Conway artist Phyllis Labanowski and The Art Garden’s Artist-Director Jane Beatrice Wegscheider created a beautiful, informative, interactive installation on the Iron Bridge over the Deerfield River for RiverFest this year. With the help of nine friends of The Art Garden, we prepared 300 ribbons with the names of plant, mammal, bird, fish, reptile and amphibian species that inhabit the Deerfield River Watershed written on them (both the common and latin names.) Most of the ribbons were in a blue/violet palette, with about 50 color coded in reds, oranges and black to indicate endangered, threatened, special concern and invasive species.
We tied the species ribbons onto the walkway railing before the festival began. We had a work station set up next to the bridge so that festival goers could write what they love about the Deerfield River on a ribbon and tie it in amongst the species ribbons: a physical metaphor reflecting the interdependence of what we do and care about with the life of the watershed. Over one hundred ribbons were made and added to the installation throughout the day.
Thank you to everyone listed above who helped write the species names on the ribbons! Thank you to all our sources for providing us with information! Thank you Zöe for helping iron all those ribbons! Thank you Clare for helping us tie them on the bridge on a day that surprised us with sunshine! Thank you Isabelle for being a terrific assistant, helping people at the RiverFest understand our project and explaining how to write on the ribbons! Thank you Cheryl, Patti and Janice for helping us untie them! Thank you Phyllis for yet another amazing collaboration!!!!