Aaron Dysart on sustainability and art
Aaron Dysart on U.S.S. Soap Boat
Photo by Mark Jackson
Aaron Dysart, whose Celebrate sculpture made a splash at this year's Northern Spark Festival, is giving two presentations this week. Tonight, he's at Amsterdam Bar for a Beaker and Brush talk with Dr. John Schade (associate professor of ecology at St. Olaf College) about the relationship between art and science. On Thursday, Dysart will give a longer lecture with Guy Snover at Franconia Sculpture Park, where the two are currently artists in residence.
Artificial Limb by Aaron Dysart
Photo by the artist
Dysart thinks about sustainability along the same lines as William McDonough, who wrote the book Cradle to Cradle Design. "If I asked you about your relationship with your partner, and you said you 'were sustaining,' I would feel bad for you," Dysart says. "You want to progress it. The notion of sustainability has been coached into more of a diet mentality, with people assuming they can go back as soon as they've reached their goal." Instead, he says, sustainability should be something people want to do, rather than something done out of guilt.
Regrowth by Aaron Dysart
Image by the artist
In a recent project, what Dysart had thought would be a gaudy ended up being rather beautiful. For this year's Northern Spark Festival, he decided to give a giant maple tree at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts a party. "It deserved it because it is so beautiful," he says. He hung five large disco balls in its canopy, and installed professional spotlights in the tree as well. Though he thought it would be rather garish, the end result ended up turning meditative, subtly referencing light coming through the leaves. "It was mesmerizing and transfixing," he says, which was not his intention. The unexpected benefit was that people appreciated the tree when they had never noticed it before.
Celebrate by Aaron Dysart
Photo by Jayme Halbritter
IF YOU GO:
Beaker and Brush
Featuring Aaron Dysart and John Schade
6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 10
6 W. Sixth St., St. Paul
Franconia Sculpture Park
29836 St. Croix Trail, Franconia
8 p.m. Thursday, July 12
You may also reserve a spot for dinner before hand at 6 p.m. by calling 651.257.6668.
The lecture is free; dinner costs $10
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