With her Portal to the Pollinator Pathway, Sarah Bergmann pushes process and interactive art in a surprising new direction. Opening at the Olympic Sculpture Park this summer, the artist combines ecology, scientific inquiry, aesthetics and community engagement to redefine artistic agency.
Her garden—containing native plants that attract pollinators such as bees, birds, and butterflies—provides a glimpse of a much more ambitious project, The Pollinator Pathway, a mile-long corridor of pollinator-friendly gardens that have been established in planting strips on Seattle’s Columbia Street, between 12th and 29th Avenues. Conceived five years ago, the corridor connects two larger, existing green spaces, integrating ecological systems into the urban grid. Designed to be collaborative, the artist works with each homeowner along the Pathway, as well as with designers, entomologists, botanists, landscape designers, urban planners, students and a host of volunteers. Visitors to the Olympic Sculpture Park will have an opportunity to learn about the project and get involved.
–Catharina Manchanda, Jon & Mary Shirley Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art
Special acknowledgement goes to Nicole Abercrombie, Jake LaBarre, Studio Matthews, Bobby McCullough, and Isabelle Grizzard Robertson.
Detail of The Pollinator Pathway, 2008–2012, Sarah Bergmann, American, born 1973, Courtesy of the artist and Studio Matthews