A Creative Collaboration for People and Nature

The Nature of Art: Watershed Sculptures on the Truckee and Carson Rivers

Minden, NV | April 21, 2014

As The Nature Conservancy in Nevada celebrates its 30th anniversary, it is partnering with the Nevada Museum of Art’s Center for Art + Environment and environmental artists, Daniel McCormick and Mary O'Brien on a significant new project. The San Francisco-based artists will create and install large, sculptures made from native vegetation that will blend with restoration efforts at the River Fork Ranch Preserve in the Carson Valley and the McCarran Ranch Preserve on the Truckee River near Reno. 

“In the West, Nevada's tradition of earth art will now include environmental works designed to give advantage to natural systems,” says Daniel McCormick. “We consider the collaboration an ingredient of our art process, and we’re pleased to become a part of the community in this way,” says Mary O’Brien. The sculptures will help direct water when it floods and stabilize riparian areas in the Carson and Truckee River systems. 

The Center for Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno will showcase the “nature or art” project during a four-month exhibition slated to open in late December. Additionally, the artist’s work will be archived. 

Bill Fox, Director of the Center, says “Art that walks in the world’ is a phrase we use to describe interventions by artists that seek to address real-world problems. The work that Daniel and Mary do is unique, but also part of a worldwide movement that uses art to address environmental remediation.” 

“These innovative projects offer an opportunity for local school children and corporations to get involved through volunteer events during the installments,” says Duane Petite, the Conservancy’s Carson River project director. “Their collaborative efforts will add beauty to the area while supporting wildlife and improving water quality.” 

Corporate volunteer events have been scheduled at the Conservancy’s River Fork Ranch Preserve in the Carson Valley with Starbucks, Carson Valley Roasting Plant & Distribution Center, Harrah's Lake Tahoe and Reno, Harvey’s Lake Tahoe, Harley-Davidson Financial Services, GE Measurement and Control, as well as with local schools and other groups. 

Community members are encouraged to come out to the preserve to witness the creation of these beautiful habitat and restoration sculptures. The project is seen from the preserve’s East Brockliss Loop Trail. Visitors can also go hiking, trail running, horseback riding and bird watching. You can also make an appointment to tour the interpretive center. 

 About Watershed Sculpture Artists Daniel McCormick and Mary OBrien: 
Daniel McCormick and Mary O’Brien collaborate on ecological art installations that have remedial qualities. Working in both urban and agricultural watersheds McCormick and O’Brien respond to environmental issues by moving away from an anthropocentric view of nature to create ecological sculptures that work with natural systems. Their work is often ephemeral and temporal. When their interventions are completed and a restoration cycle is established, they intend that the artist presence become no longer apparent. More information on the artists at watershedsculpture.com.     

About the Nevada Museum of Art and Center for Art + Environment 
The Center for Art + Environment (CA+E) is an internationally recognized research center at the Nevada Museum of Art that supports the practice, study and awareness of creative interactions between people and their natural, built, and virtual environments. Launched in January 2009, the CA+E archives now include materials from artists and organizations on six continents. The only accredited art museum in the state, the Nevada Museum of Art is a private, non-profit organization supported by the generosity of its membership as well as by sponsorships and grants.  Through creative programming and scholarship, the Museum provides the opportunity for people to encounter, engage, and enjoy a diversity of art experiences. Visit the Nevada Museum of Art on the web at nevadaart.org.  

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the web at www.nature.org. To learn about the Conservancy’s global initiatives, visit www.nature.org/global. To keep up with current Conservancy news, follow @nature_press on Twitter.

Contact information

Tracey Stone
The Nature Conservancy in Nevada


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