NYC Artist Speaks About Eco Project

Eve Mosher drew projected flood level in chalk around New York City

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Artist Eve Mosher presents her first large-scale public artwork, “HighWaterLine.” Following the presentation, a three-person panel consisting of a scientist, an urban planner, and an artist delivered its responses to Mosher’s project.

Eve Mosher discussed her critically acclaimed New York City eco-art project HighWaterLine in the Gund Auditorium at the Graduate School of Design last night in an event aimed at bridging the gap between environmentalism and art.

The project was aimed at highlighting the potential threat of flooding due to climate change in New York city. Using Google Maps and a chalk dispenser, Mosher drew a single chalk line through parks and public streets in the city along a 10-foot-high contour that marks the potential height of floodwaters by 2050.

The project, which took six months and was completed in May 2007, piqued the interest of city-dwellers and passers-by. Mosher said that she welcomed the opportunity to talk to curious strangers about climate change.

“When people encounter something in an unexpected manner, their minds fire more quickly so they are more receptive to new ideas,” she said.

Mosher was joined by an interdisciplinary panel of scientists, artists, and urban planners who discussed environmental activism in their fields of expertise.

Panelist Bill Fox, who is the director of the Center for Art & Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art, said that Mosher’s work is an example of how artists can instigate change on issues of global importance.

“We live in a visual culture, and artists can affect how people see the world,” he said.

Mosher said she was motivated to complete this large-scale project by a desire to open up a more diverse discourse on environmentalism.

“The environmental community seemed to be self-selective and not diverse,” she said. “Not socio-economically diverse, not geographically diverse, not class-diverse.”

Martin Zogran, an assistant professor of urban design at the GSD, noted that the school is working to incorporate this new trend of inter-disciplinary environmentalism into its curriculum.

This year, the school introduced a Sustainable Design concentration area in their Master of Design Studies program.

Zenobia Meckley, a GSD student studying landscaping, said that the panel was one of many efforts that the school had of late made to engage with the environmentalist movement.

“Art can play an important role in effecting change—it’s one of the most important roles that art can play,” she said.