Center for Art + Environment Blog

  • Playa Residency

    Winter Ridge and Summer Lake: A Writing Residency at Playa

    May 2, 2015   |   By William L. Fox

    The Playa residency program for artists, writers, and scientists sits just above the shoreline of seasonal lake encountered by John C. Frémont in 1843 when he first entered what he would soon thereafter describe as the Great Basin. Riding eastward from the Cascades, he stopped at the edge of high snowy ridge. Below a large... View Post

  • Swiss Alps

    Dispatches from the Alps, 10

    February 19, 2015   |   By William L. Fox

    I’ll end this series about public art in the Swiss Alps by looking at a singular work of art we found, by contrast, hanging on a museum wall. Our visits to Furka Pass, the Micheal Heizer sculpture by the Maivoisin Dam, the Verbier 3-D Sculpture Park produced a rich conversation about the use of art... View Post

  • Swiss Alps

    Dispatches from the Alps, 9

    February 6, 2015   |   By William L. Fox

    This is a longer than usual post about our final day of fieldwork in the Swiss Alps this last September—and it’s the next to the last one in this long series! For our final driving excursion, we drove in mid-afternoon via a back road into the fabled ski resort town of Verbier. This was by... View Post

  • Swiss Alps

    Dispatches from the Alps, 8

    January 13, 2015   |   By William L. Fox

    Sunday morning sees a few clouds wandering about the peaks, but it’s mostly fair and Benoît has made arrangements for us to visit the triennial sculpture exhibition that’s being held down the road in a hillside park. It’s very confusing, therefore, when we wind our way through the town of Bex to end instead at... View Post

  • Swiss Alps

    Dispatches from the Alps, 7

    January 9, 2015   |   By William L. Fox

    One of the most important reasons for us to visit the Valais in southwestern Switzerland is to see Michael Heizer’s recent sculpture, Tangential Circular Negative Line (1968-2012), which Jean-Maurice Verone commissioned as the first project for his AIR & Art Foundation, an organization he started in 2010 as a companion to R&Art. The sculpture’s title... View Post

  • Swiss Alps

    Dispatches from the Alps, 6

    January 2, 2015   |   By William L. Fox

    This morning we start our second visit to public site-specific art installations by meeting with Jean-Maurice Verone, the organizer of two public art programs in the Valais. Jean-Maurice is a Swiss designer working in Milan, and we gather in his jam-packed work space in a contemporary high-tech business park in Martigny. Jean-Maurice started R&ART in... View Post

  • Swiss Alps

    Dispatches from the Alps, 5

    December 18, 2014   |   By William L. Fox

    We have used up the afternoon of our first day in Switzerland by touring the unique and almost unknown art collection at Furka Pass, but before descending back to the Valais, Janis Osolin leads us on a small detour to view the Rhône Glacier, which now has to be hiked to above the Hotel Belvédère,... View Post

  • Swiss Alps

    Dispatches from the Alps, 4

    December 16, 2014   |   By William L. Fox

    Settling down with Janis Osolin for a lunch of homemade tomato soup, deer salami, bread and local cheeses, I scribble as fast as I can as he relates the history of Furk’Art . Janis is committed to people understanding the pass as more than a scenic climax, but as a site socially constructed through the... View Post

  • Swiss Alps

    Dispatches from the Alps, 3

    December 5, 2014   |   By William L. Fox

    The eastern end of the Valais hosts the headwaters of the Rhône that originate from a glacier of the same name. The famous body of ice which once rested as far down as the valley floor has retreated during the last 150 years up an enormous cliff, the icefall leaving behind a series of waterfalls.... View Post

  • Swiss Alps

    Dispatches from the Alps, 2

    November 25, 2014   |   By William L. Fox

    This morning the skies over southwestern Switzerland are clear as we drive east and along the Rhône River. The Canton Valais is a corridor for traffic to and from Italy south and over the mountains to our right. A 48-inch diameter pipeline transferring gas from the Netherlands to Italy is on our left, as are... View Post