Middlebury

Michael Singer to discuss his "Garden of the Seasons" Tuesday, Feb. 8

February 4, 2005

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-Michael Singer, sculptor and designer of "Garden of the Seasons," will discuss his new sculpture at Middlebury College on Tuesday, Feb. 8, at 4:30 p.m.  His illustrated lecture will be held in the Harman Periodicals Reading Area of the Middlebury College Library, and is free and open to the public. The Garden of the Seasons, adjacent to the new library, is a project of CAPP, the college's Committee on Art in Public Places, and of the Middlebury board of trustees' "One Percent for Art Policy," which directs one percent of the cost of a newly constructed building towards an accompanying art project.

Since the 1970s, Singer's art has been concerned with the balance between natural and man-made elements. His wide-ranging commissions include the design of private sculptural gardens, site-specific public places, and town and regional plans for such facilities as solid waste stations, land reclamation projects, and historic parks.

In recent years, Singer has been involved in a variety of landscape and outdoor environmental and infrastructure projects in the United States and Europe. These continue to expand upon his early interest in the combination of plantings, water, stone and other fixed materials. In addition to his Garden of the Seasons at Middlebury, such projects include  the Woodland Garden at Wellesley College; a Memorial Garden for the city of Stuttgart, Germany; the Grand Rapids Riverwalk Floodwall in Grand Rapids, Mich.; the Solid Waste Transfer and Recycling Center in Phoenix, Ariz.; The Long Wharf Park Master Plan in New Haven, Conn.; the Ecotarium (formerly the New England Science Center) in Worcester, Mass.; Troja Basin Revitalization Project in Prague, Czech Republic; and an urban park for the Chicago River, commissioned by the Canal Corridor Association and Chicago Parks Department.

In discussing the development of his works and their relationship to nature, Singer has said:  "Western culture views man at the top, controlling nature, apart from it. When nature is conquered, confined, controlled, man is safe. In order to experience and learn from the natural environment I felt the need to yield to it, to respect it, to observe, to learn, and then to work with it. This early rule that I had, to not allow my presence in the work, was helpful in this yielding and learning process. Eventually I accepted my role in the environment as more than observer, manager, researcher. I understood this role as an artist."

Singer earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts at Cornell University in 1967. He has received numerous awards, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. His drawings and interior sculptures are part of public collections in the U.S. and abroad, including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo; National Gallery of Australia in Canberra; Louisana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebaek, Denmark; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, among others. He lives in southern Vermont.

His talk is cosponsored by the several Middlebury College organizations: the Department of History of Art and Architecture, the Environmental Studies Program and Atwater Commons.

For more information, contact Emmie Donadio, associate director of the Middlebury College Museum of Art, at 802-443-2240.

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