Ventura Wetlands

CINEMATIC FRAMES & PROGRESSIONS Introduction:
Surrounded by the Santa Clara River Estuary, the Pacific Ocean, and Ventura Harbor, the Ventura Harbor Ecological Reserve is part of the city’s water reclamation system and provides important habitat for many species. The Harbor Wetlands Ecological Reserve Public Art Vision Plan provides a great opportunity to preserve and protect fragile habitat while connecting people to the environment through art. The Vision Plan proposes an environmental art sequence that heightens people’s experience of:
-the building techniques, habitats, and life cycles of other species
-the phenomena and processes playing upon the site’s diverse landscapes
-the water located in and around the Harbor Wetlands
-ecological enhancements made to the site Approach:
The project is conceived as a sequence of cinematic frames and progressions through which people view, understand, and respond to the site’s landscapes and ecology. The site is a place of motion and stillness. Dynamic natural processes and animal activities play upon the sites’ serene landscapes. It can be experienced as a theater of both dramatic change and timeless stasis. Visitors move along pathways and pause—their attentions captured and directed by aesthetic frames and platforms. Progressions of sculptural form echo the drama of nature’s cycles and phenomena: waves crashing, dunes migrating, water flowing, birds flying, caterpillars molting, and animals constructing. Working in tandem with natural cycles, these animated sculptural progressions yield a heightened experience of the site’s dynamism— triggering internal emotions and narratives. The visitor leaves with an impression of the site’s beauty, processes and cycles—an interplay of motion and stillness.

Environmental Art Sequence:
The environmental art sequence includes five features located along an improved pathway that weaves through the site. The artworks respond to their specific spots within the site and are designed for contemplation and discovery. Through environmental cues, people come to understand that they are visitors to other species’ habitats which they can experience, but not intrude upon them. The environmental artworks include: “Killdeer Passage”, “Heron Blind and Bridge”, “Dune Overlook and Drifts”, “Caddisfly Cascade”, and “Monarch Garden”. Animals at the site exhibit beautifully functional ways to survive by building diverse structures using techniques that we have adopted—stacking, weaving, cementing, and sculpting. Although labor intensive, building is essential for survival. Each environmental artwork at the Harbor Wetlands draws from and is inspired by the techniques and materials employed by species and their animal architecture. The site is noted for the abundance of water within and around it. In the artworks, water is collected, reused, revealed, and released to enhance habitat, create connections, celebrate processes, and provide pleasure. The artworks connect people to the cycles and mysteries of water.

Cinematic Frames and Progressions

This Vision Plan graphic illustrates the dynamic natural processes, serene landscapes and visitor experiences on the site.
This Vision Plan for a 40-acre ecological reserve provides an opportunity to preserve and protect fragile habitat while connecting people to the environment through art. Conceived as a series of cinematic frames and progressions in the landscape, an environmental art sequence heightens people’s experience of: • the building techniques, habitats, and life cycles
of other species
• the phenomena and processes playing upon the
site’s diverse landscapes
• the water located in and around the Harbor
Wetlands
• ecological enhancements made to the site. The environmental art sequence includes outdoor rooms, pavilions, viewing platforms, pathways, and habitat enhancements.
Progressions of sculptural form echo the drama of nature’s cycles and phenomena: waves crashing, dunes migrating, water flowing, birds flying, and animals constructing. Working in tandem with natural cycles, these animated sculptural progressions yield a heightened experience of the site’s dynamism—triggering internal emotions and narratives.

Dune Overlooks and Drifts

“Dune Overlook & Drifts” is part of an environmental art sequence integrated into the Ventura Harbor Wetlands Ecological Reserve. This presentation board shows how the artwork improves habitat, connect people to the water in and around the site, and reveals the links between human building techniques and animal architecture. Perched on sand dunes, “Dune Overlook & Drifts” offers rare, simultaneous views of the dunes, ocean, and wetlands. A series of curving canopies of stainless steel tube and mesh shade the perimeter of the overlook. Arranged in an animated progression of heights and positions, these provide sequential snapshots of breaking waves. This artwork is part of “Cinematic Frames & Progressions”—an Art Vision Plan that recommends outdoor rooms, viewing platforms, pathways, and habitat enhancement for a 40-acre ecological reserve. Conceived as cinematic frames and progressions in the landscape, an environmental art sequence is focused on the integration of ecology, placemaking, and aesthetics.

