2022 Artist Collective AKUNZO arrives from the Netherlands

By Jenny Zeller

AKUNZO, an artist collective consisting of Karola Pezarro & Aris de Bakker, have arrived from the Netherlands! AKUNZO specializes in ephemeral, site-specific projects in which natural materials are used. Each project has a strong commitment to the site, often reflecting on a site or the history of a place, as well as concerns about the future of the planet.

AKUNZO is building a large-scale installation entitled OXYGEN. OXYGEN will be a huge transparent head that emerges from the ground, looks to the sky, smells oxygen, and breathes air. This artwork can be understood as a metaphor for humanity’s precarious relationship with nature.

An interactive element to the work invites the public to write or draw their wishes and thoughts about their relationship with nature on labels that will be tied to the branches of OXYGEN. We will activate this component at ColorFest on November 5 and 6 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. each day.


AKUNZO will be a featured guest at the upcoming Artist in Residence Meet and Greet on Saturday, October 29th from 2 – 3 p.m. in the Sassafras Room of the Visitor Center. Meet the artists in person, learn about their creative practice and see their site specific installation, OXYGEN in progress.

In the meantime, check out the images below to see how OXYGEN started coming to life. From preliminary sketches, to the bending, shaping and welding of the metal foundation, to working with volunteers in the collection of natural branches, so much goes into a completed work of art. Stay tuned for seeing the work progress, to learn where OXYGEN will be located at Bernheim and consider being part of the art during the interactive component at this year’s ColorFest.


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The Artist in Residence program has attracted artists from around the world who seek to use Bernheim as their inspiration. Established in 1980, this internationally renowned program annually awards artists the opportunity to live and create site-specific work inspired by their total immersion experience in the natural environment. Work created through the program allows our visitors to connect with nature in new and exciting ways.

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