Ecoart in Action: Activities, Case Studies, and Provocations for Classrooms and Communities
Edited by Amara Geffen, Ann Rosenthal, Chris Fremantle and Aviva Rahmani
by Thomas Wawzenek for New Art Examiner
Ecoart in Action is a new book, published this year, that contributes to the growing literature on artistic responses to global warming and its consequences. While emphasizing the importance of artistic expression, this book also examines and illustrates the interconnection between art, science, and social activism and why the three are needed to work together to enact change.
Compiled from 67 members of the Ecoart Network, a group of 200 internationally established practioners grounded in the arts, education and science, this book offers pragmatic solutions to critical environmental challenges that the world now faces. The framework in this book is organized into three sections (Activities, Case Studies, and Provocations) that examine diverse methods on how to create critical strategies in relation to environmental issues. Each contribution offers templates for ecoart practices that are adaptable within a variety of classroom settings and community groups.
There are 25 activities that make use of various mediums such as art, photography, collage and writing that allow participants to not only reflect on their relationship with nature but also experience the dynamics of working with others in a group setting. Many of these group projects heighten one’s level of critical thinking while utilizing the imagination when creating art.
While many activities are designed specifically for either children or adults, there are some activities that can be enjoyed by both. A good example of the latter is a banner-making project. In this endeavor, participants who live in an urban environment learn about native species such as plants, insects and animals that play a vital role in an urban setting. The participants express their new-found knowledge by composing and painting banners that can be presented as artwork in the community. This activity not only educates people as to how nature is often taken for granted in cities and large towns, but also engenders a sense of community pride. A more ambitious activity, that is geared for students ages 8 through 17, is an energy camp where students learn the basic scientific principles about energy production and how our consumption of nonrenewable energy impacts the environment. The end result is for students to use their creativity and problem-solving skills to discover innovative solutions by building a fully operational solar sculpture or a functional prototype.
Continue reading HERE