Ecological Artist Basia Irland and Her “Ice Books” Engage Communities and Restore Rivers

18 Feb, 2012 - By

Basia Irland is a sculptor, poet, and installation artist who has focused her creativity on rivers for thirty years. Her aim is to connect people to their local waters and watersheds in ways that will motivate concern, caring, appreciation, and stewardship.

I first met Basia more than a decade ago when I was invited to speak at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where today she is professor emerita. What I remember most from that first meeting was how her artistic thinking and work crossed just about every discipline present on the campus.

Water, Basia shows, is the great connector and integrator. The creative impulses infused into her sculpture and community projects – including the Ice Receding/Books Reseeding project she describes here – transform art into civic engagement with the Earth and inspire action to save the planet’s rivers.

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