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Spirit Nest latest natural work of art at Bernheim

By Amy Joseph Landon

Source: The Pioneer News
June 23, 2021

CLERMONT — Visitors can now experience a one-of-a-kind art installation at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest – the Spirit Nest, created by nationally-renowned artist Jayson Fann.

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Fann is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, musician, and producer from Big Sur, Calif., who has created an interactive and uniquely Bernheim art installation. Over the past month, Fann has worked on the Spirit Nest, part human-sized bird nest, part treehouse, at Bernheim.

This 24-foot-tall structure is enclosed within a natural amphitheater and will serve as an outdoor education space where teachers, school groups, naturalists, storytellers, and families can learn about science and the wonders of the natural world.

The Spirit Nest is located in Zone 2 of Bernheim’s newly opened Playcosystem, a 10-acre natural playground built to inspire free and adventurous play for all children. Bernheim’s Playcosystem Zone 1 opened to the public in May, and the following two zones – TreeCess and Adventure Forest – will be completed at a later date.

Bernheim Arts in Nature Curator Jenny Zeller called the Spirit Nest not only a major component of Bernheim’s Playcosystem, but also a fantastic standalone art installation that provides educational opportunities.

“Jayson Fann’s Spirit Nest installation weaves perfectly with our scientific investigations of Golden Eagle research and our Motus Wildlife Tracking System, while also complementing Birds of Bernheim programming developed for children and learners of all ages,” Zeller said. “Opportunities for educating around the Spirit Nest are a great example of the holistic approach to lifelong experiential learning that you can find at Bernheim.”

Jayson Fann’s work aims to go beyond the simple definition of an art installation, said Bernheim Executive Director Dr. Mark Wourms.

“The Spirit Nest mirrors the ideals of Isaac Wolfe Bernheim, who founded this research forest more than 90 years ago with the goal of connecting people with nature and the arts,” Dr. Wourms said. “Fann’s work is an experience that fosters connections with nature, intercultural literacy, and awareness through the incorporation of interactive arts and ecological education.”

Zeller said the Spirit Nest also represents the cutting edge of exciting and relevant contemporary sculpture.

“Bernheim has brought Jayson’s work to Clermont, Ky., and the Greater Louisville region for the first time, keeping Bernheim at the forefront of popularizing public art in Kentucky and increasing the region’s cultural vitality,” she said.

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