Susan Leibovitz Steinman salvages materials directly from community
waste streams to construct public art installations that connect
common daily experiences to broader social issues. Projects include conceptual sculpture gardens that meld art, ecology and community action.
2 acre temporary (± 3 years) installation of recycled freeway
materials and native plants on West Oakland's Mandela Parkway, Mandela
Artscape (1998), symbolizes positive urban regeneration
on new-found but degraded open space where the '89 earthquake collapsed
an elevated freeway. It involved the unique cooperative participation
of community residents, Caltrans, the City of Oakland, Merritt College
and the Museum of Children's Art.
permanent commission for the City of Palo Alto, California
Avenue, California Native (1997), recreates a native grassland
meadow in a median strip. Hand painted banners of indigenous animals
and plants display both their common and Latin names. Sierra granite
stones double as benches. New brick sidewalk patterns are interlaid
with 100 special bricks engraved with poetic text written by winners
in a public contest (attracting 500+ entries) on, "What
makes California California?"
Apple Orchard (1994-95) sponsored by the San Francisco Art
Commission, Steinman worked with neighbors, teenagers, homeless
people, and an urban garden action group to transform unutilized
land under a freeway into a demonstration antique varietal apple
San Francisco's waste transfer and recycling facility (NORCAL Sanitary
Fill Company) she designed The
River of Hopes and Dreams (1992), a permanent three-acre
sculpture garden. as a model for reclamation, resource conservation,
recycling, and community involvement. Almost one-hundred high school
students contributed their art and ideas to it.
was recently Awarded the 2000 Potrero Nuevo Prize in San Francisco,
for "Gardens to Go"-- to design and install a prototype community
organic food garden of portable sculptural raised beds using "zero
waste" material; scheduled Summer 2000, for Oakland, CA.
temporary environmental installation sites: Connemara
Land Conservancy, Dallas, Texas; Euphrat Museum, Cupertino; Paradise
Ridge Sculpture Grove, Santa Rosa; a New York State park
on the Brooklyn
waterfront; a tract home condemned for toxic waste, for
Arts Benicia, California. Selected venues: Oakland Museum, the new
San Francisco Main Public Library; SF Museum of Modern Art Rental
Art Center, Walnut Creek; Judah Magnes Museum, Berkeley;
San Jose State University; Berkeley Art Commission public sites;
a six-month collaborative work, For
The Birds, for the City of Concord's downtown public square.
Also: Co-curated "Living in Balance" an environmental art
exhibit at both the San Francisco International Airport and the
Richmond (California) Art Center. Published "Directional
Signs: A Compendium of Artists' Works" , a chapter within Mapping the Terrain: New Genre Public Art, Suzanne Lacy,
editor, (Bay Press, 1995). CoPublisher-Editor, Women
Environmental Artists Directory. Taught at the Visual
and Public Art Institute, California State University at Monterey
Bay, and at California State University at Hayward.