STACY LEVY and JULIE BARGMANN

AMD&ART PROJECT IN VINTONDALE, PA 2005.

Collaboration with Julie Bargmann, Landscape Architect. Robert Deason, Hydrogeologist and T. Allan Comp Historian

As a sculptor, my interest in the natural world rests both in art and science.  I work within the two fields using art as a vehicle for translating the patterns and processes of the natural world into the language of human understanding. I have worked to bring a whole neighborhood of microorganisms into view in a street in Seattle, and to picture the gastronomic activity of the inhabitants of a creek in Philadelphia.   I have tracked the direction of the wind, and collected the precipitation every day for six months to create a calendar of rainfall.  I have mapped the watersheds of the Delaware River, the Yadkin River and the San Antonio River with water collected from all of the actual tributaries.  I have directed storm water runoff to flow through a stone map of the Delaware River so that the water runs down the runnels of each tributary, replicating the flow of the watershed very time it rains. For six years I have been working with a team comprised of a scientist, landscape architect and an historian on AMD and Art Project for Vintondale. Our design brings an obliterated industrial history back to the site, it allows the treatment process to become visible and vibrant, and it creates a park which is accessible and relevant to the community living next door. In my work, I mesh the clarity of diagrams, the beauty of natural forms and the visceral sense of the site. My art creates a comprehensible visual metaphor for an otherwise invisible natural process.

Testing the Waters is a completely new method of designing a passive water treatment solution for acid mine drainage, a nasty cocktail of heavy metals which seeps out of abandoned mines.  Rather than a typical engineered solution, in this project we are both treating the water and showing the process. The Litmus Gardens, hedgerows of native trees and shrubs vivify the process of the water treatment, reflecting the color of the water as it progresses throughout the treatment basins from deep orange, to yellow and then to pea green.  The design of the water treatment wetlands brings the massive scale of the mining operation back to the site, with raised plinths of soil demarcating the footprints of the original mine buildings. The team has worked closely with the community through a series of neighborhood meetings and field days, planting trees with volunteer groups. Much of the project was built with in-kind services and was made possible by a great effort from Ameri-Corp Volunteers.

Bio

Stacy Levy investigates water, clarifying the movement of rain and storm water in the landscape and making visible the patterns of watersheds and flowing water.  She has commissions in Seattle, Philadelphia, New Jersey and at the North Carolina Zoo. She recently completed Lotic Meander, a stream terrace at the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto.   She is currently working on a tidal piece on the Hudson River in New York.  Stacy has shown at Mass MoCA, Wave Hill, The Hudson River Museum, The Institute for Contemporary Art, and the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena.  She co-created AMD&Art, at Vintondale, a project with Julie Bargmann, T. Allan Comp & Bob Deason.  Stacy Levy graduated from Yale University in 1984 with a BA in sculpture and forestry and she received her MFA  in 1991 from the Tyler School of Art. Stacy Levy is represented by Larry Becker Contemporary Art in Philadelphia PA.

Illustrations:

Yellowboy  galvanized steel sandblasted glass, materials from the site;  25" x 25' x 2" 

Bony  galvanized steel sandblasted glass, materials from the site;  25" x 25' x 2" 

These plates contain  materials of the site, from the black waste material called bony to the sticky iron participate called yellowboy. These materials are all pollutants but their bright colors and contrasts give the site a sublime reality: fearsome yet beautiful- a landscape of toxins and allure.