September 12, 2014

Studio conversation with Janet Echelman, presented by Graduate Studies, MFA in Studio Art

Moore College of Art & Design
Artwork: Janet Echelman within Landscape Design by OLIN.

Janet Echelman builds living, breathing sculpture environments that respond to the forces of nature—wind, water and light—and become inviting focal points for civic life. Exploring the potential of unlikely materials, from fishing net to atomized water particles, Echelman combines ancient craft with cutting-edge technology to create permanent sculptures at the scale of buildings. Experiential in nature, the result is sculpture that shifts from being an object you look at to something you can get lost in. Her monumental works have included Water Sky Garden for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and She Changes on the waterfront in Porto, Portugal. A recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, Echelman was named an Architectural Digest 2012 Innovator for “changing the very essence of urban spaces.” Her TED talk “Taking Imagination Seriously” has been translated into 34 languages and is estimated to have been viewed by more than a million people worldwide.

In 2015, Philadelphia will experience the unveiling of Pulse, a work by Echelman that is expected to transform Philadelphia’s historic Dilworth Plaza next to City Hall into a focal point for the city’s thriving downtown. The art will be embedded in the new plaza’s 11,600-square-foot fountain and will trace above ground, in real time, the paths of the three subway lines below. Described by the artist as “a living X-ray of the city’s circulatory system,” the work creates moving four-foot-tall curtains of mist, which glow at night when illuminated by multiple layers of colored light.

Daniel Tucker has worked as a cultural and political organizer, initiating a number of large-scale local projects and events. His particular focus has been on documenting social and cultural movements and the people and places from which they emerge. Most of his work exists in between documentary, advocacy, journalism, curating and art-making and deals with themes of political imagination, localism, hidden history, economy and community. All of his projects utilize careful consideration of audience and distribution and involve significant research and relationship-building to have effective and lasting impact.


Moore College of Art & Design educates students for careers in art and design. Founded in 1848, Moore is the nation’s first and only women’s visual arts college. Moore’s career-focused environment and professionally active faculty form a dynamic community in the heart of Philadelphia’s cultural district. The College offers ten Bachelor of Fine Arts majors for women. Its coeducational Graduate Studies program, launched in summer 2009, includes MA in Art Education with an Emphasis in Special Populations, MA in Art & Social Engagement, MFA in Community Practice, MFA in Interior Design and MFA in Studio Art.

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