Figure 1. Vanessa Vobis, Crystal World (2008), Legion Arts-CSPS, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA
|Figure 2. Vanessa Vobis, Mars Attacks Fragonard (2009), (106) Gallery, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA||
Figure 3. Julian Epps, The Cave (2008), FreesePop, Bangor, Maine, USA
Still Water Fellow Vanessa Vobis has a history of combining installation art and ecology. In 2007 she filled sandwich bags with tap water and after a couple weeks they burst with algae growth under natural light. This discovery led to her MFA thesis show, Nitpickers, at Legion Arts-CSPS in 2008 (Figure 1) and gallery shows including Mars Attacks Fragonard at Grand Rapids’ (106) Gallery (Figure 2). Later in 2008 she taught the inaugural installation class at UMaine’s Intermedia graduate program, prompting a student show at Bangor’s historic Freeses Building featuring a community theme and materials including pancakes, wheatgrass, and projections inspired by bioluminescence (Figure 3).
After moving to Los Angeles in 2009, Vanessa is continuing to connect people and natural resources, helping found the volunteer corps LA Green Grounds, working as a gallery interpreter and Master Gardener at LA County’s Natural History Museum, and creating an edible and native garden in her South LA backyard. Vanessa’s activities were toured last week by Still Water co-founders Joline Blais and Jon Ippolito, in Los Angeles for an ecology-themed set of activities at nearby University of Southern California.