George Trakas*, world renowned environmental sculptor, and the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference announced today that Mr. Trakas will design the landscaping at the future headquarters of the Trail Conference at the Darlington Schoolhouse. The Schoolhouse is a jewel of architectural significance, and both Mr. Trakas and Edward Goodell, Executive Director of the Trail Conference, expressed confidence that the landscaping will be a remarkable setting for that jewel.
The Trail Conference has been conducting fundraising to renovate and preserve the 1891 landmark schoolhouse over the past seven years. It has a goal of $2.8 million of which it has already raised $2.6 million. Through the generosity of an anonymous donor, any incremental costs relating to Mr. Trakas’ services will be fully funded and will not require the raising of additional funds.
George Trakas was born in Quebec in 1944 and has lived in New York City since 1963. Many of his projects are site-specific, and he often recycles local materials and incorporates them into his work.
A notable example of his work is the Newtown Creek Nature Walk in Brooklyn.
It was designed by Mr. Trakas and built by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection as part of the upgrade of the Wastewater Treatment Plant at Newtown Creek. In January 2014, the NYC Department of Design and Construction presented Phases 2 and 3 of the Nature Walk. Phase 2 will consist of a series of walkways over Whale Creek and Phase 3 will be a landscaped open space built on a demapped portion of Kingsland Avenue. The NCMC stated that it was thrilled with the designs developed by George Trakas.
Canadian Architect featured Mr. Trakas’ Newtown Creek work in their article, Down by the Water: A meandering walkway by Quebec-bred artist George Trakas dares us to dip our toes into New York City’s polluted Newtown Creek.
Other notable examples of Mr. Trakas’s work include:
- Beacon Point in Beacon, NY, comprising an angling deck, boardwalk, and bulkhead adjacent to the Dia:Beacon Museum.
- “Archean Reach, Sea House, Mined Swell”, MTA, Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn.
- Public sculpture inside the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center subway station
- Footbridge across a canal in County Mayo in Belmullet, Ireland.
Mr. Trakas’s first major work was a site-specific sculpture in a wooded area of the Emory University campus in Atlanta, completed in 1979. About the Trail Conference project, Mr. Trakas says: “I am very excited to be working on another wooded area at this stage of my career. It will be very interesting to me as an artist to compare my artistic visions of the two sites, so separate from each other in terms of time and space.”
*Note: Our March 12 E-Walker newsletter incorrectly stated George Trakas’s first name.