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Artist Stacy Levy’s ‘Ridge and Valley’ Is an Interactive Watershed
It might look like an unchanging giant stone museum piece, but this map of Pennsylvania’s water systems is very much alive. When it rains, the intricate carvings of the state’s creeks and rivers fill with the runoff from a nearby building, creating a living, miniature watershed. Artist Stacy Levy created this sculpture for the arboretum at Penn State, and every bit of it reflects the local landscape of the Pennsylvania Bluestone — from the tiny rivers to its source rock
Entitled Ridge and Valley, the piece is a 924 square foot scale model of Pennsylvania’s geology and the Spring Creek watershed.
“People can see how their landscape works: where the rain water flows and where the mountain ridges are, and they can get some idea of the locations and names of the streams where they live,” writes Levy.
The names and formations of the land are sandblasted into the stone face of the work. In this context man’s interaction with his watershed is both domineering and dominated — you can literally cross a river in one step, but also see and understand how deep and far-reaching its influence is.
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