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  • From Landscape to Xeriscape to Mindscape

    Mel Chin is back in eco action, this time to address the severe water shortages in California. Acting as a kind of 'Johnny Appleseed', he is installing living paintings throughout the city, each takes the form of a 15 square foot xeriscape (drought tolerant) planting.

    To realize this goal, he created eight demonstration gardens, which he sited along the LA River at the Clockshop Bowtie Project. Then he pitched the gardens to art collectors to select one design to create for themselves in their own backyard or community space. Participants received a blueprint and an installation manual to execute the gardens.

    Chin also created duplicates he calls “mirror gardens” in the yards of private homes in neighborhoods throughout the city, and public spaces at Occidental College and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In this manner he is engaging the public in a collective action that addresses their own water issues. As Patricia Lea Watts states, "This call to action, combining aesthetics and nature in a way that mimics our interdependence, is a “watershed” strategy for ecological art."

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To Life! by Linda Weintraub
To Life! Eco Art in Pursuit of a Sustainable Planet documents the burgeoning eco art movement from A to Z, presenting a panorama of artistic responses to environmental concerns, from Ant Farms anti-consumer antics in the 1970s to Marina Zurkows 2007 animation that anticipates the havoc wreaked upon the planet by global warming. This text is the first international survey of twentieth and twenty-first-century artists who are transforming the global challenges facing humanity and the Earths diverse living systems. Their pioneering explorations are situated at todays cultural, scientific, economic, spiritual, and ethical frontiers. The text guides students of art, design, environmental studies, and interdisciplinary studies to integrate environmental awareness, responsibility, and activism into their professional and personal lives.

To Life! website