Mulligan’s Frog Hair Garden, by Jim Dingilian and Alan Phelan (1996)

Public art project with website for daily events listing and documentation.

10 May – 30 June, 1996

Artist’s Garden Project

Highland Park, Rochester, New York

Presented by:

the Highland Park Conservancy

Co-sponsored by the Monroe County Parks Department

& the Lilac Festival Committee

Produced during the Lilac Festival, Rochester, New York

Statement about the project:

“Gardens are sites of recreation. Ours is a dysfunctional sporting arena, a picturesque court, a parallel course, a tactically social space.

The park and garden provide a space, a social space where nature can be viewed in a controlled and carefully tended environment. Our garden fuses assorted visual structures in celebration of parallel fields in which social activities are located. The precision and mechanistic perfection of sports mirror the aesthetic architecture or structure of high culture. In other words, the status or symbolic significance that golf and tennis, as cultural activities, embody.

We are confused whether to pacify or activate you, the viewer. We, however, enjoy the opportunity to widen the expected sphere of activity for (public) art.

The scheduled daily events allow conversation between audiences and an exploration of our ambivalent relationship to nature, culture and other things.

We want to dialogue with you.”


Daily Events

May Lilac Festival Events

Lawsuit Day

Friday 10 Embrace danger and earn extra cash by pursuing litigation. A lawyer will be on site to take you case.

Virginia Wade Strawberries & Cream Day

Saturday 11 A tribute to a heroine of Ladies Wimbledon Lawn Tennis from the 70’s, cream provided.

Ball Boy Day

Sunday 12 Bring your boys to toss and collect balls all day long in that great championship tradition.

Julius Boros Memorial Chip and Putt Tournament

Monday 13 The classics never die. Commerate on of golfing’s greats in raw competitive fun.

Senior Saturday

Tuesday 14 Today’s Tuesday and we care.

No Hole Day

Wednesday 15 Holes closed for maintenance.

Really Real Network Day

Thursday 16 Get connected.

Be as real as you can be. Really normal things can create successful opportunities for you today.You’ll be surprised and delighted.

Love Means Nothing Day

Friday 17 Discuss…

Public Mowing Day

Saturday 18 Bring your mower, clippers, tractor or weed wacker and get down to business with us.

Lawn Party Extravaganza

Sunday 19 The finale of the Lilac Festival Events. Talk of the town. Everyone who’s anyone will be in attendance. Expect food and good cheer, (note: food and cheer not provided). A truly elegant affair, (note: please observe the closed container rule).

May Late Bloom Week Events

Teed Off Day

Monday 20 You will be if you turn up today. Tee-off with the masters and enjoy a round.

Second Service Day

Tuesday 21 We declare a do-over. Let’s do it again. It’s not your fault.

Merge & Acquired Day

Wednesday 22 Firm up your deals and consolidate your affairs. Hostile takeovers encouraged. Free Wall St. Journal to the first suit on site.

Passive Aggressive Day

Thursday 23 We love you.

We hate you. We want you. We don’t want you. Let’s be ambivalent together, but passionately.

Love Still Means Nothing Day

Friday 24 Now that we’ve discussed it once let’s change.

Threesome Day

Saturday 25 Three’s the magic number.

Deuce Day

Sunday 26 It’s all up for grabs, it’s anybody’s game now.

Doubles Day

Monday 27 Bring a good book and a friend.

Deal Day

Tuesday 28 Make an offer. Everything must go, maybe.

Umpirical Day

Wednesday 29 Be loud and tall or high and try not to be too judgmental.

Field Day

Thursday 30 Come relive some of the most competitive moments of your childhood with novelty and true sports events.

Gallery Day

Friday 31 Join the crowd in the stand and observe.

June Events

Caddie Day

Saturday 1 Need some advice or just a good friend? Club selection, yardage, emotional support? A caddie will be at hand.

Lineperson Day

Sunday 2 If it’s not in, then it must be out. The ball was in, or was it? You decide.

Advancement Day

Monday 3 Propel yourself to a higher position. We all want to get ahead.

Hole in One Day

Tuesday 4 From the top of the hill into either hole. You win.

Sports are Healthy Day

Wednesday 5 Yes they are! Come on America and enjoy! Get fit too. Aerobics encouraged.

Swing Out Day

Thursday 6 Enjoy the sounds of yester-year. Big bands are back. Harry Jr. may show.

Power Day

Friday 7 Exert your influence. Lead, follow or get out of the way.

