Introducing Earth Works at Silo City

When you think of Silo City, what comes to mind? The Buffalo River? Live music and spoken word? Duende Pub and Watu Cantina? All of these are integral parts of Silo City, but there is another aspect that is just as important – it’s an earthworks project, which is part of the Lyceum at Silo City.

Currently, there are two earthworks projects that are on view. They feature the works of artists Marlene McCarty (Again – An Into the Weeds Project, 2022) and Dara Friedman (River Hill, 2022). Both projects will be viewable for a “talk and walk” event on Sunday, September 10, 2023 from 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM. Attendees on the tour will get a chance to see the works wrap up their first year of growth.

Again (An Into the Weeds Project) (2022) by Marlene McCarty grew from a 2019 earthwork project also constructed at Silo City titled Into the Weeds – A Deliverance Garden. This most recent iteration is a participatory earthwork sculpture made of salvaged concrete slabs, construction sand as soil, and a selection of local powerful plants. Revealing the biodiversity potential of growth in seemingly inhospitable environments, like post-industrial sites, Again expands upon themes of plant-human empowerment: sexual and reproductive health, ritual, and even death.

River Hill (2022) by Dara Friedman is a ⅓ of an acre, 1,450 foot long, labyrinth and pollinator garden that serves as an active monument for transformation and growth. According to Friedman, “As a filmmaker I understand the physical movement through the labyrinth as a movie of sorts with the potential for an emotional development or shift, a chance to tell ourselves a story.” River Hill mimics the meander of the Buffalo River and invites visitors to wind and unwind, both physically and mentally.

Again (An Into the Weeds Project) and River Hill were produced by Bronwyn Keenan and in partnership with the University at Buffalo Arts Collaboratory.

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