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9 Artists Creating Biodegradable Art in the Garden

By: Alissa Tarrant, IBG Content Coordinator | 03/01/2022

Meet the Artists!

2022’s Land Art Exhibit features 9 artists creating unique biodegradable art pieces to display at the Idaho Botanical Garden. 

This outdoor gallery will promote sustainability as we at IBG also strive towards adopting practices that are kinder to the earth. 

Each piece uses natural materials that will occupy their space for a short while, and then return to the earth. As a community, we can coexist with nature by paying attention to what is left behind and how it will impact future generations. 

The artists all have different stories behind their pieces. The collective of unique messages paints a picture of our community – so here’s a sneak peek at what is coming to the Garden in just a few weeks! 

Join us for the fourth annual Land Art Exhibit March 19 – April 30, 2022.
(More Info Below)

ACE ZAPPA – Which Way The Wind Blows

Ace Zappa is an interdisciplinary artist from Idaho. Ace uses repurposed and natural materials to make large scale outdoor installations.

This year, expect the progression of using milkweed umbrels spun into yarn. Ace developed this unique use of milkweed for the inaugural Land Art show in 2019.

Ace wandered the Garden in late Autumn, looking for the right materials to engage visitors. After considering cordage made from vines, matted seed heads, and layered leaf material, Ace found milkweed umbrels.

Experimentation over the winter led to the technique of hand spinning the umbrels with raw sheeps wool using a drop spindle. Idaho has a rich history of sheep ranching, and Ace felt that incorporating hand sheared greasy locks into the milkweed yarn was a natural fit.

Giant milkweed is a critically important habitat for butterflies so drawing attention to it was a major factor for Ace. The Idaho Botanical Garden’s placement at the base of the foothills makes the wind an abundant resource to use in these installations as well.

2022 brings Which Way the Wind Blows, an ethereal cone spinneret dancing above the early spring flowers. This year’s work calls our attention to new directions and whirling possibilities, while honoring how far we’ve come.

Katharina Roth – From Dark to Light

“My degree is in Ceramics, Sculpture, and Print Making. A few years ago I discovered my love for making installations that involve natural materials and are exhibited out in the open versus a traditional gallery setting.

This kind of work challenges me in different ways than I am used to, and I am excited that I have been chosen again for this year’s show. My project involves a series of five baskets that I weave – and then alter – from Ponderosa Pine Needles which I collect from around our house in McCall.

Working on these baskets offers me a way to reflect on how our lives have changed in the last two years, not only here in America but around the world. My personal knowing: We will find a way out of the darkness that has descended onto this planet into unison, respect, hope, trust – a planet filled with light. “

Claire Remsberg- Waves of Grass

“Much of my painted work features moving water and waves, so it seems fitting to try a wave motif in a sculpted land art piece.

Realizing that my previous Land Art projects at the Idaho Botanical Garden have all been hanging works, I was determined to create an in-ground piece this year.

My love of waves meets my love of gardening and my love for the color green.

This is a living piece (or so I hope), and requires maintenance of watering and trimming throughout the display period.

It can be viewed as a metaphor of the need to maintain ourselves and each other for health and sanity as we continue to ride the waves of current world crises.

I create images and forms, exploring land and waterscapes, architecture, still life, and the animal kingdom. Though my artwork varies in subject and media, a central theme is to celebrate the preciousness of our natural world. I am also an architect, specializing in residential and sustainable design.”

More can be found at: www.ClaireRemsberg.com

Thanks to:
The Turf Company
IBG staff

Gabrielle Krake – Rest

“I come from meadows and mountains where dogs howl late at night to a smiling moon. My life was carved from the forests of the last frontier and doused in the light of the aurora borealis.

The first time I went to a dentist I was a teenager. The man with a shiny office and handfuls of sharp tools marveled at how it was possible to raise a child in such contrast to modern society and not have any rotten spots, a social security number or more than one pair of shoes.

That pristine space burned a notion in me about the wild things colliding with the machine molded things and how that relationship can inspire or terrify at any given moment.

Looking closely at my work, from the very beginning, it has always asked, “how does the natural and person-made coincide, conflict, build-up and tear down? What does my own resistance or acceptance lend to this life of art?”

