Gallery: LES White Box to Convert Its Backyard into the Sustainable Art...

White Box has always been at the forefront when it comes to curatorial projects that engage and inspire the community. Now with plans to construct its very own sustainable garden, the Lower East Side space will bring new meaning and purpose to the arts. When asked what her inspiration was for the White Box Sustainable Garden design, Architect Frances Levine said "I want to create a space where the individual can interact with earth, wind, and water."

Levine and her collaborative architect, Ana Catalina Rojas first looked to the sky and decided to model the tiny backyard garden off of what they saw framed by the nearby towering buildings. They wanted to imitate nature. Designed to put visitors in touch with the elements, the White Box Sustainable Garden will seamlessly incorporate local earth, air, and water products to create an inspiring and artistic space. The garden ground will be constructed completely of recycled stone, while native grass and local birch trees will line the primary wall.

A translucent sail symbolizing wind will be placed along the tree wall to block the view of nearby oppressive buildings while guiding sunlight to the grass and smaller plants. The sail will also have images projected on it for openings and artistic projects. Another wall will be completely covered in either crushed pieces of recycled glass or naturally grown ivy.

The numerous water beds throughout the garden will be full of filtered rainwater that has been captured in recycled barrels on the building’s roof. Aluminum tables that appear to be wall sculpture at first glance, will fold down for special events and meetings.

As far as artistic endeavors, White Box’s new M.A.P.S. program, the brain child of director Susie Lim, will be greatly involved in the curatorial aspects of the space. M.A.P.S. ( Media Arts.Performance.Sound) is an annual program of year-round media art exhibitions that focuses on nurturing experimentation and dialogue between art forms and soon, the environment. Exhibitions can be inspired by or even involve the elements within the garden.

Though the space is perfect for outdoor events and exhibitions, it is not just a design piece. “The fundamental reason for this project to exist is to INSPIRE others to follow through, hundreds of Manhattanian and New Yorkers at large have small concrete back or front yards that sit idle,” says Juan Puntes, Artistic Director of White Box. The space wants to partner with local groups and offer workshops on sustainable practices while continuing environmental dialogue with lectures by designers, artists, architects and notable speakers.

M.A.P.S. programs and funding for the Sustainable Garden Project will begin soon. Be sure to check WHITEBOX for updates.

+ White Box

+ Frances Levine Studio

+ Catalina Rojas

images courtesy of White Box

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