Artists for the earth
Learning through art
Environmental Art and Education
Art education provides students the opportunity to acquire new skills, discover their creativity and the freedom of self-expression. Studies demonstrate the importance of art in education: improved self-confidence and positive academic, social and emotional outcomes.
Environmental art educates students about what is happening to the earth and its inhabitants. Students can be invited to work on projects that represent local environmental issues or those impacting people and communities around the world. Projects can take many forms: a short film, a community mural, a poetry contest, to cite a few.
Art creates community, bringing people together, opening space for dialog and the exchange of ideas. It can help foster consensus about the environment among young people and, in turn, inspire the will to take action for positive change.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
- Participate in the Great Global Cleanup™ and create a trash to art workshop. Repurpose discarded materials by designing and creating collages, murals or sculptures. Up-cycle materials in myriad craft projects for children.
- Stage a Trashion show of up-cycled waste materials.
- Paint an outdoor mural depicting hope for a green future. Arrange for a wall donated by a commercial business, township or the Parks Department. Work with a street artist. Or create a mural that everyone can add to on cloth or paper – or a chalk art mural.
- Hold an exhibit of winners from a K-12 environmental art contest.
- Celebrate Earth Day with a musical program focused on nature and the earth with participation from local school bands, orchestras and choral groups.
- Write and video a rap song about the environment. Host a rap concert about the earth.
- Choreograph a dance performance to written words or music on an environmental theme.
- Host an environmental film festival. Invite filmmakers or scientists to address topics as speakers or as part of a panel discussion.
- Create a high school or college environmental video. Join a film competition.
- Conduct/sponsor a nature photography workshop with a follow-up exhibition.
- Enter an eco-journalism contest as writer or photographer and submit your entry to a competition.
- Host a poetry slam or environmental poetry contest.
- Read a novel or children’s book about the environment and discuss in class or workshops.
- A field guide. Children draw/write observations of their community or their own back yard to: collect data about their environment, observe sustainability, detect areas in need of improvement or change. Follow-up with suggestions or actions.
- Perform a play or a series of one-acts about the environment. Or write an original play and work with a local theatrical group to perform or direct it.
- Sponsor performances by indigenous or cultural groups relating to their relationship with the natural world and its importance.
- Create puppets and a puppet show to play-act the story of the earth and its species.
- Combine environmental art with social/political advocacy. Demonstrate environmental impacts on communities and the health of their inhabitants. Use installations in galleries or public spaces to explore human issues/impacts with: posters, artworks, print making, social narratives, public performances, poetry, story-telling.