Penn State Abington announces public art installation focusing on climate change

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David Buckley Borden is a Massachusetts-based interdisciplinary artist and designer. Using an accessible, often humorous, combination of art and design, he promotes a shared environmental awareness and heightened cultural value of ecology. (Photo courtesy of Penn State Abington)

Penn State Abington and artist David Buckley Borden are partnering to create a temporary public art installation through Penn State’s Campus Arts Initiative

The installation will present a visualization of data surrounding climate change with Abington students engaging in the outdoor sculpture’s development process.

“Students are developing and interpreting data sets, helping with fabrication and installation, and creating interpretive materials, all surrounding the global challenge of climate change,” Associate Professor of Art Yvonne Love said. “My colleagues have widened the web and scope of the project by including several local nature centers in the conversation and including this fall’s installation process into their curriculums.”

The Data Decision Trees project combines art, science, environmental design, and data, which will ultimately tell a story of environmental degradation, remediation, and challenges. The colorful abstract sculpture will feature a series of trees, inspired by the wooded Abington campus.

The Campus Arts Initiative is a project of Penn State’s Strategic Planning Seed Grant program. The initiative has commissioned eight site-specific visual artworks for high-impact locations across the Commonwealth Campuses between 2018 and 2020.

Students will develop a coordinated social media campaign (https://www.instagram.com/install_more_trees/) and a website this fall to feature information about the sculpture, the ecological data embedded in the work, and local partner organizations.

David Buckley Borden is a Massachusetts-based interdisciplinary artist and designer. Using an accessible, often humorous, combination of art and design, he promotes a shared environmental awareness and heightened cultural value of ecology. Informed by research and community outreach, his work manifests in a variety of forms, ranging from site specific installations in the landscape to data-driven cartography in the gallery.

Each project will result from a collaboration between a selected artist and a partner host site. The Abington initiative is also supported by the Office of the Chancellor.

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