Athena Tacha built an early landscape art piece at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. Of course, the 32-year-old piece now needs protection itself:
Green Acres is Tacha’s most complex commission and took two years to execute (at the not insignificant cost of $400,000); it has been praised by museum directors and art historians and is documented in the Contemporary Landscape Design Collection of Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC.
An April 18, 2012 New Jersey Treasury Department letter informed Tacha that Green Acres would be destroyed on or after July 31, 2012 (received May 9, 2012) – the only alternative offered was removal of the sculpture at the artist’s expense. Green Acres has suffered from years of deferred maintenance and the Treasury Department asserts maintenance funding is not available in the current economic climate, despite the State legislature’s $1 million appropriation for restoring DEP’s courtyard (Green Acres was effectively restored in 2004-05 at a cost of about $30,000). The letter also stated that the piece poses a public safety risk during an emergency by impeding the evacuation of the building, an issue never before raised in the plaza’s 25-year history.
Green Acres Under Threat of Destruction (Cultural Landscape Foundation)