This session highlights the unique roles artists and art play in creatively inspiring, engaging, and empowering the public to care about nature, and take action to address today's critical ecological issues. Elayna Toby Singer shares strategies from the ARTist in the Garden Master Plan she led for Mounts Botanical Garden of Palm Beach County, and national trends in socially engaged community art experiences which empower youth and adults to protect the environment. Jenny Zeller discusses their forty-year artist residency program, large-scale art installations, artist initiated environmental advocacy and an annual event celebrating arts, science, and nature.
As Palm Beach County’s Art in Public Places Administrator, Elayna Toby Singer collaborates with emerging and acclaimed artists, design professionals and community stakeholders to transform plazas, buildings, streetscapes and gardens into “Art Places” for community benefit. She also curates and manages the permanent and changing art exhibitions at Palm Beach International Airport. Ms. Singer serves on the Urban Land Institute’s Creative Placemaking national advisory group, the Florida Association of Public Art Professionals Board, and the Americans for the Arts Public Art Network Advisory Council. Her career in creative placemaking began in public gardens as Founding VP of Gardens & Guest Experience at Naples Botanical Garden, and Associate Director of Visitor Programs & Services at the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania. A Longwood Gardens Fellow, her thesis addressed diversifying public garden operation and programs for racial, ethnic and cultural inclusiveness. As an artist, Elayna Toby’s interactive kinetic site-specific tree installations and programs engage diverse audiences in cultivating personal and environmental balance.
Jenny Zeller is an artist and arts administrator with over 25 years of curatorial experience and cultivation of her creative practice. As the Arts in Nature Curator at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, Jenny helps fulfill the organization’s mission of connecting people to nature while promoting increased public appreciation for the arts by overseeing their Artist in Residence program, curating special artist projects, gallery exhibitions and large scale public art installations. Upon graduating with a degree in Arts Administration from the University of Kentucky in 1995, she moved to Key West, where she served as longtime director of two prominent galleries, each with a focus in international art and artifacts. Early in her career, she was named the 2001 Monroe County recipient of the South Florida Cultural Consortium Award, and three times won the Anne McKee Grant. Recent accolades include a 2014 Al Smith Fellowship by the Kentucky Arts Council, two Artist Professional Development Grants from the Great Meadows Foundation, and a Bernheim Artist in Residence in 2017.