Heron Blind & Bridge

“Heron Blind & Bridge” is part of an environmental art sequence integrated into the Ventura Harbor Wetlands Ecological Reserve. This presentation board shows how the artwork improves habitat, connect people to the water in and around the site, and reveals the links between human building techniques and animal architecture. The artwork allows people to view the diverse species of birds at the site. A bridge spans a channel, providing shelter and a concealed vantage point. Past the bridge, a pathway leads to a camouflaged viewing pavilion rising inconspicuously out of the surrounding landscape. This artwork is part of “Cinematic Frames & Progressions”—an Art Vision Plan that recommends outdoor rooms, viewing platforms, pathways, and habitat enhancement for a 40-acre ecological reserve. Conceived as cinematic frames and progressions in the landscape, an environmental art sequence is focused on the integration of ecology, placemaking, and aesthetics.

Caddisfly Cascade

“Caddisfly Cascade” is part of an environmental art sequence integrated into the Ventura Harbor Wetlands Ecological Reserve. This presentation board shows how the artwork improves habitat, connect people to the water in and around the site, and reveals the links between human building techniques and animal architecture. Inspired by the extraordinary outer shell constructed by the aquatic caddisfly, the artwork consists of a cascade, terraces, and planting. “Caddisfly Cascade” celebrates the release of water from the wetland ponds to the Santa Clara River and reveals an important—and otherwise unseen—event within the city’s infrastructure. This artwork is part of “Cinematic Frames & Progressions”—an Art Vision Plan that recommends outdoor rooms, viewing platforms, pathways, and habitat enhancement for a 40-acre ecological reserve. Conceived as cinematic frames and progressions in the landscape, an environmental art sequence is focused on the integration of ecology, placemaking, and aesthetics.

Killdeer Passage

“Killdeer Passage” is part of an environmental art sequence integrated into the Ventura Harbor Wetlands Ecological Reserve. This presentation board shows how this particular artwork improves habitat, connect people to the water in and around the site, and reveals the links between human building techniques and animal architecture. This artwork provides a transition from city street to wetlands. The pathway cuts through a mounded, sculptural form revealing its layered composition of materials—stacked stone, boulders, soil, and plantings. The pathway leads to a gathering space framed by seating. Small pools provide habitat for a wide variety of local fauna. This artwork is part of “Cinematic Frames & Progressions”—an Art Vision Plan that recommends outdoor rooms, viewing platforms, pathways, and habitat enhancement for a 40-acre ecological reserve. Conceived as cinematic frames and progressions in the landscape, an environmental art sequence is focused on the integration of ecology, placemaking, and aesthetics.

Monarch Garden

“Monarch Garden” is part of an environmental art sequence integrated into the Ventura Harbor Wetlands Ecological Reserve. This presentation board shows how the artwork improves habitat, connect people to the water in and around the site, and reveals the links between human building techniques and animal architecture. This artwork’s forms are influenced by its location along the Pacific Flyway and by monarch butterflies—their flight paths, life cycles, and migratory patterns. Ribbon-like plantings, pathways, and walls dart, bank, and swerve to define a series of connected outdoor spaces. These are ideal spots for educational or social gatherings as well as respite for individuals. This artwork is part of “Cinematic Frames & Progressions”—an Art Vision Plan that recommends outdoor rooms, viewing platforms, pathways, and habitat enhancement for a 40-acre ecological reserve. Conceived as cinematic frames and progressions in the landscape, an environmental art sequence is focused on the integration of ecology, placemaking, and aesthetics.

