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ONE: An Earth Installation by Stanlee Gatti

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At San Francisco's Conservatory of Flowers


November 17, 2006 - April 15, 2007

SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco's celebrated designer and artist, Stanlee Gatti, reflects on the fascinating period in our natural history when plant life emerged in a dazzling art installation at the Conservatory of Flowers entitled "ONE: An Earth Installation by Stanlee Gatti." Gatti is famous for his distinctly artistic approach to creating totally original, contemporary environments. This is his very first public exhibition, and the first time the Conservatory has invited an artist to create a large-scale installation.

At the center of Gatti's immersive work stands a colossal, fantastic and intricate Tree of Life sculpture that symbolizes the emergence of plants from the sea onto land. Sea green and blue spheres made up of hundreds of sacred lotus pods transform into lush green globes that bristle with branches and succulent forms. And at the very top, in the rafters of the Conservatory, the sculpture explodes into a solar burst of light and energy. Looking up at this, the visitor is awed by the stunning backdrop of thousands of bright blue disks that have been affixed to the white glass of the Conservatory's ceiling to create the impression that the sky is penetrating through.

Living primitive plants are another feature of the exhibit. Hundreds of stick-like Horsetails, one of the earliest known plants, grow together in a large circle to create a living mandala while huge, moss-covered globes stand throughout the room. Around the periphery of the gallery, a pre-plant, asteroid-battered landscape features several large black stone cairns that rise up out of pitch-black earth while deep stone-lined holes burrow into the ground. And underlying this story of the emergence of plant life is Gatti's deep reverence for nature that makes itself felt in the provocative text he sprinkles throughout the installation and his use of the symbolism of the Native American medicine wheel.

Gatti has designed some of the most elegant and exclusive events in the country including the Mayoral Inaugurations of Gavin Newsom and Willie L. Brown, countless high profile weddings and several lavish Oscar Award parties for Elton John/In Style and People Magazine. Gatti's charity oriented efforts include events for San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Ballet, SFMOMA, Asian Art Museum, De Young Museum and the Center for the Arts.

Gatti also has a rich background in public art. He served for nine years as President of the San Francisco Art Commission starting in 1996. In 1998, he also founded the non-profit San Francisco Fund for Public Sculpture, an organization dedicated to buying sculpture for the City with money from local philanthropists. He spearheaded the unforgettable outdoor exhibition of sculptures by the late Keith Haring.

So, make your way to the Conservatory of Flowers this winter because everyone's invited to what will surely be the most talked about exhibition of the season.

"ONE: An Earth Installation by Stanlee Gatti" is open through April 15, 2007, Tuesdays - Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is free with admission to the Conservatory. The public should call (415) 666-7001 or visit www.conservatoryofflowers.org for more information.

Background
The Conservatory of Flowers is a spectacular living museum of rare and beautiful tropical plants under glass. From Borneo to Bolivia, the 1,750 species of plants at the Conservatory represent unusual flora from more than 50 countries around the world. Immersive displays in five galleries include the lowland tropics, highland tropics, aquatic plants, potted plants and special exhibits. Opened in 1879, the wood and glass greenhouse is the oldest existing conservatory in North America and has attracted millions of visitors to Golden Gate Park since it first opened its doors. It is designated as a city, state and national historic landmark and was one of the 100 most endangered sites of the World Monuments Fund.