THE ART LINE PROJECT

INTRODUCTION

MISSION

The Art Line is a line of walkable, interactive, outdoor artworks stretching across the heart of America on the 39th Latitude (Fig. 1). Known as Earth Art, these geometric reflections of Nature's forms and patterns will be created by artists and local community members in the 15 states that stretch from California to New Jersey.

With art as a conduit, the Art Line will foster a sense of unity and awareness by promoting a series of connections - between the individual and Nature; within the community; and between the communities on the Art Line.

 

Fig. 1. The Art Line Across the Heart of America

HISTORY

The idea of a straight line across the country developed when Alex Champion saw an aerial photo of three earthworks he created on his land in Mendocino County, California (left side of photo, Fig. 2). The three sites straddled a small flat hill and the end designs were invisible to each other from the ground. He discovered that they formed a straight line.

 

Fig. 2. An aerial photo showing the alignment of three installations on Champion's property in Anderson Valley, Mendocino County, California.

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In the spring of 2000, Alex began construction of the flower wand design (Fig. 3) as an earthwork (Fig. 4). The idea then came to make a line of earthworks across the country with the flower wand at each end.

In the fall of 2,000, Alex and Joan Champion and Marilyn Larson met at the Prairie Labyrinth, the home of Toby Evans near Sibley, Missouri (an hour east of Kansas City). There they installed a nine vesica-petaled flower art work designed by Alex, using base quartz crystal laid in sand (Fig. 5 & 5.1).

Fig. 5.1. Nine petal

Fig. 3. The line will begin and end with the flower wand design. The West Coast version shown.

The four developed Alex's initial idea into the Art Line Project, after realizing that Toby's and the Champion's sites were located at the same latitude. In addition to their multiple earthworks, it was found that the Great Serpent mound is also on the line. After a 1987 visit there, Alex was inspired to make a labyrinth earthwork, which started his earth art career (Fig. 6).

The Art Line is a 28 mile wide band centered on the 39.1 degree north latitude. The line starts in California and runs through Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Deleware, and the southern tip of New Jersey on the East Coast.

Fig. 4. The flower wand earthwork.

Fig. 6. The great serpent mound.

Fig. 5. Nine vesica petaled "Chante Esti" in full bloom.

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The Project's main goal is to facilitate the installation of an art piece in each of the fifteen states. Ideally, the site would be located in a park or public location to promote its use. It is deemed of highest priority to get the local community involved throughtout the project from the planning phase to the completion. With local involvement, the installation becomes theirs and is utililized and cared for by the community.

There will be two flower wands on the line, one already installed in California and the other in Delaware. These will be used to anchor the line from east to west. We want to create installations that are diverse and as varied as the artists and communities involved. We want each site to reflect the area where it is located.

Each installation will be used and cared for by the community. Maintenance costs will be evaluated as part of the installation. Ideally, creating a group of local volunteers would facilitate the care and maintenance of the installation.

THE ARTISTS

Alex Champion is the originator of the idea of The Art Line. He shared the idea with his wife Joan Champion, and friends, Marilyn Larson and Toby Evans and enlisted their help. They decided to formed a committee to bring The Art Line into reality.

In the fall of 2000 after meeting with Marilyn and Toby in Sibley, Missouri, the committee of four traveled to The Labyrinth Society Gathering in Fayetteville, Arkansas. There they met with some of the artists attending the Conference, who enthusiastically embraced the idea and were willing to be part of the project.

In the next two years artists known to the others, also joined the project. After having a complement of artists to carry out a project for each state, each was assigned a state where they would focus their attention on a particular installation.

Alex Champion - California

Alex & Joan Champion - Nevada

Gary Foster & Sue Anne Foster - Utah

R. Jai Klarl - Colorado

Jim Buchanan - Kansas

Toby Evans - Missouri

Marilyn Larson - Illinois

Brad Hansen-Smith - Indiana

John E. Ridder - Kentucky

Rafala Green - Ohio

Marty Cain - West Virginia

Robert Possehl - Virginia

Marty Kermeen - Maryland

Alex and Joan Champion - Delaware

Joan Champion & Marilyn Larson - New Jersey

CONTACT

If you have or know of a labyrinth or other geometric symbol on the line or would like to assist in the development of an Art Line project in your community contact one of the following Art Line committee members.

Alex Champion, (707) 542-8274, ac@earthsymbols.com

Toby Evans, (816) 650-5474, toby@homeisp.com

Marilyn Larson, (877) 826-2462 (voice mail)

DONATIONS

Donations may be sent to:

Toby Evans, The Art Line, 1316 N. Holly Road, Sibley, Missouri 64088.

The Art Line Project is supported by The Labyrinth Society.

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