The Arbor Animé is an installation of eight sculptural tutus worn by trees along a half mile stretch of Academy Street and Town of Cary City Center. The fabric sculptures, tree branches and tree trunks move in the breeze, and make visible the slow and stately dance of living trees.
This installation uses the metaphor of dance and music to explore the times and movements of living trees in our shared urban environment.
This site-related installation explores the arboreal dance occurring in Oregon’s High Desert. Aspen, birch, juniper and pine trees were cast from Central Oregon Community College Campus Arboretum tryouts. Ten trees with custom fabric tutus on their boles used local breezes, rain and snowfall to make their dance visible.
The Arbor Ballet world premiere on October 5 featured cellist Emma Chaput playing Song of Our Warming Planet a composition by Daniel Crawford. Forest Resources professor Dr. Rebecca Franklin spoke on how dendrologists Make Climate Data Sing, a reference to the title of an article in the January 2017 American Meteorlogical Society Magazine.The Arbor Ballet is a public artwork created to complement Lessick’s solo exhibit of tree-themed sculpture, painting and projects in the Campus Art Gallery in Bend, Oregon.
House for Summer is an artist-initiated sculpture of living trees sited in Hoyt Arboretum in Portland, Oregon. Fifteen Himalayan birch trees, with vivid white bark, were planted on the knoll above SW Knights Road and SW Fairview in 1987, the house is oriented to catch the Summer Solstice sunset. The artist’s Summer Solstice performances have occurred on the site, which can be visited year ‘round.
Growing in Hoyt Arboretum, House for Summer is part of the Public Art Collection of the City of Portland, OR. Parks & Recreation arborists maintain, prune and shape the work under a joint agreement with the Regional Arts and Culture Council.
Quercus is a site-specific sculpture examining the community of native oaks from the perspective of one aging California live oak tree, quercus agrifolia. Silhouettes of acorns and eggs made of mirrored stainless steel stand sentry around the trunk.
Positioned inward, the mirrors move viewers towards the bole to see the reflections. Positioned on a slope through autumn 2015, Quercus reflected light onto the tree's core as the sun crested the hillside. Project for Descanso Garden, La Canada Flintridge, California.
My public art in Morgan Hill’s municipal community garden consists of ten painted steel silhouettes installed on a curve atop the garden’s shade structure. The egg and acorn shapes frame the local soil user communities in and under the ground. An editioned artists book explaining the imagery, is displayed in the garden’s information kiosk. Commission of the Downtown Economic Development Association, City of Morgan Hill, California, with funding from ArtPlaceAmerica.org.
Soil Sample: Kenya was an art research and environmental residency, resulting in projects exploring the interactions of soil and community health. Agricultural practice in the Kenya region is among the oldest on Earth. Soils are depleted through overuse, but can be revitalized with best practices. With World Agroforestry Center support, I obtained first hand knowledge of Kenyan soil and conservation efforts to transform lives and landscapes.
Enhancing the planning work of Kounkuey Design Initiative in Kibera, Africa's second largest concentration of the poor living without public schools, sewers or water systems, I assembled a team of sign painters to interpret my research. They fabricated the permanent art plaques for the craft and produced kiosks constructed by the Kibera community with local materials. With community input the signs were in both the official and national languages of Kenya. The art will be installed when construction is complete in June.
Hollywood Charms is a permanent public art project for the Assistance League of Southern California. The artwork consists of 16 charms, representing the programs and service area of the social service agency, suspended from a rigid charm bracelet. The bracelet hangs in the second floor reception area, between the skylight and oculus opening to the first floor elevators. Private commission in Hollywood, California.
The Poetics of Air is a four-part sculptural idyl integrated into Air Quality Facility #1 in Los Angeles, California. Experiencing the motion and activity of the air as a poem, the work is divided into four stanzas: Whispering Rocks, Sky Islands, Cloudscapes and the Sign of Life.
The artwork is sited in a green facility harnessing bio technology to clean L.A.'s methane and offgases in the waste stream. Sign of Life, the 16' tall oxygen atom, is comprised of 2,500 individual stainless steel paillettes suspended in the vinyl-coated mesh. The Sign of Life moves with the wind and is illuminated at night.
The Trees, a site-related performance by the plant community, was created in Clover Park, Santa Monica, California. Visioning the continuous activity in the Park as a play in three acts by the plant community, I created limited edition, fine art tickets with master lithographer Jeff Wasserman, and three hour scenes of ephemeral installation.
Welcome to the Office of the Artist in Residence! This Office is dedicated to providing high-quality aesthetic insight into, training in, and comprehension of contemporary art for the citizens, staff and partners of Multnomah County, Oregon.
A brochure outlines services and field office locations in the greater Portland area. On the government website, citizens interested in serving the pursuit of artistic vigilance could become Agents of the Office of the Artist in Residence, and by completing this application obtain an Artistic License. Since 2002, licenses are available here. Brochures are available from RACC and the Director.
Portrait/Anti-Portrait is a two-person game exploring portraiture through a series of questions with answers and opposite answers. Players choose to be the Artist or the Subject to create two nine-part portraits. Each portrait element is drawn from multiple part card decks with questions and answers on one side, and watercolor and ink imagery on the other.
The Artist starts the game by selecting a question, including: Which is the Greatest Sin?; Who is Your Favorite Relative?; Select your Last Meal. The Subject chooses a response from the answer decks, including: Blasphemy, Domestic Abuse, Murder; Mother, Uncle, Pet; Ice Cream, Lettuce, Pasta. After answering nine questions, and selecting the opposite response, two portraits are complete. Players arrange their nine images into a grid.
Portrait/Anti-Portrait was commissioned for the Game Show at Bellevue Art Museum, WA. Helen played the game with museum visitors. A Flash version by Helen with multimedia designer Thom Heileson was produced in 2001.
This installation on the Prince Albert Memorial Clock in downtown Belfast is a site-specific intervention with a braided, gold-toned nylon rope and rubber. The braid, hung from the bell tower, draped teasingly over the Prince’s left shoulder and moved with the wind.
It was created for the HorseHead International exhibition in conjunction with the Arts Council of Great Britain and the City of Belfast, North Ireland.