Local News

Natural Art Is Goal Of Museum Of Art, N.C. State

Posted July 5, 2001

— Nature often inspires art, and now art is inspiring nature. The North Carolina Museum of Art and N.C. State University researchers are merging art and science to restore beauty.

"The most interesting area of art happening globally is art that is dealing with land-based issues. Here we have this amazing opportunity to do something on that order, in a very large urban landscape, that is joined with a very substantial collection that the Museum of Art has," says Dan Gottlieb of the N.C. Museum of Art.

The museum is working toward creating a campus that is even more North Carolina-based.

"Ecological restoration, restoring the ecological integrity to the land (is the goal)," according to Ted Shear, NCSU Forestry professor.

Rebecca Vidra is researching several plots of ground where she will remove all non-native plants.

"There is going to be a lot of hacking of exotics," she says.

"This place does not look normal, it is sick, and because (a non-native) plant

is

here, something that is native is

not

here, so not only today when we look at it is it an altered forest, but for decades it will be altered unless we can get rid of these things and let the natives come back in," Vidra says.

That does more than just restore the forest. The long-range plan will have artists create works in the forest, allowing museum-goers to enjoy the art and science of nature.

"We could give them both environmental education on how to tend the forest and also art education and appreciation, as there are artist exhibits throughout this landscape, so they get a double whammy," says Shear.

You can see and even help with the restoration as early as this fall. The museum will need community groups and volunteers to help maintain the native flora by removing exotic plants.

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