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SEI Dirtmaker



Permanent Exhibition

Dirtmaker is an environmental sculpture that replenishes minerals in the forest’s soil. Beneath the wooden handles and concrete base rests a thin layer of crushed, locally-sourced gneiss stone. As visitors interact with Dirtmaker by gently rocking it back and forth, both it and the stone beneath are slowly ground away. When it rains, the rock dust washes down the hillside and into the soil, fortifying the decaying organic matter with essential minerals. In 2016, the team of artists known as Camp Little Hope spent six weeks in and around Cullowhee, North Carolina researching and developing this artwork for Western Carolina University’s Public Art Collection.

This project was funded by the student-led WCU Sustainable Energy Initiative, with support from the College of Fine and Performing Arts, Facilities Management, School of Art and Design, Fine Art Museum, and Base Camp Cullowhee. 

This environmental sculpture was a collaboration with the artists from Camp Little Hope and funded with the assistance of the Sustainable Energy Initiative. 




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Camp Little Hope

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