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'Water Lilies' launch during Earth Day celebration

Original post made on Apr 20, 2012

Artist Judith Selby Lang and others installed her new work, "Water Lilies," in the waters near Byxbee Park at the Palo Alto Baylands on April 18. Photo and video by Veronica Weber/Palo Alto Online.
==B Related story:== [Web Link Palo Alto area to celebrate Earth Day]

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, April 20, 2012, 8:20 AM

Comments (5)

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Posted by Missed
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 20, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Ummm...OK, but now when I look out into our beautiful wetlands I am forced to gaze upon lumps of garbage floating about. Yes, they are neatly arranged and have mirrors glued to the tops, but they still look like garbage floating in an otherwise naturally pretty if some illegal dumping had just occurred.

The concept is not unique(using plastic bottles for art) and the outcome, IMO, is a big fail. Now please take it away before you spook off the clapper rails. I like to see NATURE when I look out at nature.
There is so little of it left, and now there's a little less in Palo Alto

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Posted by David
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 21, 2012 at 10:17 am

One word, stoooopid.

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Posted by quit whining
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 22, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Have you whiners actually seen the display? It is less than 10 foot square. Turn your head for a couple of seconds as you walk down the road and you will completely miss it. I suppose this article served its purpose in making you think about the issue.

A much bigger problem with the display is the crowd that turned out to see it on Earth Day. Most of these people drove their cars filling up the main parking lot. Many people refused to look for other parking lots and parked (illegally) in the bike lanes instead. Happy Earth Day!

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Posted by Judith Selby Lang
a resident of another community
on Apr 23, 2012 at 9:05 am

A big thanks to the Palo Alto Weekly and to Veronica Weber, reporter and videographer, for helping to get the word out about Water Lilies my artwork at the Baylands near Byxbee Park. And, a big thanks to the Palo Alto Art Center staff and the Palo Alto Art Center Foundation for helping me to realize the work. I am grateful for their support that made it possible to present my vision to the public. An artwork is completed when it can speak; when it is received by the audience/viewer. And Water Lilies will do so until September 2012.

Dear Missed,
Thank you for responding to my artwork Water Lilies. I am sorry that you did not attend the meeting held several months ago where the public could express their concerns about the site. This particular site was selected because it is not prime Clapper Rail habitat. I would have welcomed the opportunity to speak with you in person then as I do now.

We share a love of an incredible place - Byxbee Park, a jewel in the crown of parks that grace the edge of the Bay. The Park is a remarkable feat of engineering that was built on hills comprising a former landfill. In the reclamation process the Palo Alto Arts Commission worked with landscape architects and artists to create a place where nature and landscape art could be appreciated. Where the works of art “would enhance the beauty of the site and express the dichotomy of the man-made and the natural elements within and surrounding the park."

I am so pleased to have Water Lilies floating in the Mayfield Slough adjacent to this monumental endeavor.

Here in this grand open space the eye goes far to the horizon to the monolithic airship hangers of Moffet Field, where traceries of electrical high wires etch the sky and the elegant structures of PGE power poles are visible into the distance.

I have watched hikers and bikers and folks with baby strollers come upon the Water Lilies scene - and saw their wonderment about this mysterious apparition of bottles. Bemused and curious they asked me if I knew anything about it. I was happy to explain about the piece and how it fulfilled my motto, Beauty First; how I want the artwork to engage passersby, enticing them with beauty so that they too might stop and sit and enjoy the incredible expanse of the Baylands - and reflect about the problem of single-use bottles and single-use consumerism in general.

It is my hope that the waves, the wind, and the water lilies will speak to all who pass by so that they might experience the majesty of this place.

Dear David,
Just how did you mean that, sir?

Your glib reference to the defining quote from the film The Graduate reminds me that there is nothing more “stoooopid” than the use of single- use plastic water bottles. How were we ever sold on this idea of buying expensive water when we have perfectly delicious water from the tap?

Dear Quit Whining,
One of the terrible ironies of the success of Earth Day is that many people came out via automobile (myself included) to enjoy a beautiful day at the Baylands. I am so glad that you came via bicycle. You express an important message about how we get somewhere is as important as that we do get somewhere.

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Posted by Missed
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 23, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Hey, quit whining... Yes, I did see the display and my opinion still stands. I think its a tired, uninspired premise that detracts from the area. Sorry but you'll just have to live with that. Do me a favor though, try and tolerate others opinions without insulting them. Because I view the display differently than you do does not constitute whining, just as your complaining about how I viewed it does not equate to whining on your part.

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