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LAF Receives NEA Art Works Grant for CSI

artworkslogo-f3kThe National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced today that the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) is one 38 national, regional, state, and local nonprofit organizations to receive an NEA Art Works grant in the Design category.

LAF is recommended for a $25,000 grant to support the Summer 2012 Case Study Investigation (CSI) program. CSI is a unique research collaboration that matches LAF-funded student-faculty research teams with leading practitioners to document the benefits of exemplary high-performing landscape projects. Ten research teams will participate in the Summer 2012, and the NEA grant will fund half of the $5,000 stipend paid to the student Research Assistant on each team.

“We are thrilled that NEA is investing in this research to show the environmental, economic, and social value of exemplary design,” said LAF Executive Director Barbara Deutsch, ASLA.

The NEA received 1,624 eligible applications for this round of Art Works funding. The 788 Art Works grants total $24.81 million and support the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and the strengthening of communities through the arts. Visit the NEA website for a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support.

Carl D. Johnson, FASLA (1926-2010)

LAF was saddened to learn of the passing of Carl D. Johnson, FASLA, founder or the firm Johnson, Johnson, and Roy (JJR) in 1961 with his brother William and fellow landscape architect Clarence Roy. Johnson died in Ann Arbor on October 24, 2010, at the age of 84.

Johnson served on the Landscape Architecture Foundation’s Board of Directors in the 1980s and was largely responsible for the establishment of the JJR Research Grant, which supported the LAF’s Land and Community Design Case Study Series of published books and our new Landscape Performance Series.

carljohnsonJohnson was JJR’s guiding force in planning and design for over 30 years. He had a special passion for drawing and watercolor, and his approach to design frequently made use of conversational graphics as sketches intended to stimulate discussion of design approaches and solutions. His talent in design and illustration were surpassed only by his ability to communicate the contributions that landscape architects make to preserve and shape both the natural and built environments. His professional legacy includes internationally significant and lasting work in the fields of restoration and adaptive reuse of historic landscapes, including of the City of Louisville’s famous Cherokee Park, what became the Lighthouse Landing Park in Evanston, and rehabilitation of the C.S. Mott Estate, Applewood, in Flint, Michigan.

Johnson was committed not only to his professional practice but to developing the next generation of planning and design leaders. He taught at the University of Michigan there for 29 years and presented guest lectures at more than 20 architecture and landscape architecture schools thoughout the continent and overseas, all while maintaining an active practice at JJR. In 1989 he retired from teaching and was named Professor Emeritus of Landscape Architecture at the University of Michigan.

Johnson consistently supported the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) at the local chapter and national levels. Named an ASLA Fellow in 1979, Carl Johnson was awarded the Society’s highest honor, the ASLA Medal, in 2000. With the exception of the Olmsted brothers, he and his brother William are the only siblings to have been so honored by ASLA.

For a complete biography, visit the Cultural Landscape Foundation’s Pioneers of American Landscape Design.

JJR / Roy Fund Legacy Gift Launches Landscape Performance Series

by Barbara Deutsch, Executive Director, LAF

When I think about the unbelievable gift from Clarence and Ruth Roy to LAF, and to all of us actually, I think about the little bells ringing at the end of “It’s a Wonderful Life” when we learn that Clarence, George’s Guardian Angel, has finally gotten his wings.

I think how lucky we are to have of Clarence (and Ruth) Roy as our special guardian angels at this time, ensuring that our work is done to make an important contribution to the profession and the environment.  

I think it is safe to say that without the Roy Funds, LAF’s new Landscape Performance Series would be just a series of PDFs at this point.  Now we have an interactive, dynamic infrastructure in place to deliver the multi-media value we’ve been able to create for the profession, as well as for those outside the profession who are also working to achieve sustainability and make a difference.

I am curious to learn more about our angels Clarence and Ruth Roy, not having had the honor of meeting them. Deb Mitchell, Senior Vice President at JJR tells us a little bit about them in her interview, but for those of you who knew them, we’d love to hear from you and appreciate you sharing your thoughts and memories of these remarkable people!