Where is the Spiral Jetty, perhaps the most famous land art sculpture, located?
The Great Salt Lake.
You probably knew that.
The Jetty is immediately identifiable with Utah’s Great Salt Lake, a memorable icon with a very positive connotation. We connect forward-thinking creativity and environmentalism with this significant earth art.
The jetty is a giant earth logo.
The concept of Land Art appeared in the U.S. ..in the 60’s! Of course. In its purest sense earth is linked to the creative process, and becomes the art. Land art can erode over time, be ephemeral, and leave us with only the memory of the work. Made entirely of earth elements, land art is truly sustainable because no matter how long it survives or transforms, no ecological harm is done.
Sculpture gardens are more permanent outdoor projects; they also create a strong, identifiable sense of place. Google ‘sculpture gardens’ and one of the first items you’ll come across is the Sculpture Parks and Gardens Directory, provided by the International Sculpture Center. The directory displays an emerald world map, and countries with notable sculpture gardens are indicated. I clicked on USA, and up popped a map of the United States. States with documented sculpture gardens had a yellow dot hovering o’er.
The map seems to indicate Jackson Hole, Wyoming has a world-renowned sculpture garden! A yellow dot floats above Wyoming’s upper left corner. Click on that, however, and a link Colorado’s Museum of Outdoor Arts window opens.
MOA’s history vitae page tells us that the non-profit is a “…synthesis of fine art, architecture, and landscape design integrated into the community and business environment. It is fully accessible to the public, exemplifying the belief that “art is a part of everyday life.”
Utilizing a One-Percent-for-Art program–Seattle’s program is a prominent example–the organization’s founders purchased commissioned art for site-specific projects.
Our town of Jackson seems a good place to create a stronger sense of place through incorporating new public placemaking art that is accessible to visitors and residents, and that interprets traditional themes and values in contemporary ways. Outdoor art allows everyone to take it in on their own terms. Yes, we’re in a recession. What better time to re-think our downtown and what it might offer to us, and to visitors?