The threads woven into the tapestry of my life and work; the last 28 years have found me filling walls with magical lands, constructing mythical spaces to inspire children, exploring the depths of purpose through textiles, unearthing fears of commercialism and selling out.

I’ve layered trash with glue until it resembles Art, raked soil into prize winning gardens and painted surfaces with whimsey & delight. I am perpetually  compelled to lure myself in the game of creation. Nature and Person…

I make because I must.

Jane Tharpe – The Three Witches 

“My artwork explores the beauty and complexity of being human

Willow branches are an ideal medium to express beauty and complexity.  I appreciate their lovely colors, pliability, strength, and the various ways that they can be woven – tightly or loosely, intricately or messily, huge or tiny. 

I chose fairly large figures and a loose weave so that air and light can flow through the forms.  And I chose a messy weave because that’s how I experience life, and I find messy more beautiful.

I studied figurative art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Art, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and Boise State University. I have received several sculpture and installation grants and awards.”

Mary Arnold – Henshin Blooms

“I am a multidisciplinary artist living and working in Boise, Idaho, fascinated with geology and animals in our environment. 

As a painter, I utilize bright colors and in an expressive style to capture some particular facet of the personality or soul of an animal or place. I paint the facets of life.

Light reflecting off facets of the landscape captured my imagination from the start. My love and connection to the open spaces of Idaho and to animals began as a child growing up on my parents’ farm.   

I spent my childhood taming and naming every farm cat, playing hide-and-go-seek with my dogs in the corn fields, riding my horse to steep-walled canyon or rocky butte, and spending my summers and winters recreating in the Idaho mountains.  Animals were my companions and the fields, rocks, and mountains were my playground.     

Passionate about preserving and protecting our public lands and the animals in our lives, I hope that my art broadens a message of conservation and acknowledgement of their roles in our hearts.

The title of this land art piece is ‘Henshin Blooms.’  In this installation I have created a field of daisies, transformed from previous natural objects.  

The petals are made from catalpa tree seed pods, the stems from harvested bamboo, and the pistils are pine cones and sycamore seed balls

The metamorphosis of these natural botanical materials, beautiful in their own right, into a combined piece of art, promotes the practice of looking beyond the typical assumed life of a subject and to explore how it can change with the seasons of its senescence to be useful and just as beautiful in another form.”

Webpage:  www.mgarnoldart.com       Instagram:  @mgarnoldart

Nicole R. MacDonald – Chain of Rocks

Nicole R. MacDonald is best known for minimalist black and white drawings of buildings and bright paintings of animals.

She’s been writing and illustrating stories since she could hold a pencil. A lover of people and animals (special sympathy for those considered pests), she also enjoys handwriting letters, exploring old buildings and making kimchi from scratch.

It is her hope to create meaningful art that promotes joy and conversation

Tamara Doughty – Celestial Swale

“There has not been a medium I haven’t tried and loved for their unique qualities, but Nature is always the inspirational base my art”.

                                                                                      -Tamara Doughty

Tamara is a Mixed Media artist who grew up untethered on the coasts of Southern California.

From an early age patient parents would smile as Tamara carried or dragged home “treasures” of driftwood, shells, glass, rocks, bones, skulls because they looked “cool”. Later they would lovingly be transformed into works of art.

Formal art training began with caring high school teachers who taught the basic pressed her to “think outside the box”. Tamara earned a BA in Studio Arts at BYU. She’s been a Boise City School District Art Teacher for 7 years.

Tamara’s work is in personal collections in California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico. Currently her work is on display at her studio in the Gem Center for the Arts, 2417 W. Bank St. Boise, Idaho.

Sunny Dawn Freeman – Earth Mandala 

Beauty Within Beauty

The patterns, shapes, hues and textures of nature are a form artwork in and of themselves.  The circle is an inclusive container, everything in it belongs.  The balanced arrangement of natural objects inside a circle creates new patterns and forms, beauty within beauty.” 

That is the intention behind this earth mandala created by artist Sunny Dawn Freeman.

Join us for the fourth annual Land Art Exhibit March 19 – April 30, 2022. 

The Land Art exhibit is a way to show that people and the planet can co-exist when we pay attention to what we are leaving behind and the impact it will have for future generations. 

Mon – Sun
March 19th – April 30th
9 am – 5 pm

General Garden Admission