Friday, June 20, 2008

On Fri, Jun 20, 2008 at 7:45 PM, Laurin wrote:

Local News for Northwest Arkansas
By Sara Sullivan
The Morning News

Art Sets Summer Aglow

Related Photos

Bamboo starsInside the Children's Garden, past mounds of greenery and over a low wooden bridge, there's a small arched doorway cut into the fence.

Sarah King, director of community programs at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, led the way through the opening and walked me across a patchy, secondary lawn to a large wooden structure.

"It's a temporary, site-specific installation," she said, built from strips of wood (the byproduct of molding fabrication) by the Greenweave project, a collective of artists, scholars and performers.

UA mathematics professor Chaim Goodman-Strauss led construction of the airy, meandering sculpture. It was woven by 100 or so architecture students in about two hours.

"The whole thing was an experiment," Goodman-Strauss said of the public participation art installation. The organizers had a design in mind when they started, but it was quickly altered and ultimately abandoned.

"I wouldn't say that we were in total control of the process," he said, having so many people working on it. But "that's kind of an exciting part of it, too."

"I just enjoy the idea that ... the artwork, to some extent, is the participation," Goodman-Strauss said. "It's the event more than the physical embodiment."

The structure will once again be the seat of creativity when it serves as a backdrop of sorts for Greenweave's celebration of summer, The Firefly Festival, on June 22.

"It's really tied into the cycles of life," King said of the work. The art is born in the spring and "flowers at midsummer" with the creative festival. (Greenweave and the botanical garden are still working on how to have a harvest in autumn and a return to the Earth in winter.)

The festival will start at 6 p.m., and as fireflies start to amble into the garden, performers will fill the carnival-like atmosphere. "It's going to be really eclectic," which is kind of the trend for Fayetteville, said Haley Duke, coordinator for the festival. Belly dancers, fire spinners, puppeteers and musicians will perform while the moonflowers and night-blooming tobacco in the garden open up.

The semi-permanent, untreated wood structure will be decked in white lights, Duke said, so "it's going to be this big, twinkly, firefly-looking thing," a "ribbon of lights."

Admission is $6 per person and no more than $20 for a family. Picnics, which aren't normally allowed at the garden, are welcome for the event and costumes are highly encouraged. "They'll only add to the magical atmosphere," Duke said.

Last updated Friday, June 20, 2008 5:41 PM CDT in Weekend
By Sara Sullivan
The Morning News

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