Upon the passing of Bonnie Ora Sherk on August 8, 2021, Robert Croonquist, longtime friend and board member of Life Frames, Inc., took it upon himself to rescue her writings and artwork from her Cornelia Street pied à terre in New York City. Several months later Andrea Lowenkopf and Croonquist travelled to California where, joined by Bonnie’s niece Maija Kellner-Rode and Sarah Happersberger, they secured archival materials from her home in the Bernal Heights neighborhood of San Francisco.

While that was happening, NYC-based gallerist, friend and Life Frames, Inc. board member Ingrid Dinter facilitated meetings with Elisabeth Baird, Tanya Zimbardo, Darlene Tong, Luke Daenen, Croonquist, Lowenkopf and China Bushell to develop an inventory and pursue possible homes for the archives.

They were approached by Frank Smigiel, Director of Arts Programming and Partnerships at San Francisco’s Fort Mason Center for Art and Culture, about a possible solo exhibition of Bonnie’s work. Smigiel offered to temporarily house the archives at the General’s residence at Fort Mason. Tanya Zimbardo was chosen to curate the exhibit. Croonquist and Lowenkopf returned to San Francisco to further organize the archives and were joined by Tong, Daenen, Zimbardo and Megan Gorham.

Bonnie’s sisters, Abby Kellner-Rode and Rachel Binah generously donated all of Bonnie’s archives, including her artwork, to Life Frames, Inc. who is presently searching for an institution or institutions to house them.

Please contact Ingrid Dinter with any questions or suggestions you may have.

In general, the archives consist of:

  • Papers – correspondence, press, writings, park designs, A Living Library and Life Frames, Inc. documents from Living Libraries on Roosevelt Island and in San Francisco , The Farm, the Islais Creek watershed, grant proposals, student work, exhibitions, notebooks, address books, and datebooks.
  • Books – relevant to Bonnie’s work, information about Bonnie, related to eco-art and feminism, relevant to the time period, local and regional information
  • Audio and video recordings
  • Hard Drives
  • Exhibition pieces – landscape designs, posters, exhibition pieces, city maps and site plans
  • Landscape designs, posters and large photographs
  • City maps and site plans

Presentation: About Bonnie Ora Sherk

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