Jackie Brookner, Lead Artist (1945-2015)
Brookner brought 20 years experience as a socially engaged ecological artist to The Fargo Project. Her body of work unites plant-based water remediation for parks, rivers, and wetlands with habitat restoration, landscape sculpture, and active community collaboration. Her projects demonstrate how undervalued water resources can be reclaimed to create evocative public places that connect people with natural systems and are grounded in aesthetic understandings developed throughout Brookner’s 40 year practice as a sculptor. Her whole-systems approach activates nodal points where social, cultural and ecological revitalization meet. Brookner’s works can be found in Finland and Germany, and in the United States in Ohio, Washington, Idaho, Florida, California, and Missouri. Brookner published and lectured internationally linking sustainable cities, water, expanded art practice and global ecological urgency. Brookner passed away May 15, 2015.
Loretta Cantieri, Project Collaborator
Chelsey Dahlstrom, Assistant Collaborator
Dwight Mickelson, Listening Garden Sculptor
Dwight Mickelson (b. 1964), is a sculptor, metal-worker and furniture-maker. Raised in Hawley, Minnesota, Mickelson has always been interested in the intersections that exist between art and craft, between nature and culture and between body and spirit. He finds inspiration in the worlds of sculpture, music, travel and the environment. Since 2005, he has been the owner and operator of Mickelson Design Studio, Moorhead. Previously he owned Mickelson Body Shop, Hawley, MN. Mickelson is a member of the Society of Minnesota Sculptors, the International Sculpture Center, and the FMVA.
The Listening Garden is a land sculpture designed to provide a nature listening experience and promote listening between humans and nature. The core of the sculpture is a small listening alcove where viewers can relax and listen to the sounds of the nearby wet meadow where frogs, crickets, birds and various creatures congregate to create a symphony of nature sounds. The opposite and more public side of the sculpture holds a larger sound shell designed for small concerts, drum circles and theater events. Connecting the two listening areas is a giant log marimba emerging from the hillside providing a visual rhythm and exciting play area for children. Seen from above, the entire sculpture resembles the shape of the human ear. It is my hope that this place will encourage the art of listening…. to nature and to each other.
Al Ness, Assistant Collaborator
Michael Strand, NDSU Visual Arts
Joan Vorderbruggen, Overlook & Natural Play Area Designer
A native Minnesotan, Joan Vorderbruggen is educated and experienced in various areas of design, art and architecture, working professionally in illustration, as well as graphic, exhibit, interior, landscape and building design. With a great love for the natural environment and the outdoors, Joan finds nature to be her point of inspiration for much of her work, and a source that provides connections to healing and well-being in her designs. In her architectural and design practice, and as an educator in the field of architecture and landscape architecture, Joan’s motives are to help guide others to develop a deeper connection with the environment, in order to exist in harmony with it and its inhabitants.