Janet Echelman found her true voice as an artist when her paints went missing — which forced her to look to an unorthodox new art material. Now she makes billowing, flowing, building-sized sculpture with a surprisingly geeky edge. A transporting 10 minutes of pure creativity.
Why you should listen to her:
Janet Echelman builds living, breathing sculpture environments that respond to the forces of nature — wind, water and light— and become inviting focal points for civic life.
Exploring the potential of unlikely materials, from fishing net to atomized water particles, Echelman combines ancient craft with cutting-edge technology to create her permanent sculpture at the scale of buildings. Experiential in nature, the result is sculpture that shifts from being an object you look at, to something you can get lost in.
Recent prominent works include “Her Secret is Patience”, which spans two city blocks in downtown Phoenix, “Water Sky Garden”, which premiered for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, and “She Changes”, which transformed a waterfront plaza in Porto, Portugal. Her newest commission creates a “Zone of Recomposure” in the new Terminal 2 at San Francisco International Airport. Upcoming projects include the remaking of Dilworth Plaza in front of Philadelphia City Hall — turning it into a garden of dry-mist.
“Matching artistic vision with technical innovation, Janet Echelman offers new ideas for public art.”
- Janet Echelman’s Biennial of the Americas Installation (thedenveregotist.com)
- Sculptural Lace Tsunami (neatorama.com)
- Photo Friday: Her Secret Is Patience (nmnphx.wordpress.com)
- “Exploring the creative overlap”: Q&A with Janet Echelman (ted.com)
- Airport Art 1 (lavieeclectique.com)
- TED2011 Report – Session 9: Threads of Discovery (ted.com)
- Playlist: Artfully unconventional (ted.com)
- The new revolutionaries: Landscape architects reinvent urban parks (grist.org)