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Bonnie Ora Sherk

Bonnie at the Venice Biennale in 2017

Landscape architect, planner, and educator Bonnie Ora Sherk (1945 – 2021) was the founding director, chief designer, and lead teacher of A Living Library (A.L.L.) for over 35 years.

Prior to starting A.L.L., Bonnie served as the founding director of Crossroads Community (the farm) from 1974 to 1980. Located in San Francisco next to a major interchange, The Farm inspired the City to transform seven acres of derelict land into what today is called Potrero del Sol Park. 

Bonnie conceived of A.L.L. in 1981 in New York and developed several conceptual plans and urban landscape proposals throughout the 1980s and 1990s. In 1992, Sherk founded the nonprofit Life Frames, Inc. to support the educational work of A.L.L. She designed and established the currently active A.L.L. branch libraries on Roosevelt Island, New York City (2001–present), Bernal Heights (2002–present) and OMI/Excelsior (1998–present) of San Francisco. 

She was also a performance artist and is considered a pioneering contributor to the fields of Eco Art, Social Practice, Feminist Art and Conceptual Art. Sherk regularly lectured and had her work featured in exhibitions nationally and internationally, including the 2017 Venice Biennale and the 2021 Liverpool Biennial. She lived and worked in both San Francisco and New York City.

Links to more info:

We continue to maintain access to past news items and material Bonnie published on this website and its former version as an online resource.