Water Context & Poetics

Excerpt from the Vision Plan that explores the different types of water found at the site, and the poetics of water. The environmental art sequence focuses attention upon water’s cycles and mysteries—reaching out and making reference to the ocean, wetlands, river, harbor, and water treatment plant that surround the site.
This Vision Plan for a 40-acre ecological reserve provides an opportunity to preserve and protect fragile habitat while connecting people to the environment through art. Conceived as a series of cinematic frames and progressions in the landscape, an environmental art sequence heightens people’s experience of: • the building techniques, habitats, and life cycles
of other species
• the phenomena and processes playing upon the
site’s diverse landscapes
• the water located in and around the Harbor
Wetlands
• ecological enhancements made to the site. The environmental art sequence includes outdoor rooms, pavilions, viewing platforms, pathways, and habitat enhancements.
Progressions of sculptural form echo the drama of nature’s cycles and phenomena: waves crashing, dunes migrating, water flowing, birds flying, and animals constructing. Working in tandem with natural cycles, these animated sculptural progressions yield a heightened experience of the site’s dynamism—triggering internal emotions and narratives.

Animal Architecture

Excerpt from the Vision Plan that explores the building techniques of animals found at the site.
This Vision Plan for a 40-acre ecological reserve provides an opportunity to preserve and protect fragile habitat while connecting people to the environment through art. Conceived as a series of cinematic frames and progressions in the landscape, an environmental art sequence heightens people’s experience of: • the building techniques, habitats, and life cycles
of other species
• the phenomena and processes playing upon the
site’s diverse landscapes
• the water located in and around the Harbor
Wetlands
• ecological enhancements made to the site. The environmental art sequence includes outdoor rooms, pavilions, viewing platforms, pathways, and habitat enhancements.
Progressions of sculptural form echo the drama of nature’s cycles and phenomena: waves crashing, dunes migrating, water flowing, birds flying, and animals constructing. Working in tandem with natural cycles, these animated sculptural progressions yield a heightened experience of the site’s dynamism—triggering internal emotions and narratives.

Habitat Enhacement Strategies

Excerpt from the Vision Plan that outlines strategies for improving habitat for animals on the site.
This Vision Plan for a 40-acre ecological reserve provides an opportunity to preserve and protect fragile habitat while connecting people to the environment through art. Conceived as a series of cinematic frames and progressions in the landscape, an environmental art sequence heightens people’s experience of: • the building techniques, habitats, and life cycles
of other species
• the phenomena and processes playing upon the
site’s diverse landscapes
• the water located in and around the Harbor
Wetlands
• ecological enhancements made to the site. The environmental art sequence includes outdoor rooms, pavilions, viewing platforms, pathways, and habitat enhancements.
Progressions of sculptural form echo the drama of nature’s cycles and phenomena: waves crashing, dunes migrating, water flowing, birds flying, and animals constructing. Working in tandem with natural cycles, these animated sculptural progressions yield a heightened experience of the site’s dynamism—triggering internal emotions and narratives.

Visitor Experience & Activities

Excerpt from the Vision Plan that outlines opportunities for visitor experiences and activities, including educational activities, experiencing environmental artworks, and observing natural process and other species.
This Vision Plan for a 40-acre ecological reserve provides an opportunity to preserve and protect fragile habitat while connecting people to the environment through art. Conceived as a series of cinematic frames and progressions in the landscape, an environmental art sequence heightens people’s experience of: • the building techniques, habitats, and life cycles
of other species
• the phenomena and processes playing upon the
site’s diverse landscapes
• the water located in and around the Harbor
Wetlands
• ecological enhancements made to the site. The environmental art sequence includes outdoor rooms, pavilions, viewing platforms, pathways, and habitat enhancements.
Progressions of sculptural form echo the drama of nature’s cycles and phenomena: waves crashing, dunes migrating, water flowing, birds flying, and animals constructing. Working in tandem with natural cycles, these animated sculptural progressions yield a heightened experience of the site’s dynamism—triggering internal emotions and narratives.

PROJECT CREDITS:
Lorna Jordan, Planning & Design Team Leader
In association with AMEC, Moore Iacofano Goltsman, & Winterbottom Design Commissioned by the City of San Buenaventura Public Art Commission