George Gessert: Ornamental Plant Breeding for the 21st Century

George Gessert: Ornamental Plant Breeding for the 21st Century

George Gessert was born in 1944 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He received a BA in English from U.C. Berkeley, and an MA in painting from U.W. Madison. Since 1985 his work has focused on the overlap of art and genetics. He has exhibited widely in the United States and abroad. In 2005 he was a awarded a Pushcart Prize, and in 2007 David Foster Wallace included one of his texts in Best American Essays. His up coming book Green Light: Toward an Art of Evolution, will be published by MIT Press.

For the lecture Ornamental Plant Breeding for the 21st Century, Gessert will discuss past and current uses of biotechnology to create new kinds of ornamental plants. Oregon is playing an important role in these efforts because of the red iris project, initiated by Cooleys Irises in Silverton. Engineered ornamentals such as the red iris raise many questions, but he will focus on just one: what aesthetic criteria or assumptions are shaping the new plants? Answers to this question suggest that the time is long overdue for ornamental plant breeding to be considered an art.

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Campfire Talk: The Los Angeles Urban Rangers Interpret the Megalopolis

Los Angeles Urban Rangers

Join Ranger Jenny for a campfire program about the LA Urban Rangers’ past and current projects. The Rangers explore the complex human and  natural workings of their home megalopolis, through art projects that have included a guided hike along Hollywood Boulevard and a field guide to the LA County Fair. Their current Malibu Public Beaches project equips people with the advanced skills required to find and use a public beach in Malibu.

Jenny Price received her Ph.D. in History from Yale University, specializing in the fields of the environment, the American West, and writing history. In addition to her work with the Los Angeles Urban Rangers, she is also a freelance writer. Her second book, Just Environmentalism, is in progress.

Please bring a lunch and join in the conversation!

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Randy Cohen: How Your Community Can Thrive Through the Arts

Randy Cohen: Visiting Scholar

How Your Community Can Thrive Through the Arts

November 6, 2009, 2:00 – 3:30pm
Downtown Initiative for the Visual Arts (DIVA)
110 W. Broadway, Eugene, OR

Through an informal town hall-style dialogue, Randy Cohen will describe how Americans for the Arts combines the strengths of research, advocacy, and professional development to ensure that communities across America thrive through the arts. At this session you will learn how Americans for the Arts can assist artists and arts organizations in our community to create an environment that supports a flourishing arts scene.

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