Environmental art pioneer, Betsy Damon, creates large-scale art parks featuring sculptural flow forms and public art events to help clean urban waterways and raise water awareness around the globe. Her nonprofit organization, Keepers of the Waters, provides information and technical support for others working with similar design principles and processes.
"The Living Water Garden", (1998), is a large-scale, award-winning public park in the center of downtown Chengdu, China. "Polluted river water moves through a natural, and artistic treatment system of ponds, filters and flowforms, making the process of cleaning water visible." Sculpted black marble and cement flow form pools throughout the park aid in water purification through the rhythmic oscillation of water currents as they pass from one pool to another.
Another project, the da Vinci Water Garden (2003) was a community based collaboration between Urban Water Works and da Vinci Arts Middle School in Portland, OR. Located on an abandoned tennis court, it redirects stormwater from rooftops and a parking lot through an educational and artistic water garden.
"Global water quality is dependent on each community having a sustainable water source that they know about and are responsible for. Cities all over the planet can be filled with vibrant, water and art-filled community centers, parks, schoolyards businesses and backyards that help people become intimately connected to their water sources. These projects will lead the way for fully sustainable water infrastructures, visible and integrated into our everyday lives, rather than hidden under the ground."
Working internationally in a technical and interdisciplinary field, Betsy Damon brings her skill as an artist and creative problem-solver to help address important urban water quality issues. "When people join together to solve a problem they do better than if they tried to solve it alone. Through water, we are interconnected and related to all other living things. Like water, we are one giant family, always seeking to join one another."
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