American Steel Studios, Bay 7
1960 Mandela Parkway
Oakland, CA 94601
Elizabeth Dougherty, Ph.D. is a mixed-bag multi-media artist, engaged in garbage collection and redistribution in the form of provocative, functional, fun, recycled ecological art. When not inspiring Californians on the beauty of water conservation and reuse as founder and director of Wholly H2O, she is welding transmission parts, wiring fountains with LEDs, manipulating bee comb from her hives, and finding artifacts in forests, rivers, and urban trash piles. There’s a world of loot out there!
Her goal is to inspire others to emotionally engage with varying, and often forgotten, ecological cycles – water cycles, the lifecycle of bees, energy cycles, plant cycles, mineral cycles, and our own life cycle. She offers interactive installations that allow individuals to have personal moments with the subject material, whether the focus is a swarm of bees or an entire watershed. That moment of interaction can enhance the relationship between humans and the natural cycles in which we are embedded.
Beginning with building artistic “environments” around her photographs as a youth, Elizabeth moved into film making as a camera assistant in the Hollywood film business. Her growth into “art as an avenue for social change” came with her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania’s in Folklore and Ethnography. As a welder, Elizabeth brought new life to old metal car and bike parts, retooling them into functional art. Drawing more natural elements into interactive installation art is giving her a playground to work in as an educator and artist.
In her wondrous workshop located in American Steel Studios in West Oakland, Elizabeth works exclusively with the detritus of the earth and its inhabitants.