The acclaimed Palo Alto Art Center will present Bay Area artist Judith Selby Lang’s LawnBowls, the next new temporary site-specific installation in its series exploring art in public and community spaces. Opening February 1, 2012, LawnBowls will be installed on the grounds of the Palo Alto Lawn Bowls Club, 474 Embarcadero in Palo Alto, through February 2013. Lang’s work has been celebrated for its striking focus on the relationship between humans and the environment. LawnBowls will be created by the public in several community workshops using recycled plastic bags to create monumental ball sculptures. For information, visit www.cityofpaloalto.org/artcenter .
“As a mixed media installation artist I am exploring the personal and global impact of detritus,” says Lang. “Through my art, I hope to bring awareness to crucial environmental issues and enliven public space. Plastic is my primary material because it’s free, it’s ubiquitous, it’s archival. As we come to the end of the Era of Oil, plastic seems to be the material most expressive of our times. And, like diamonds, it is forever.”
LawnBowls will be an installation of 10-12 large balls created from single-use plastic bags arranged on the lawn space adjacent to the Palo Alto Lawn Bowls Club. The balls will appear as a game in progress—as if some giant players had just left the scene. These colorful sculptures will provide a compelling example of a playful reuse of what might otherwise be trash or perhaps recycled.
The creation of LawnBowls will involve a community effort. Workshops with the public (including youth, veterans, seniors and others) will be held at several locations in Palo Alto and East Palo Alto. Participants will help cut hundreds of bags into strips to form the wrapping and will help to twine the bags around the form. Working together, participants will gain pride in crafting something bigger than they could do on their own. And they will help to make an important statement about plastic pollution.
The awareness of the problem with single-use plastic bags is increasing. The City of Palo Alto has been proactive, banning the bags in larger grocery stores in 2009. Efforts to educate the public about this important change continue. In a fun and eye-catching way LawnBowls will contribute to this effort.
LawnBowls is presented in conjunction with the Palo Alto Lawn Bowls Club, (www.palbc.org), is co-sponsored by the Palo Alto Public Art Commission and is supported by the Palo Alto Art Center Foundation. Double Take and Clear-Story were funded, in part, by the Palo Alto Art Center Foundation through an IMLS grant. In addition to LawnBowls, Judith Selby Lang will also create a second related site-specific installation in the Palo Alto in the spring of 2012, dates and details to be announced.