Using natural materials gathered on-site, participants will work together to conceptualize, design, and create one or more outdoor sculptural installations. This is art-making for artists and non-artists alike, the only pre-requisites being a willingness to be creative and collaborative and to leave pre-conceptions behind. The process includes selecting a suitable site; identifying, gathering, and getting to know our materials (such as wood, reeds, stones, sand, etc.); finding a direction for the work; and allowing the design to evolve as we build it. Working without any ideas of right, wrong, good or bad, and without egoistic notions of ownership or accomplishment (the work will be allowed to decompose in the elements over time), we create an experience where unique connections are able to form among collaborators, and/or between the artists and the materials and landscape. This enterprise is, among other things, an opportunity to exercise our most primal and playful creative energies.
Ben Allanoff is an artist living in Joshua Tree, California. He has facilitated “Collaborative Art in Nature” projects with diverse participants including young children, college students, seniors, fire fighters, zen priests, park rangers, and prison inmates. He has also done solo and collaborative projects for and with The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California; The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens; The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area; The City of Oakland; the YMCA of Greater Boston; The Institute of Mentalphysics in Joshua Tree, California; and the Zen Center of Los Angeles, among others. His longer lasting artwork– usually made of rust, steel, acrylic paint, or ink – are in galleries and private collections throughout southern California.