Madison residents, or those traveling to Madison soon, should go see the fabulous new sculpture installed in the walkway approach to the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center. Although the art was only installed on Friday October 4, it looks and feels as if it has always been there. So perfectly does it fit and grace the space that it should be allowed to stay for a long time.
About the Art Installation
“Seed Pod was created for the Society for Ecological Restoration’s 2013 World Conference, using hand harvested invasive plant species (primarily buckthorn, honeysuckle and autumn olive) from Southern Wisconsin’s landscapes and natural areas. Like many non-native plants, these hardy plants leaf out early and keep their leaves late into the fall, shading out desirable native species and reducing species diversity in an ecosystem.”
The 5th World Conference on Ecological Restoration was held in Madison last week (October 5-11) and attracted 1,300 restoration ecologists from 57 countries. The arts and restoration effort was a project of the local organizing committee (LOC) for the SER2013 conference and spearheaded by Nancy Aten, LOC vice chair and head of the Arts Team.
Seed Pod references the threat of pest plants and the way these invasives spread, one seed at a time, while calling attention to the importance of restorative ecological work and human effort in controlling invasive pests and restoring native ecosystems. “
“Seed Pod was made possible through generous support from the Madison Art Commission Blink Temporary Public Art Program, with additional support from Dane Arts and the following individuals through power2give: Todd Aschenbach, Nancy Aten, Dan Collins, Dennis Conta, Chris Young, Roger Anderson, Dorothy Boyer, Monique Charlier, Virginia Duiven, Aida Farag, Ian Firth, Tina Frailey, Stephen Glass, Steven Handel, Bonnie Harper-Lore, Laurel Hauser, David Johns, Juli Kaufmann, Ken Leinbach, John Lunz, Eric MacDonald, Darrel Morrison, Stephen Murphy, Jane Porath, Vicky Temperton, Cheryl Ulrich and Corey Zetts. Special thanks to the UW-Madison Arboretum, Lakeshore Nature Preserve and Quercus Land Stewardship.”
About The Artist
“Brenda Baker is an artist, mother and educator. Her sculpture, drawings, paintings and installations have been shown throughout the US, Europe and South America, including major solo shows at the Museum of the Republic in Rio de Janeiro and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Bienale Pavilion in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Her work is held in collections in Europe, South America and the US, and appears in major publications, most recently Aesthetics and Anthropology, published in Germany by curator Ute Ritschel.”
“Brenda has an MFA from University of Wisconsin-Madison, a BA from DePauw University, and studied at both the Austro-American Institute in Vienna, Austria and Karl Marx University of Economics in Budapest, Hungary. She is the recipient of numerous awards including an NEA grant in sculpture, an Arts Midwest fellowship, Wisconsin Arts Board, Citiarts and Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission grants, and others in the sustainability fields, including the Sustainability Visionary of the Year Award in 2011 from In Business Magazine, and a Badger Bioneers Award the same year.”
“Brenda’s work as an artist and as Director of Exhibits at Madison Children’s Museum (where she has worked for 22 years) is at the very intersection of art and sustainability. Brenda’s art routinely references the natural world and ecological/cultural issues through use of materials, content or imagery. Her work as Madison Children’s Museum has helped transform the organization and building into a hotbed of local culture, processes, materials, artwork and ideas that push the boundaries of what sustainability education can mean.”
The Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to promoting ecological restoration as a means of sustaining the diversity of life on Earth and re-establishing an ecologically healthy relationship between nature and culture. Importantly, SER and the science and practice of ecological restoration had their beginnings right here in Madison. Read more . . .