The Ecology of Women issue of On The Issue Magazine
How are women affected by toxins in water, air, products? And how can feminists respond? On The Issues Magazine, Spring 2011, looks at new frames for environmental activism.

Mary Miss

The Art Perspective provides a visual and audio forum for artists to exhibit their art and present exciting responses to major themes of our day.

This edition, The Ecology of Women highlights the work of Mary Miss who has founded the City as Living Lab, which provides a framework for making issues of social and environmental sustainability tangible through collaboration and the arts.

Click on “Play" to view the art and hear audio descriptions by Mary Miss about her work.

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Since the 1960s, Mary Miss has become a catalyst for making sustainability tangible: sustainability of the planet, the neighborhood, the individual. As founder of the City as Living Lab, she has traveled the globe, visually and orally communicating complex issues of environmental health so they are understandable to the average person. Working with her team of artistic and scientific advisors, she has engaged the public outside of the museum, directing attention to specific aspects of a site's history, ecology and social community.

If this sounds beyond the scope of the average artist, it is. The vast amount of scientific and engineering knowledge acquired by Miss over the years is reflected in her mission statement:

"CITY AS LIVING LABORATORY: Sustainability Made Tangible Through the Arts' (CaLL) provides a framework for how the arts and sustainability can be linked in innovative ways to create cities that help us redefine how we live our lives, use our resources, how we communicate, educate, work, and collaborate. CaLL conceives of the city as a laboratory where artists collaborate with scientists, other experts and policy makers to create immediate experiential impact from research and planning initiatives. The goal is to make sustainability personal, visceral, tangible, and actionable to a city's residents."

In reshaping the boundaries between sculpture, architecture, landscape design and installation art, Mary Miss has collaborated closely with architects, planners, engineers, ecologists and public administrators. Her projects are as diverse as creating a temporary memorial around the perimeter of Ground Zero, marking the predicted flood level of Boulder, Colorado, revealing the history of the Union Square Subway station in New York City and turning a sewage treatment plant into a public space. She is currently developing a project to transform Broadway into the new 'green' corridor of New York City.

A recipient of multiple awards, recent projects by Miss include an installation focused on water resources in China for the Olympic Park in Beijing and a temporary installation at a seventeenth-century park in Delhi, India as part of the exhibition 49°: Public Art and Ecology. A proposal for a permanent project at the North Carolina Museum of Art explored the presence and movement of water through the site by recovering and revitalizing elements of the watershed to reveal the wetland processes in the region.

Mary Miss has had solo exhibitions at the Harvard University Art Museum, Brown University Gallery, The Institute of Contemporary Art in London, the Architectural Association in London, Harvard University's Graduate School of Design, and the Des Moines Art Center. Her work has been included in exhibitions at the Sculpture Center in New York, the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Brandeis's Rose Art Museum, and the Tate Modern.

Linda Stein is Art Editor of On the Issues Magazine. Her latest work is on tour in a three-year traveling solo exhibition called The Fluidity of Gender: Sculpture by Linda Stein. Her blog, YouTube videos andwebsite also relate to the concept of protection and pop culture icons.

Also visit our catalog of Art Perspectives featuring:

Ursula O’Farrell is a California-based artist whose oil paintings explore themes of womanhood. Her work offers expressions of the feminine in large-scale paintings known for their bold colors, gestural strokes, thick textures and highly-charged emotional content.

The Guerrilla Girls is a group of artists – not always the same -- who work together. They are feminist masked avengers in the tradition of anonymous do-gooders like Robin Hood, Wonder Woman and Batman, but their "cover" is the mask of a gorilla -- itself a play on the word "guerrilla" as a radical, underground fighter and street theater performance style. Each participant takes the name of a dead artist.

For years, Frances Jetter has made linocuts with political subject matter, focusing on disarmament, labor rights and human rights, about which she is passionate. Weapons seem especially horrific and intriguing to her. The artist believes that no armor can make people safe, and the fragility and mortality of human beings is at the center or her work.

Mary Miss, who has founded the City as Living Lab, which provides a framework for making issues of social and environmental sustainability tangible through collaboration and the arts.

Judy Chicago (born 1939) is a feminist artist, educator and author whose career spans almost half a century. She is known as one of the founders of the Feminist Art Movement, creating in the early 1970s the pioneering Feminist Art Program at Fresno State College (now California State University), which became a vehicle for intellectual stimulation and social change, influencing generations of women.

The art of Regina Frank incorporates textiles, computers, the Internet, solar and LED technology to investigate fields of tension, such as those between the rich and poor, virtual and real, analog and digital, masculine and feminine.

Michelle Stuart seeks to educate with her art. She is in search of a visual language to express nature’s more elusive aspects, along with the fragility of existence. Over her 50-year career, Stuart has drawn upon aspects from the natural world -- cycles, forms, colors -- while studying myriad cultures and histories. View our mini-retrospective in the Spring 2010 edition of On The Issues Magazine.

In keeping with the topic of Passion, Freedom & Women, Miriam Schapiro is a groundbreaking artist who, in her 60-year career, stepped out of the mold to fight for women’s artistic freedom and the democratization of art in the Winter 2010 edition of On The Issues Magazine.

Faith Ringgold’s illustrated story, How the People Became Color Blind, with Ringgold herself reading the text that accompanies the drawings in the Fall 2009 edition of On The Issues Magazine.

Tammy Rae Carland: An artist tests identity by performing her father and mother in the Summer 2009 edition of On The Issues Magazine.

Judith K. Brodsky addresses discrimination against women in male arenas in the Spring 2009 edition of On The Issues Magazine.

New York artist Joyce Kozloff, an originating figure of the Pattern and Decorative movement, in the Winter 2009 edition of On The Issues Magazine.

Martha Rosler, known for placing unsettling images in familiar places, in the Fall 2008 edition of On The Issues Magazine.

Suzanne Lacy's 1974 Project on Prostitution in the Summer 2008 edition of On The Issues Magazine.

Linda Stein’s sculpture envisions empowerment for women with HIV-AIDS in the May 2008 edition of On The Issues Magazine.

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