[The information below is from the Web site of the artist, Stacy
Levy, at http://www.stacylevy.com/installations/ridge_and_valley.php.
Images were taken by Arboretum staff. This sculpture was funded
through the generosity of Don Hamer and Marie Bednar.]
Water Map for the H.O Smith Botanic Gardens at
the Arboretum at Penn State, 2009. Sandblasted Pennsylvania bluestone
and rainwater, 42' x 22'. Landscape Architect: MTR Landscape Architects;
Stone Mason: Phil Hawk and Co.
We often walk on the land without any idea of the underpinnings
of our world. This Water Map gives the students, faculty and staff
a sense of how the geology of this area influences the watershed
patterns. People can see how their landscape works: where the
rain water flows and where the mountain ridges are, and they can
get some idea of the locations and names of the streams where
Dominating the center of the water
map is the boulder representing Mount Nittany, easily the most
recognizable feature in the landscape of Nittany Valley and namesake
of the Nittany Lions.
This artwork is comprised of a 924 sq. ft. map shaped like the
Spring Creek watershed. The surface of the map is made with Pennsylvania
blue stone, punctuated by three boulder 'ridges' that rise from
the terrace to create seating walls. On the surface of the terrace,
the different geologic formations are called out by varying patterns
blasted into the stone. The names of the waterways and the towns
have been blasted into the bluestone and the names of the ridges
blasted into the tops of the dressed boulders. All of the local
streams and waterways are depicted with runnels carved 1/4 inch
deep into the stone.
When it is dry, this terrace is a scale map of the geology and
watershed of this area. But when it rains, the runoff from the
roof of the Overlook Pavillion drains onto the maps and flows
along the carved waterways, creating a watershed in miniature.
With this artwork, the Overlook Pavilion becomes the symbolic
headwaters for the river
of grass in the landscape plan.