2017 Art + Environment Conference and Unsettled Exhibition: Bonnie Ora Sherk Presents A Living Library in Nevada Museum of Art


Bonnie Ora Sherk

Since 2008, the Art + Environment Conference at the Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, Nevada, led by William Fox, has been bringing together international artists, researchers, designers, architects, and scholars to create awareness about human interactions with the environment. The triennial event displays the beautiful amalgamation of futuristic artworks in the face of the rapidly changing global environment. This year, the 2017 Art + Environment Conference (Oct 19 – Oct 21 2017) was themed around the Greater West – the geographical region spanning through the west coast of Americas to Australia and New Zealand. The presenters investigated the cultural and environmental aspects of the region through the lens of aesthetics, technology, and imagination. 

Additionally, the Conference was augmented by the large Unsettled Exhibition (August 26, 2017 – January 21, 2018), curated by Joanne Northrup, Senior Curator from the Nevada Museum of Art, which showed work of artists from the Greater West from Alaska to South America.  The Exhibition will travel next year to the Anchorage Museum of Art in Alaska (April 06 – September 09, 2018) and the Palm Springs Museum of Art in Southern California (October 27, 2018 – February 18, 2019).

Bonnie Ora Sherk was invited to the Conference to talk about her work and her installation in the Unsettled Exhibition — A Living Library Is Cultivating The Human And Ecological Garden. Speaking on Reframing the Watersheds of the West, she explained how A Living Library has been transforming neglected urban spaces and concealed watersheds into ecological wonderlands that incorporate local resources to create new landscapes in the American West.  She also discussed A.L.L. as a planetary genre meant to be developed in diverse places in the world and in Space.

Bonnie's installation at the exhibition 'Unsettled'

One of her projects, A Living Library Nature Walk has emerged as a successful prototype for connecting communities in the Islais Creek Watershed, the largest in San Francisco. The A.L.L. Nature Walk aims to expand and interconnect the eleven neighborhoods of the Watershed through new, eco-narrative, resilient, native landscapes. She also envisions to link the diverse parts of the Watershed through Green Powered Digital Gateways.

Bonnie's installation at Unsettled

Bonnie Ora's installation

Bonnie's installation at Unsettled

She also exhibited and discussed another Branch Living Library – the OMI/Excelsior Living Library & Think Park which has been instrumental in transforming four San Francisco Unified School District schools and campuses -Balboa High School, James Denman Middle School, Leadership High School, and San Miguel Early Education School), while also providing multiple learning opportunities for PreK-12 students through integrated interdisciplinary, hands-on, common-core  learning programs.

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