Pea Pea Day

Saturday 8 The first crop should be ready, weather permitting.

Pimms Day

Sunday 9 If the boys in New Orleans come through it’s liquid cucumber all day long.

Otherwise cucumber sandwiches available.

Insider/Outsider Trading Day

Monday 10 Relish the thrill of that illegal moment. But don’t get caught. We’ll cover.

Back Swing Day

Tuesday 11 Practice, Practice, Practice. It’s fundamental. So do it!

Strategic Planning Day

Wednesday 12 Don’t leave anything to chance, at least for today.

Proactive Negativity Day

Thursday 13 Why wait for things to go wrong. Now’s the chance to make things gloomy and doomey.

Love Really Means Nothing Day

Friday 14 Haven’t we done this already.

Adultery Day

Saturday 15 Happens more than you think. Let’s deal with it.

Double Bogey Day

Sunday 16 So what if you’re a loser. Maybe you’ll make it up on the next hole.

Brokering Day

Monday 17 For a small fee and on your behalf, we’ll do your dirty work, (we will not do dishes or curry).

Institutional Day

Tuesday 18 Bureaucrats! Administrators! Paper Pushers! All welcome for a special power luncheon on site, (food not provided).

Big Chair Day

Wednesday 19 If you can find one, you can sit on it.

Olympic Analogy Day

Thursday 20 Go for gold! Share those special Olympiad moments with us.

Don’t Come Day

Friday 21 If you do you’re a fool because we won’t be here.

Interpassive Day

Saturday 22 Beyond interactive. The true state of the art. Not available on-line. Be there.

Social Space Day

Sunday 23 We’ve provided the space. You provide the social.

Living Life Lightly Day

Monday 24 For Cindy. Because she knows how to live.

Horticultural Lad Day

Tuesday 25 If you’re a Horticultural Lad, and you know it, come to the park at the appropriate hour.

We’re Over Ryder Day

Wednesday 26 Yes we mean it. We mean it.

Tennis Instructor Day

Thursday 27 Homage to that special squeeze. Tennis instructors are good people. We like you all. So, come along.

Symbolic Analysis Day

Friday 28 Demonize or canonize. You decide.

Believing It All Day

Saturday 29 It’s finally time to accept whats been happening.

Downsize Day

Sunday 30 Party’s over. Get real. Get rationalized, thank you.

Artist’s Garden Project

Highland Park

Rochester, New York

May/June 1996

Presented by:

the Highland Park Conservancy

Co-sponsored by the Monroe County Parks Department

& the Lilac Festival Committee

Dedicated to Erik Hans Krause



“Each one has his own real thing; mine is the garden.”

Louisa Yeomans King


The Artist’s Garden Project explores the integration of art and nature in Rochester, N.Y., through a series of temporary garden installations. The competition is inspired by public passions of past, present and future: the area’s rich horticultural heritage, a regional renaissance in garden-making, and a new communal involvement in the preservation of Highland Park. The Highland Park Conservancy, in cooperation with the Monroe County Parks Department and the Lilac Festival Committee, seeks to encourage people to interact with Highland Park, a place created to express the unique spirit of Rochester.

The competition is about human interaction with nature over time. The 19th-century vision of plantsmen George Ellwanger and Patrick Barry was to present a showcase of plants hardy to this area, to celebrate with fellow Rochesterians and the world the possibilities of the soil, space and time. Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted refined this plan into an urban park, creating for the citizens of Rochester a green place of refuge within the city with distant views of its surroundings. Together, the three men responded to the human need for beauty. There have been changes to the park over time, but people still heed the call of the original designers. We come to Highland Park to acknowledge the beauty of its plants, spaces and views. Whether a solitary walk in the pinetum or a springtime celebration of the lilacs or a snowy afternoon in the tropical Conservatory, we keep coming back to love and to praise. We come to Highland Park to express our connection to the Place. The Artist’s Garden Project speaks to this connection. The four temporary installations–three jury selections and one special display–will be spaces where people can revisit familiar notions of the park and learn new ways of seeing it. Staged in the newer Highland Park South, the gardens will create links between old park and new, past and present. Each garden will illustrate the artist’s interpretation of the park as Place. Visitors will encounter the gardens on their way to and from the Lilac Festival, and will see them from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the AIDS Remembrance Garden. Each garden will invite visitors in to experience the artist’s vision.


Stuart D. MacKenzie, ASLA

Cindy Mindell-Wong, MLA


Arena’s Florist Inc.

