ABOUT THE PROJECT
Architectural Drawings created by Nate Piscitelli
In December 2017, AFRA received funding to create The Fassett GreenSpace, a multi-faceted project to transform a vacant lot into a commemorative sculpture park and community garden for the public to explore as urban meditation. This funding was to construct a large-scale concrete meditation labyrinth on historic yet abandoned land on Main Street in Wellsville, NY.
The walls of the labyrinth will be, in a sense, living; they will be circularly sculpted 4 feet wide and ranging from 12 to 36 inches tall, rounded garden beds with a 4-foot path between each bed [see work samples]. This project explores the relationship between art, ecology, daily life, and ritual. The sixty-feet in diameter public art installation will be a multi-use community centerpiece, and the outdoor sculpture will bring a unique playful spirit to the village. Phase 1 of the Fassett GreenSpace project, the construction of the labyrinth, is on schedule to be completed in May of 2018.
The sixty-feet in diameter public art installation will be a multi-use community centerpiece, and the outdoor sculpture will bring a unique duality to the village:
1. To exist as an interactive space for art and creativity; the public is invited to relax and meditate by walking in the labyrinth and experiencing the space as a transformational tool. After its installation, local artists will be invited to include their work in and around the labyrinth and utilize it as an outdoor gallery.
2. To exist 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. This project will create the opportunity for villagers to sow the seeds of herbs and flowers while growing community and creativity.
The Fassett GreenSpace will be more than just a set of raised vegetable beds; rather, it will be 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.
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 will come alive, and the herbs and flowers grown in its walls will enhance the space through natural aromatherapy and colors that bring balance to our physical and emotional systems.
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.
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.