Melanie VanHouten

Currently exhibiting: Forget Me Knots II & III

date: 2002

materials: cast iron


My creative work has evolved very naturally from sculptural object making to site-specific installations and public art that involve elements of community participation, land conservation, performance, design and earthworks. I am inspired by my homeplace and work to reconnect my community with the land and one another through shared creative experiences and responsible land stewardship practices. Over time, my artworks grew so large that I moved out of the traditional gallery to accommodate the shift in scale and entered the realms of Public Art, Earth Art and Environmental Art. In 2009, I began creating the largest physical and conceptual project of my career and life through the realization of Josephine Sculpture Park. This is an ongoing project that continues to evolve.
I recently came across this excerpt from The New Earthwork (ISC Press, 2011) which provides additional context for me as I move forward with such a large scale project: “For more than 40 years, sculptors have been at the forefront of environmental and ecological/social innovation, making works that treat the earth as creative partner rather than resource of raw material. The new earthwork, which is currently at the leading edge of sculptural practice, means art for the future of humanity and the planet; it means a new approach to aesthetics and the role art plays in our lives; it means a sustainable and vital artistic practice that not only solves problems, but dares to ask questions and seek answers across disciplinary boundaries.”

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