Landscape turns into art in new exhibit

Rua Pokladnik

To the curators and contributors of the exhibit, “Eco-Revelatory Design: Nature Constructed/Nature Revealed,” landscape architecture is more than just shrubbery and trees — it’s art.

The exhibit is on display in Gallery 181 of the College of Design from Feb. 17 to March 10.

According to the exhibit brochure, eco-revelatory design is landscape architecture that is intended to reveal and interpret ecological phenomena, processes and relationships.

“What they [the curators] did is they invited people actually from all around the country based on the recent interest of the people that they knew their interests might fit the interests of the exhibit,” said Mira Engler, professor of landscape architecture.

“Some projects here are projects that actually have been built,” Engler said. “Some projects were actually created and designed for the exhibition, and they’re more just proposals that suggest different ways to apply the idea of eco-revelatory designs.”

In all, 15 projects are included in the exhibit, ranging from visible stormwater management on the University of Virginia campus to acid mine drainage in a community park in Appalachia.

Terry Harkness, professor in landscape architecture at the University of Illinois, is not only one of the curators of the exhibit, but also a contributor.

Harkness’ project, “Foothill Mountain Observatory: Reconsidering Golden Mountain,” is a proposed 30-acre park in Sierra Madre, California.

“This proposed park highlights the present and historical natural and cultural dynamics of the San Gabriel Mountains’ foothills,” Harkness said of his project. “Through this park observatory, visitors can see, understand, and compare the ecological forms, phenomena and relationships of the surrounding regional landscape in new ways.”

In addition to the exhibit, a public lecture will take place in the College of Design’s Kocimski Auditorium on Sunday at 5:30 p.m., followed by a reception, and a symposium will be hosted by the Department of Landscape Architecture on Sunday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Monday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Speaking at the Symposium on Sunday is Catherine Howett, from the University of Georgia. The speakers for Monday’s symposium include Howett, Kristina Hill from the University of Washington, Kathy Poole from the University of Virginia, Anne Whiston Spirn from the University of Pennsylvania and Susan Galatowitsch from the University of Minnesota.

The department of landscape architecture can be reached by telephone at 294-8918 for more information.