Conservation: Before and After




– The piece would consist of a metal sculpture of a shovel, stuck into a stone base

– The shovel would be larger than an actual one, standing at about eight feet tall for noticeability
                – It would be made of two different metals: Brushed Stainless-steel and Cor-ten steel
                                – The smooth stainless-steel would make up the front half of the shovel
                                while the rusty and rough Cor-ten steel would make up the back half of it

– The metal sculpture would be set into a “salt and pepper” textured granite base
                – The stone would measure about three feet long by three feet wide
                – It would also measure about two feet high, but half a foot of it would be buried in the ground for stability and cemented in place
                – The top face of the granite would have two different textures on each half, coinciding with the two different materials of the shovel:
                                – The front face would be smooth and polished
                                                – It would also have carved designs, such as reeds, cat-tails, and lily-pads, to represent the restored wetlands
                                – The back side would be rough and bumpy
                                                – It would be carved to resemble the dead crop rows of the farm that used to inhabit the land before the restoration project began

– The shovel would be attached to the base via a carved slit at the top, a welded fastener, and concrete
                – The slit would be about three inches wide and a little over a foot long
                                – Its shape would accommodate the slight “v” shape of the shovel head
                – A two inch diameter hole would be bored from the bottom of the slit out the bottom of the base to make way for a stainless-steel rod
                                – This rod would be attached to a five inch diameter fastener at the bottom of the base
                                – The rod would be welded to the bottom of the shovel upon installation
                – Any remaining space in the slit, after the shovel’s installation and welding in place, would be filled in with concrete, and the structure would remain braced for two days

– In this art piece, I have three goals which I believe corresponds with that of the UWB/CCC Wetlands Oversight Committee:
                – To give the viewer a bit of insight into the history of the UWB/CCC wetlands through the use of the granite carvings
                – To communicate, through the symbol of the shovel, the effort needed for successful care and repair of the land
                – And to emphasize the success of this restoration by using different materials to contrast the past with the present.




                As a Boy Scout, I helped out with many service projects that benefitted the environment.  Whether the project revolved around planting trees, building and maintaining trails, removing invasive foreign plants, or simply picking up trash at the local park, I learned that conservation takes a lot of time and work.  While brainstorming and reading over the history of the UWB wetlands, this experience came to the forefront.  This conservation project was massive compared to the service projects that I had been a part of.  How much time; how much effort was put into this feat?  How many volunteers, while working out in the rain, had stuck their shovels into the dirt for a moment to rest?  This effort is what I wanted to focus on in my art piece.  The shovel acts as a barrier and transition between the past and the present; in order for originators of the restoration to carry out their plan, they had the giant obstacle of the work it required.  Also, the fact that the shovel is stuck in the ground points to the success of this restoration.  However, it also implies that the work is not completely finished: diligent maintenance is required for future preservation. 


– 3’x3’x2’ Granite block base                                       $1300

– ¼ ”x1’x9’  Brushed Stainless-Steel Sheet            $180

– ¼ ”x1’x9’  Cor-ten Steel sheet                                 $85

– Stainless-steel rod and fastener                             $14.98  

– 3 60lb bags of concrete                                               $20.97

– Crane rental / base installation                              $620

– Tool rentals                                                                      $187.96

– Tool wear and tear (Gas, carbide saws)              $336.47


TOTAL:                                                                                  $2,745.38




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