ArtPark/ City as Living Lab (A/CALL)

Lewiston, NY


Artpark has a prominent history as a laboratory that allowed artists to experiment and develop new ideas about materials, processes, time, and space on an ambitious scale.  Many of the visual artists who had residencies at Artpark went on to gain great prominence for their work in the public realm. Now after thirty years Artpark is exploring the opportunity to establish another kind of experimental laboratory in partnership with CALL/City as Living Laboratory.

ARTPARK LABORATORY will transform Artpark into a place where artists are offered opportunities to develop strategies that advance environmental awareness, literacy, and sustainable development. While centered at Artpark, it would extend into the parks, sites, and towns in the surrounding region with a special focus on the string of State Parks that stretch from Niagara Falls to Lake Ontario. This interdisciplinary and interactive approach will help build connections with local and regional organizations and institutions, between histories and present social/economic conditions, and between natural and built environments. 


ArtPark announces BOWER by Ellen Driscoll & Joyce Hwang

The inaugural commission created in collaboration with CALL/City as Living Laboratory.

Bower is a series of interrelated architectural fragments, designed to promote awareness and interest in local bird species, as well as draw attention to the perils of bird-strike window collisions.

The fragments are structured using standard wood frame construction, and formed to evoke local domestic building typologies. Inserted within the fragments are a number of tempered glass windows, each sandblasted with an image that performs as a visual interference pattern for birds-in-flight. The window images are a continuation of Driscoll’s recent drawing series, “Soundings” and “Hive,” combined with a variation on Hwang’s recent window design project, “No Crash Zone.” Layered upon the fragments are a collection of bird and bat houses, designed by Hwang to facilitate multi-species inhabitation.

The installation is located in Artpark, a site that has a long history of physical and perceptual (experiential?) adaptation. Drawing from this sensibility, the windows provide a translucent overlay in the landscape, reflecting the image of viewers in the glass with passing clouds, birds and plants. Also along the lines of adaptation, the structures serve as frameworks for present and future inhabitation by flora and fauna.

In the words of Lilly Wei on Driscoll's work “What she muses on are adaptability and transitions.  Her subjects include what she calls “volunteer” plants, flora that have migrated, settled in, flourished, attaching themselves to all kinds of surfaces, erupting through sidewalks or the asphalt of streets.  Local birds---sparrows, starlings, pigeons, all canny survivors---appear”.