Saturday, May 2, 2009

Expressive Potential of the Watershed: A Lecture



The Capitol Region and Ramsey Washington Metro Watershed Districts and Public Art Saint Paul will present a lecture on Tuesday, May 19 at 11:30 at the Wiggington Pavilion on Harriet Island by public artist and landscape architect Cliff Garten. The lecture will follow a lunch; reservations are required and cost is $20.

Expressive Potential of the Watershed draws upon Garten’s groundbreaking Public Art Master Plan for the city of Calgary’s Bow River Watershed and will inform thinking in our region about public art planning for the watershed districts that serve the St. Paul area.
Garten is sculptor and principal of Cliff Garten Studio based in Venice, California. He began his public art career in Saint Paul in the 1980’s while a Professor of Art at Hamline University. Here he collaborated in design of Kellogg Mall Park and created the Saint Paul Cultural Garden. With simultaneous Bush Foundation Artist and Leadership Fellowships and Travelers Foundation Leadership Initiatives in the Neighborhoods Award, Garten went on to Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.

In May, Fort Worth, Texas will dedicate Garten’s Avenue of Light, the largest public art commission in the City’s history. Recently completed or now in process are major projects in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Sunnyvale, Phoenix, Scottsdale, El Paso, Charlotte, Madison and Cleveland. Earlier projects in cities nationwide created courtyards, gardens, seating, entryways, arbors, and memorials.

In 2006, Garten led an effort to create a Public Art Master Plan for the Utilities and Environmental Protection Department (UEP) in Calgary, Canada. It’s title: A Public Art Plan for the Expressive Potential of Utility Infrastructure heralded Garten’s groundbreaking approach. The plan conceived of public art as a series of linked events within the landscape and watershed of the Bow River done as interdisciplinary collaborations. Integral to the plan are citizen education and stewardship concerning water resources.

The City of Saint Paul is served by 2 watershed districts -- Capitol Region and Ramsey Washington -- that also encompass parts of the surrounding east metro area. Through capital investments and outreach programs, they promote and monitor water quality and educate and engage the public in sustainable water management strategies. Watershed Districts were authorized by the Minnesota Legislature in 1955 when it passed the Watershed Act. 45 of these local, special-purpose units of government throughout the State work to solve and prevent water-related problems. The boundaries of each district follow those of a natural watershed and consist of land in which all water flows to one outlet.

The non-profit Public Art Saint Paul is the prime mover in creating and caring for public art in Saint Paul. Established in 1987, it engages artists in the design of public projects, creating works of art for public places, and producing public art events. Public Art Saint Paul produces the Western Sculpture Park exhibition and engages the community in public art stewardship and young people in art education programs.

Event Summary
Lecture: The Expressive Potential of the Watershed by Cliff Garten
Tuesday, May 19
11:30am (lunch) 12:30 (lecture)
The Wiggington Pavilion on Harriet Island
$20 Lunch
Reservations required: 651-290-0921

Additional information
Capitol Region Watershed District
Ramsey Washington Metro Watershed District
Public Art Saint Paul
Cliff Garten Studio