Thursday, October 20, 2011

'Piedmont Divide' to bridge art and science

In a previous work called "Collector," above, John Grade created tusk-like forms that were used as oyster beds in Washington's Willapa Bay.

Environmental artist John Grade comes to Atlanta as an Emory artist-in-residence Nov. 6-19 to design and build large-scale sculptural installations. His project, "Piedmont Divide" will visually and conceptually link the campus Quadrangle and Lullwater Preserve. Using materials derived from indigenous plants and trees, Grade will relate the form and construction method of the two installations to Emory’s research on West Nile virus and worldwide water sustainability.

The Emory Visual Arts Gallery will function as a working studio, available to the public as "Piedmont Divide" unfolds. Area residents are invited to participate as volunteers on the project. Grade’s residency also includes a follow-up visit in the spring to oversee the disassembly of the sculpture, as part of a larger creative arts performance. For more info, visit:

The ultimate goal of the "Piedmont Divide" collaboration is to raise environmental awareness in Emory and Atlanta.

Grade’s sculptures are shaped by natural landscapes, often changing form throughout their lifespans. One example is his 2007 wooden sculpture, "Collector," which was submerged in Washington’s Willapa Bay, where it acted as an oyster bed. After the oysters were eaten by Grade and friends, the tusk-like forms were transported on the grill of Grade’s pick-up truck to a slot canyon in Little Death Hollow, Utah. There, covered with insects from the ride, it was washed clean by flooding.

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Sewage raises West Nile virus risk

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