The authors have an ongoing interest in combining local history, culture, and environmental issues as topics for teaching. As newcomers to western New York, we became fascinated with the story of Artpark in Lewiston, New York. High on the edge of the Niagara Gorge, the site of Artpark has a complicated history that has been enlivened by Native Americans, the French, the British, contemporary artists, senators, toxic waste specialists, visiting art teachers, and local students. The passage and effects of time on nature, art, and culture have been an important influence on art production since the beginning of Artpark in 1974. For over two decades, professional artists have been invited to build temporary sculptural installations that were dismantled or deteriorated due to human and natural forces, leaving artifacts on the site that echo works documented primarily in exhibition catalogues.
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