Future Garden Opening, May 19

The Harrison's Future Garden, 2018, installation view
The Harrison's Future Garden, 2018, Installation view
Saturday, May 19, 2018
UC Santa Cruz Arboretum and Botanic Garden

The Institute of the Arts and Sciences is pleased to announce the opening reception for Future Garden for the Central Coast of California, a major art and science project by Newton Harrison and his late wife and lifelong collaborator Helen Mayer Harrison at the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum and Botanic Garden.

May 19
UC Santa Cruz Arboretum and Botanic Garden
4-6 p.m. Opening Reception
5 p.m. Remarks

The opening is FREE and open to the public. 

Internationally renowned for decades as eco-artists, the Harrisons and their Center for the Study of the Force Majeure have worked for over two years on this site-specific environmental art installation in the three geodesic domes and the surrounding garden at the Arboretum.​ 

The Harrisons worked with scientists at UC Santa Cruz and botanists at the Arboretum, along with other artists, scientists, and visionaries, to create trial gardens within the domes in which native plant species are subjected to the temperatures and water conditions that scientists see for the region in the near future. The aim is to determine which plants are best able to thrive as the region warms and to propagate these species to create the scaffolding for more rapid regeneration of the local ecosystem as climates shift. As Newton Harrison explains, the future for the rapidly warming planet lies in finding durable plant species that together create ecosystems that can continue to live and flourish as temperature increases. 

The geodesic domes of the Arboretum provide the perfect setting for imagining a future in the face of climate change. With new, gleaming white coverings, the Arboretum’s geodesic dome greenhouses reach back in time to Buckminster Fuller’s utopian designs for a better world and warn of the perils of inaction as the earth warms. Not just bearers of bad tidings, the futuristic domes are models for how, as Newton Harrison says, “people can take responsibility for a deeply stressed planet.”

Future Garden is sponsored by the Nion McEvoy Family Trust of the San Francisco Community Foundation, the Metabolic Studio, Kathleen Rose, Rowland and Pat Rebele, and annual donors to the Institute of the Arts and Sciences.