Kenyon College

Bonnie Ora Sherk (American)


San Francisco-based Bonnie Ora Sherk has been creatively applying and living her understanding of the interdependence of life as an artist since the 1970’s. As a landscape archietect, planner, educator, performance artist, and founder and director of ambitious place-based projects such as “The Farm” and “A Living Library”, Sherk juggles multiple tasks and passions. In recent years she has specialized in “themed, content-rich landscapes with integrated community programs, multidisciplinary project-based learning, and state-of-the-art communications technologies.”

As an artist, she has exhibited her work in museums and galleries around the world, yet her projects are very much about connecting people of all ages to the hidden landscapes and ecosystems around them.. In 1974, she launched “The Farm”, a 7 acre eco garden/art space, replete with animals, on the traffic meridians and underused spaces under a freeway overpass. The project, which lasted until 1980 also featured educational activities for children, internships and performance art events, before it was transformed into a public park.

Sherk’s passionate commitment to place carried on in the form of A “Living Library”, a multi year project with branches in San Francisco and New York City. These community engaged projects help unearth buried urban streams and turn asphalted public space into thriving educational art gardens. Often located on schools grounds or urban brownfields, these spaces are connected online and through networked community groups.

“By discovering and celebrating our diversity and commonalities through ecologicaldevelpoment of a global network… we will be closer to creating and sustaining world peace and prosperity for all species on Earth.”