Pattie Beckmann

Big Bear Enterprises

Chase-Pitkin Home and Garden

Winnifred and Angelo Chiarella

Congdon and Weller Nursery,

North Collins, N.Y.

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Kristin Davies

The Estate Gardener, Megan MacKenzie

Jean Garrett

The Jolt Co. Inc. and C.J. Rapp

Keenan’s Edgewood Nursery, Jeff Hathorn

Colin Kennedy

Kinko’s Copies, East Avenue

LaFave Party Rental Inc.

Lilac Festival Committee

Lucas Greenhouses

Suzanna Lyons and the Genesee Finger Lakes

Nursery & Landscape Association

Monroe County Parks Department:

Bob Hoepfl, Mark Quinn and Tim Sturm

Marci Muller and Marstan Landscaping

Northern Nurseries of New York


Bob Peterson

Rochester Civic Garden Center

City of Rochester Department of Parks,

Recreation and Human Services:

Alan Colletta and Jim Farr

Christine Schilling

Tennis Club of Rochester

Oakhill Country Club

Nancy Turner

Van Putte Gardens

Wayside Garden Center

Wegmans Food Markets Inc.


Cat Ashworth

Ann Chaintreuil, AIA

L. William Chapin II, FAIA

Terrence J. Gleason, ASLA

Richard Margolis

Vincent Massaro

Sperantza Sobol, ASID


Highland Park is the oldest park in Rochester and the first public arboretum in the country. Established in 1888 on 20 acres donated by nurserymen George Ellwanger and Patrick Barry, Highland Park today is both a beautiful landscape and a living museum of trees and shrubs.

Highland Park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, America’s foremost landscape architect, and the creator of New York City’s Central Park. In Highland Park, Olmsted blended deciduous groves, rolling meadows, a pinetum and a shrub arboretum. He crowned the park with an open pavilion, donated by Ellwanger and dedicated to the children of Rochester. From atop the hill neighboring the reservoir, the Children’s Pavilion offered panoramic views of the park and the growing city.

A number of notable locals worked to fulfill Olmsted’s vision of a world-class horticultural preserve. Superintendent Calvin Laney sought out specimens of all the trees and shrubs of Western New York, and horticulturist John Dunbar assembled more than 100 varieties of evergreens for the pinetum. More recently, horticulturists Bernard Slavin and Richard Fennicchia have continued to expand and enrich the park’s varied plant collections, searching out rare and unusual species and watching over their care and cultivation. Today, Highland Park is known best for the unusual and hardy lilacs that blossom each spring. But it is so much more than that. The Highland Park Conservancy is dedicated to maintaining the park’s extraordinary plant collections and continuing the vision that took shape more than a century ago.


Highland Park South was developed as an expansion to the park in the early 1980s as a staging area for the Lilac Festival, and to provide relief to the historic portion of the park from the heavy festival crowds.

Site work began in July 1984. A bulldozer operator uncovered six human skeletons; shortly thereafter, rainstorms washed to the surface six more. At first the remains were thought to be from the family cemetery of Erastus Stanley, the landowner who had sold the site to the county in 1826. But archaeologists discovered many more skeletons, and 19th-century plat maps and town records revealed that the land had housed the Monroe County Almshouse, Insane Asylum and Penitentiary. A self-sufficient operation, the institutional campus had included a burial ground for its inmates.

The excavation, led by the Rochester Museum & Science Center, discovered 305 graves, some of them multiple burials; 296 skeletons were reinterred in nearby Mount Hope Cemetery. Other remains, too fragile or too deep, were left undisturbed, as was the rest of the burial ground. Park designers rerouted paths to skirt the cemetery, and the county placed a boulder-marker in the center of the site to commemorate the lives of those buried there.

Two new community memorials now sit adjacent to the burial ground, built on land donated by the county:

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial of Greater Rochester: Ten years in the making, the memorial was conceived in 1986 as a place of healing, education and remembrance. The land was acquired in 1990 and groundbreaking took place in 1991. Built on two acres by Vietnam veterans and other volunteers, the memorial pays tribute to nearly 300 local men killed or missing in action. It will be dedicated in September 1996. The AIDS Remembrance Garden: This memorial was conceived by community groups in 1990 as a serene place of hope, healing and public awareness. Dedicated in 1993, the two-acre site is a memorial arboretum, a collection of plants “chosen for sentimental, nostalgic, courageous and reconciliatory reasons.” A parallel memorial, the Book of Life, holds the first names of all in the area who have died of AIDS.