Landscape architecture exhibition brings new look to issues

Luke Ness and Lauren Clark wrap Tyler Arndt for their exhibition on Tuesday at the College of Design. Their artwork will be displayed this week.  

Katelynn Mccollough

The hard work of a class of fifth-year landscape architecture students is about to be displayed in Reiman Gardens via an exhibition they have been working on throughout this semester.

The exhibition, “Barriers: An artistic exploration of the issues regarding hunger and habitat loss in Iowa,” will be on display in the Mahlstede Center at Reiman Gardens on Dec. 5 through Dec. 11.

The exhibit’s focus is based on issues of habitat loss and food scarcity in Iowa. Visitors of the exhibit will be able to learn about these issues with the use of informational and interactive art displays and graphics.

“We are taking a non-real thing and making it something you can see and hear and touch,” said Luke Ness, senior in landscape architecture. “It’s more about an emotional response.”

Before the exhibit could be created, the group of classmates had to first learn more about these issues. To do this, the class of 35 students was split into three groups.

Two of the groups visited area organizations involved in helping to solve these issues. One group traveled to Boone to work with the Iowa Wildlife Center. The other group visited the Des Moines Area Religious Council, an organization that helps provide food through the use of food pantries.

The last group, consisting of 11 students, used the information the other groups had gathered to create the exhibit. The project opened the students up to two issues that often can be overlooked.

For Tyler Arndt, senior in landscape architecture who worked on the exhibit, the issue of food and hunger caught his attention.

“It’s the fact that there is hunger in Iowa,” Arndt said.

Lauren Clark, senior in landscape architecture, is also involved in the project.

“One in five kids are hungry,” Clark said.

Clark and her classmates hope to promote awareness on the issues, but in a more unique way with the use of the exhibition.

“We are trying to create an emotional experience … make more of a connection,” said Jason Bril, senior in landscape architecture, who assisted Ness with communication and advertising for the exhibition.

The group has struggled with the design of the exhibition for the past several months, but they will begin to set up the completed project at Reiman Gardens this weekend. They also said they were having issues describing what the exhibition will be like.

“It was something new that we’ve never tried before … it was fun,” Bril said.

This was the first time that this project had been tried, and also the last studio project of the semester for this group of landscape architecture students.

“We definitely learned a lot, but we’re excited to teach a lot too,” Ness said.

The exhibition will be free for any ISU student and will be $8 for public admission. Visitors will be able to leave donations at the exhibit for habitat loss and food scarcity organizations in Iowa.

Tim Keller, professor of landscape architecture, and Julia Badenhope, associate professor of landscape architecture, teach the course.