Joshua Tree, California- January 1, 2017- Mil-tree, a Joshua Tree based nonprofit organization with the mission to connect veterans, active military, and civilian communities through arts and dialogue, embarks on a large scale, site-specific, public art project titled Sanctuary.
Sanctuary brings community together to create an Earthbag structure at the Joshua Tree Lake RV and Campground. The structure will be built using the tools of war— barbed wire and sandbags, in a process referred to as Earthbag construction. The base building materials are covered with plaster, and for Sanctuary, the plaster will be inlaid with ceramic tiles. A metalwork sculpture within the structure will function as a center piece and serve as a podium area for speakers. This collaborative public art project is a gift to the community, and is intended to be used as a public gathering space for veterans, active duty and civilians. Possible uses for Sanctuary include speak-outs, meetings, celebrations, readings, marriages, meditation, lectures and more.
The project is funded in part by the highly competitive Veterans Initiative in the Arts grant from the California Arts Council. Mil-Tree’s founder and Executive Director, Cheryl Montelle, describes the work of Mil-tree as an effort to, “bridge the gap, and open the lines of communication in order to heal the wounds of war.”
Project programming will begin with artist Brian Bosworth's ceramic workshop on February 4th, followed by ongoing Earthbag construction starting February 17th led by James Golub and Fox McBride. Sanctuary's metal sculpture will be constructed offsite during metal workshops with artist Bobby Furst, scheduled to begin March 11th and continue through final installation late March. The Completion of the structure is scheduled for April 8th, with a public reception on May 17, 2017.
All of the workshops are free and open to the public, and no previous experience is necessary to participate.
Sanctuary is a partnership with Joshua Tree Music Festival, Joshua Tree Lake RV and Campground, Copper Mountain College and Arts Connection, The Arts Council of San Bernardino County.