One way to address Earth Day this week and integrate environmental science into your art curriculum is through the interactive website Phototropism. This website allows you to create your own virtual sculptures using futuristic materials that react to environmental conditions.
Upon entering the industrial art studio, you are presented with a brief video introduction explaining phototropism in plant life. At this point you are placed among many futuristic materials to build your own sculptural plant for virtual installation (nothing is actually downloaded to your computer) . At the outdoor environment, additional sculptures can be added and repositioned to various depths along the landscape. Several random weather systems can be run that demonstrate the changes to the materials and sculptures.
Conversation with students on this topic can be taken in many directions:
- Physical advantages or limitations of art materials.
- Partership between the art and science community to design eco-friendly products.
- Responsibility of artists to use environmentally friendly products or reuse/repurpose materials.
- Discussion of Claude Monet and the impact that weather conditions and time of day had on his artwork. Take Monet into the 21st century -what would he do with these new materials?
Environmental art often causes us to stop, think and question. It can make the viewer connect to the past, question the present or inspire change for the future.
So when Craig Roland posed the question on Art Education 2.0, “How might we use art or design to promote a healthy environment and a peaceful, sustainable world?” the work of environmental artists came to our mind.
In response to Craig’s question, we at The Teaching Palette created a Google Earth application that highlights environmental art on every continent. The art and artists featured were chosen based on environmental impact at various locations around the world.
The Environmental Art Around Google Earth application is not a direct answer to the question; instead it is a compilation of many answers as a global tour of environmental artists with Google Earth.
So explore art and artists from around the world as they show you how to use art/design to promote a healthy environment and a peaceful, sustainable world.
Below is a video to help introduce you to the Environmental Artists Around Google Earth application and explains how to use it.
If you do not have Google Earth on your computer or need to upgrade to the newest version of Google Earth, click here.
Now that you’ve explored the environmental artist globe on Google Earth how can you utilize it in your classroom?
- Use Google Earth to introduce a specific artist, environmental art movement or culture.
- Use as an extension for early finishers to introduce them to artists from around the world.
- Introduce a specific artist such as Andy Goldsworthy. Give a group of students a digital camera, have them collect a variety of natural objects, arrange them in an interesting composition and then photograph their Goldsworthy-inspired art.
- Print images and have students write about their experience.
Explore the blogs participating in “Green Friday” by clicking on the links below.
- The Art Teacher’s Guide to the Internet with Craig Roland
- Blissful Thoughts with Chan Bliss
- The Carrot Revolution with David Gran
- Jean Fitz’s Weblog
- Learning IT with Frank Curkovic