Mandela Artscape, by Susan Leibovitz Steinman

Mandela ArtscapeArtist: Susan Leibovitz Steinman

Title: Mandela Artscape  

Year created: 1998-1999

Location: West Oakland, USA

Materials: Used freeway materials and (mostly) native California. plants.

What is the piece’s impact? The project was rooted in a quest to create local jobs, develop new skills and training. It resulted in the creation of a giant garden that was meant to be a very temporary installation but grew to something much larger. Three thousand plants were planted and maintained by volunteers who graduated from a free 10-week landscaping course that was part of the program.

Caltrans delivering pipes

The park in bloom

How does this project relate to this change as art? The piece acts as a symbol of positive urban regeneration of a degraded open space where the 1989 earthquake collapsed an elevated freeway, tragically killing motorists. The artist and contributors made use of plants and found objects to revive the space. It was maintained by locals ad community groups for quite some time. It was temporary and lasted until around 2003

What makes this an artistic project? The concept was developed and managed by an environmental artist.

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Other work by the same artist: