain date, because its art that’s “made with materials that can safely decompose back into the earth.” So I assume all the pieces will naturally decompose, but I’m not sure… maybe they’ll be removed altogether in mid October. The exhibit is advertised as “environmental.” I’d also apply the “ephemeral art” label, or “human artifacts intentionally made to last for only a temporary period, in order to increase their perceived aesthetic value.” Already some of the pieces have changed and moved due to weather and age. They are in a constant state of flux and one day, you won’t even know there was “art” there.

I regret not attending the artist’s talk and reception so I could’ve learned more about the art and artists. There are no pamphlets or brochures. I couldn’t even find information on the big, grand interweb that explains anything about the artists or their pieces.

The 16-or-so pieces are set up in the Natural Path Sanctuary at the Farley Center. The Sanctuary is a green cemetery, and a few times I wasn’t sure if the “art” I saw was part of the exhibit or a gravesite decoration. And that makes it even more interesting. Both the graves and the art are there to naturally decompose and return to the earth. Following are photos of just a few of the pieces.

This is the first piece I saw upon entering the Sanctuary. Simple strips of cotton cloth intertwined and tied on to trees.
This piece has a Native American dreamcatcher feel to it.
I think this is made with sticks from red dogwood hanging from a curved branch. It’s a little hard to see in this photo, but it’s a very nice piece.
The horizontal branch has branches stuck in to drilled holes.
On closer inspection, there are typographical elements.
It’s hard to see the detail here, but this piece resembles a musical instrument.
Same piece. You can just make out the jute “strings” attached to a “fret.”
A closer view.
And even closer. The image painted on the left appears to be musical notation.
I think this was my favorite piece. It reminded me of a weather station.
The weaving was cool. And you can see the “wind sock” towards the back.
But what really captured me was the tied stone, hanging in the center of a square shape made of twigs.  Who knows why I loved this so. As I like to fall back on, Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder.

These photos really don’t do the art justice. If you get a chance, I urge you to wander on out to the Farley Center. You can find it just off Highway 151, at 2299 Spring Rose Road in Verona, Wisconsin. The Sanctuary is a calm, peaceful and beautiful area to wander around in, and the each art piece is a wonderful surprise as you walk the paths.




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