ABOUT THE PROJECT
Architectural Drawings created by Nate Piscitelli
In December 2017, we received our first round of funding to create The Fassett GreenSpace. This is a multi-faceted project to transform a vacant lot into a commemorative sculpture park and community garden. The original funding was awarded to us to construct a large-scale concrete meditation labyrinth on the historic yet abandoned Fassett House Hotel land on Main Street in Wellsville, NY.
The walls of the labyrinth are, in a sense, living; they are circularly sculpted 4 feet wide rounded garden beds ranging from 12 to 36 inches tall. This project explores the relationship between art, ecology, daily life, and ritual. The 74 ft diameter public art installation is a multi-use community centerpiece and the outdoor sculpture brings a unique playful spirit to the village. The public garden exists as an intricate yet functional community garden; an outdoor space where children and community members can take part in organic growing, learn about environmental sustainability, and create a stronger connection to Wellsville and each other.
The Fassett GreenSpace is more than just a set of raised vegetable beds; rather, it is an outdoor classroom for local schools and adult programs, a tool to combat food insecurity for local residents, and a showcase of resilience, creativity, and collaboration within Allegany County.
After the original construction phase was completed in 2018, we continued to build our public garden. A few developments include:
Installation of the first two outdoor musical instruments.
Casting of the bronze Bill Underhill Fountain.
Installation of our Bill Underhill Fountain.
Installation of the Little Free Library.
Installation of kiosk.
Creation and installation of our mosaic sign.
Installation of the the remaining musical instruments.
Installation of permeable brick pavers.
Installation of the base of the ShadeSpace Pavilion.
Grading of our lot for the pavilion.
Installation of live feed cameras.
Purchase of plant identification tags.
Installation of a green roof for the kiosk.
A proposal to beautify and revive an abandoned lot in downtown Wellsville.
A Universal Pattern
Labyrinth patterns are universal, and have been found in numerous global cultures dating back to ancient Egyptian architecture, Greek mythology, and Hinduism. A labyrinth is a single meandering pathway that loops back and forth, leading the traveler inward and outward towards a center point. Today, labyrinths are located in cathedrals, parks, and botanical gardens. They are used as tools for spiritual and meditative purposes, for contemplation, and for tuning in to the sounds of the earth. There is a strong relationship between poverty and chronic stress that can have long-lasting effects on the body and contribute to psychological problems.
This project was designed to be a respite for the personal toll that poverty can inflict on the residents of Allegany County. In the spring and summer the labyrinth comes alive, and the herbs and flowers grown in its walls enhance the space through natural aromatherapy and colors that bring balance to our physical and emotional systems.
2018 Recap Video
2019 Recap Video
Bull is a local community activist, farmer, and artist. She graduated from Alfred University with a BFA and Alfred State College with a degree in Agricultural Technology. Bull currently works at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Allegany County as their Farm-to-School Coordinator and is pursuing a Masters of Science degree in Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University.
Bull is concerned with ecology intersecting with residents' daily lives. After meeting with the original creator of the Fassett GreenSpace, she re-imagined what the lot could look like, and how they could create a design that would complement the Fassett lot and be both visibly appealing and functional. She is currently serving as the President of AFRA and works with the board to fund, build, and staff the Fassett GreenSpace.