Long before you step into the ARK in Berea’s rear garden you hear 'Gaia Spricht' - A cascading fountain covered with fairy land art: unicorns, pixies, gnomes.
'Gaia Spricht' is built into the Walderuin and easily visible from anywhere in the garden. Designed by American Cultural Ambassadors David and Renate themselves, 'Gaia Spricht' is one of just a few fountains in the garden and a source of constant entertainment and pleasure. "I wanted something that brought me something of my homeland of Austria," Renate says. " And I couldn't be happier."
'Gaia Spricht' is German for Gaia Speaks and refers to Gaia as the Spirit personifying Mother Nature. The Ancients believed in the idea that the fertile Mother Earth itself is female, nurturing mankind. 'Gaia Spricht' symbolizes that living organisms and inorganic material through water are part of a dynamic system that shapes the Earth's bioregionalism sphere, and maintains the World in a fit environment for life. At the ARK in Berea, every Earth Day, in a measure to heighten awareness of environmental concerns, the 'Gaia Spricht' water is dyed red to symbolize that water is the lifeblood of the planet. the garden, started in 1976 is an official wildlife habitat and a model and inspiration for future sustainable landscape designs worldwide: According to Natalie Ronayne, executive director of the Botanical Garden, In 2010, The Sustainable Sites Initiative already has the support of the U.S. Green Building Council, the nonprofit trade organization that expects to incorporate the landscape guidelines and performance standards into future updates to the LEED rating system. LEED -- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design -- is essentially a third-party certification program that has become the nationally accepted standard for design, construction and operation of sustainable buildings.
Bringing art into your garden with Iceality is a perfect way to personalize your outdoor space, whether you buy something that catches your eye, make your own or commission a piece - gardens, art and iceality are natural companions. For the Jakupca’s, connecting with their roots for a major piece in their garden seems fated. Their travels to the olde world bought back many antiques and collectibles that are ideal for an outdoor centerpieces. Renate soon decided to have David create a fountain that would dominate without overwhelming her garden. The Gaia Spricht’s inclusion of a fairyland reflects Renate’s hopes the planted garden would attract the little people as well wildlife from the woods. The piece also has a number of custom-made pieces that David made himself. The artist also included their 6-year-old dog, Mickey, allowing him to help on making some imprints in the path. "I didn't want just anything," Renate says. "I wanted something specific, something personal that made me smile and David did it. It's very peaceful and it makes the garden look bigger than it is."
A quicker way to bring environmental art into your garden is by commissioning a carved wood work. David, a self-taught sculptor whose famous International Center for Environmental Arts (ICEA) “Pieces of Pelee” and “Endangered Spaces” Exhibits have been featured in United Nations Exhibits overseas.
"I just went for it, in the beginning" he says. David uses wood from fallen trees and unusable stumps from seashores and woods to create one of kind outdoor and indoor environmental art. He does commissioned pieces, but this art form is also entertainment to create a sculpture in mere minutes. David often did demonstrations for awed audiences. His pieces are somewhat sentimental, taking you back to those long days of summer on the beach with the family all there. "When you see the works, you kind of remember those days," he says.
Although he uses a variety of wood, David prefers driftwood. He likes the texture and appearance, and there's plenty of it to be found along the Lake Erie shoreline. He starts with a large hunk; the wood's shape dictates the subject. "I'll go in thinking my carving is one thing," David says, "and then something else — will just appear."
He says his work has become more precise in the past seven years that he has been carving Peace Stones for the Worlds Children Peace Monument (WCPM). The Ambassadors are gearing up for a Labor Day weekend trip to participate in the dedication of the Rising Sun, Indiana Peace Stone.
Utilizing iceality, outdoor art has moved far beyond the garden gnomes and the plastic flamingos.
See for yourself visit the ARK in Berea’s website on http://www.theicea.com/
By Bev Miko