Art a Fire Danger Reminder – Marin to Showcase Human-Sized ‘Nest’

Art installation made from tree limbs serves as fire fuel reduction reminder – with 8 people dead 1000 structures lost in one of the worst fires in California’s history 150 miles to the North of Marin!

Screen Shot 2018-08-01 at 2.44.07 PMSan Rafael, CA – A County of Marin sponsored art installation, now under construction in San Rafael, will serve as an eye-catching reminder about the always-present danger of wildfire for Marin County.

Jayson Fann, a nationally acclaimed artist and educator, will intertwine hundreds of radiating eucalyptus branches and spiraling tree sprouts to create an art installation that brings awareness to environmental stewardship and creates a place to explore nature. His hand-woven wooden Spirit Nests have the intricate details of a bird nest but are human-scale sculptures. Fann’s nests have received attention from the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, NBC’s “Today” show, and other major media outlets.

Eucalyptus, the main nest-building material used in Fann’s projects, is an invasive species and creates a high risk for wildfires. After goats clear the land of poison oak, the artist and Marin County Parks team will harvest branches as part of ongoing fire fuel management in Terra Linda/Sleepy Hollow Preserve. 

Beginning August 7, small teams will assist the artist in assembling the nest on Children’s Island at Lagoon Park in San Rafael, where visitors can watch the structure take shape. On August 19, Parks and the Marin County Cultural Services Departmentwill host a public opening of the Spirit Nest, including a variety of festivities and a meet-and-greet with the artist.

“We selected Jayson Fann’s work for our park location because his art brings a strong sense of place, is inspired by nature, and evokes childlike wonder,” said Parks Project Manager Stephanie Troyan. “It also acts as an important tool to help us spread the word about invasive species and fire fuel management. Marin has a tradition of supporting the arts and is a hub for creativity and innovation. We are building on this tradition by working with artists to activate our public parks and bring art to a wider audience.”  

Gabriella Calicchio, Director of Cultural Services, said Art in the Parks is an initiative between the two County departments to increase community access to art and build upon the ever-popular Marin County Parks programs.

“We hope to bring our parks to life with artworks that engage community members and embrace and celebrate the diversity that strengthens our County,” Calicchio said. “Spirit Nest is a great launch to this new partnership as it beautifully blends art and the natural environment, and I’m thrilled our patrons will be able to witness the art-making right here at Marin Center.”

Fann, from Big Sur, is an interdisciplinary artist and designer with a focus on large-scale works that weave natural architecture, multicultural imagery, and inspirational messages. He focuses on creating the interactive Spirit Nests, built from natural materials in collaboration with local communities. His creative work has taken him to more than 30 countries. His awards include a certificate of recognition from the California State Legislature for cross-cultural bridge building through the arts.

Further details and information about the opening event can be found on the official Spirit Nest webpage. Funding for this special project is from Parks and Open Space Measure A.

Jayson Fann – Twitter: @anujaysonfann
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Fires are ranging in California causing record breaking death and destruction for the State of California. The Carr Fire, impacting Redding, CA : Eight people have died and over 1000 structures lost in one of the worst fires in California’s history, a mere 150 miles to the North of Marin! 


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Posted by Melanie Nathan

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