Rain Yard, by Stacy Levy

rain yard

Rain Yard, source: http://stacylevy.com/

Artist: Stacy Levy

Title: Rain Yard

Year created: 2013

Location:  The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, Philadelphia, USA

Materials: metal, plants, water pump

What is the piece’s impact? This piece allows visitors to better understand the path that rain takes from sky to ground. With engaging, playful structures, one is able to see the rain flow from a building through plants and into the ground. Visitors are able to pump water through the piece when there is no rain to demonstrate it’s workings.

How does this project relate to this change as art? Rain Yard is a permanent aesthetic intervention on the landscape, which brings to the fore the frequently hidden paths take by natural forces, in this particular case, water.  From the artist’s statement “Rain Yard is a collaboration with the rain. It captures the rain from the roof and leads the rain to a planted place to soak into the ground. Rain needs time and space to soak in, but in most of our built world, we do not give any space for the rain to act like rain—instead we pipe it away. This artwork is making a home for the rain.” (source) Moreover the piece presents “a new avenue to understand something about nature.” (source)

What makes this an artistic project? Stacy Levy is an artist who’s work often addresses issue of the environment and water in particular. This piece was, in part, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Notes: If you are interested in hearing the artist talk about this and other works, please check out the talk “Constructing Nature: What Art Reveals” or “Artful Rainwater Design Symposium.”

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