WRITTEN BY MARKETING INTERN EMILY WATERS
Featured in many iconic cities, Green Walls are taking urban art to the next level—and one of them has arrived at the Cummer Museum!
The idea of the Green Wall was conceived in 1938 by Stanley Hart White, a professor of landscape and architecture at the University of Illinois. White was first to patent the Green Wall (or “Vegetation-Bearing Architectonic Structure and System,” as he liked to call it), though Patrick Blanc is the man responsible for making the walls popular in modern times. Blanc’s works range in size and are sprinkled throughout the world, but one of his most famous works is the Green Wall at the Quai Branly Museum in Paris, France.
Also known as vertical gardens, Green Walls offer benefits to the spaces they occupy, aside from being nice to look at. The plants used in the walls are adapted to live in hydroponic conditions, giving the wall the ability to help the environment; the walls are known to reduce smog and clean other general air pollutants—like Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from the air, while simultaneously replacing the VOCs with rich oxygen. Through their irrigation systems, these walls serve as natural water filters and have the ability to clean grey water (water from appliances, like washing machines and sinks, that is relatively clean). The installation also lowers the inner temperature of the structure the wall is anchored to by soaking up the extra heat that humans emit. As an added bonus to helping the environment, these vertical gardens have also been shown to increase happiness and emotional well being. As it turns out, humans like plants, and the color green is pretty calming.
Thankfully for us, we have our own Patrick Blanc right here in Florida. In early May, the Cummer Museum welcomed Green Wall artist Ricardo Gil Mendoza, who has spent 20 years developing his craft with a landscaping vision and passion that he has had since his childhood. The company, founded by Mendoza and Ram Matheus, loves weaving green walls into urban areas to bring people back to nature. The company strives to “raise awareness that [everyone is] part of a whole, that natural beauty feeds the soul, enhances our spirit, and protects us.” Organic Green Walls has many installations throughout North America, and we are excited to welcome our very own Green Wall to the Museum.
Ricardo Gil Mendoza and Organic Green Walls have generously donated the Museum’s very own vertical garden, which can be viewed on the Café Patio. Featuring the Museum’s “C” logo in the foliage, the wall ties art and nature together to make one eye-catching piece. Come by the Museum and see it today!