The Arts & Healing Network celebrates Bonnie Ora Sherk with our 2001 AHN Award, for being an outstanding educator and for using her creativity to foster environmental healing. For over 25 years, Sherk has worked as a professional artist, landscape architect, and educator. She is also the Founder and President of Life Frames, Inc. (now called A Living Library) whose mission is to develop site-specific, culturally-sensitive designs for community learning environments.
A Living Library started as one of Life Frames, Inc.'s projects, initially called the First Living Library & Think Park, created by three San Francisco, California USA schools: San Miguel Child Development Center, James Denman Middle School and Balboa High School.
Sherk and other mentors work with students to research their local area's ecology, history, economics, technology, and culture. Together they create a Living Library, which as eighth-grade student Layla Sollenberger describes is "going to help us learn about what was here before all the buildings, and it will help us live longer with the oxygen we're getting from the trees that we are planting, not to mention how beautiful it is. It's here, not just for our generation, but for the generations to come." Sherk's long-term goal is to develop and link Branch Living Libraries in different communities of the world using state-of-the-art communications technologies.
Upon receiving the 2001 AHN Award, Sherk writes, "I am completely inspired about the great opportunities available to us as human creatures to heal and transform environments and people. By understanding and using the potent and magical powers of nature, which art embodies, we can make a difference!" And Bonnie Sherk is living proof!
For more information about Living Library and other projects by Sherk, please visit the Living Library website.
Listen to Bonnie Ora Sherk speak about her work by using the audio player below.