Eco-Art  Education: Sustaining Our Community

Material Information

Eco-Art Education: Sustaining Our Community
Gilmartin, Rebecca ( Author, Primary )
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, FL
College of Fine Arts; University of Florida
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
Project in lieu of thesis

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Master's ( M.A.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Committee Chair:
Tillander, Michelle
Committee Members:
Roland, Craig


Subjects / Keywords:
Art education ( jstor )
Art teachers ( jstor )
Arts ( jstor )
Classrooms ( jstor )
Ecology ( jstor )
Educational research ( jstor )
Environmental art ( jstor )
Environmental education ( jstor )
Modern art ( jstor )
Recycling ( jstor )


This research project was based on a desire to examine connections between environmental literacy, sustainability, and art education. My research explored current ecological art education methodologies, sustainable classroom practices, and art making promoting ecological stewardship. Based on action-oriented research, I discovered that effectively introducing environmental education in the art classroom practice requires thoughtful consideration in how it is implemented. Based on my findings, I created an online website resource ( that promotes Eco-art education, categorized into Eco literacy, Sustainable Classroom Practices, Projects, Artists, and Resource Links. This curriculum resource is housed in my personal website at
General Note:
Art Education terminal project

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright Rebecca Gilmartin Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
1022120756 ( OCLC )


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!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( ( 2014 Rebecca Gilmartin


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( / ( Acknowledgements I am grateful to the many people involved throughout my effort during this project. I would like to give a special thanks to my committee chair, Dr. Michelle Tillander. Her resoluteness challenged me to deliver a thorough investigation during my research. I would also like to thank my committee member, Dr. Craig Ro land, for his realistic viewpoints and dedication to the advances in art education He has been an inspiring educator to follow. I would like to thank Lisa Igle sias creative inspirations, propelling me forward in the project preparations and website. Likewise, my ceramic professors Anna Holcombe and Charlie Cummings were essential in fostering the development of meaningful expression in my artwork. I would like to give a special thanks to Bonnie Bernau, education curator for the Samuel P. Harn Museum. She was a major contributor to the organization and implementation of the research project "Person al Adornment". I would like to thank my classmate Carrie Grunnet for her outstanding photography skills and encouragement throughout the research process. I would like to thank Mike Myers, founder of the Repurpose Project a local center promoting sustai nable practices in the community. In addition, I am grateful for the enthusiasm and detailed input from the teachers that I interviewed for this study. Lastly, I would like to thank my family for my life experiences and an inspiration to create a better w orld for future generations. (


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( 0 ( ABSTRACT OF PROJECT IN LIEU OF THESIS PRESENTED TO THE COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS ECO ART EDUCATION: SUSTAINING OUR COMMUN ITY By Rebecca Gilmartin April 2014 Chair: Michelle Tillander Committee Member: Craig Roland Major: Art Education Abstract This research project was based on a desire to examine connections between environmental literacy, sustainability and art education. My research explored current ecological art education methodologies sustainable classroom practices, and art making promoting ecological stewardship. Based on action orie nted research, I discovered that effectively introducing environmental education in the art classroom practice requires thoughtful consideration in how it is implemented Based on my findings, I created a n online website resource ( art room ) that promotes Eco art education cate gorized into E co literacy, Sustainable Classroom P ractices, Projects, Artists, and Resource Links. This curriculum resource is housed in my personal website at


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( 1 ( Table of Contents Title Page .1 UF Copyright page...2 Acknowledgements ..3 Abstract 4 Table of Contents .5 Introduction ..7 Statement of Problem ...8 Purpose and Goals of the Study ..... .10 Research Questions 10 Rationale and Significance of the Study 10 Assumptions . ...11 Limitations .11 Definitions of Terms .. .11 Literature Review .. .. 13 State of the Environment ... .. 13 Environmentalism and Sustainability in Art Educati on .. ....14 Place Based Pedagogy .1 5 Methodology ....16 Data Analysis Procedures .. .. 18 Findings .. .19 Critical Place Based Community Education .. 19 Sustainable Community and Classroom Practices ..20


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( 2 ( Artists Promoting Ecology .23 Summary Across all Findings 2 4 Discussion and Conclusion 25 Discussion and Interpretation of Findings .25 Significance, Implication s, and Recommendations ...28 Conclusion .28 References ..31 Appendic es 35 List of Figures a nd Figure Captions ..45 Author Biography ..46


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( 3 ( You may be aware of the growing social movement of people concerned about the environment. Companies use labels such as eco friendly, nature friendly, and green to make environmental marketing claims when promoting their products. However many recyclable products require appropriate action by the consumer to fulfill reprocessing claim s For example, during my past teaching experience as an art educator, my school location did not have a recycling program. Plastic bottles, paper products and other materials were discard ed each day in the classroom. I can still recall the time at the end of the school year when I was left with many recyclable paint bottles th at needed to be cleaned an d placed into a recycling bin. Because of the lack of accessibility to a recycling company and knowledge of recycling requirements, sadly, they ended up in a nearby trash container filled with paper and plastic drinking bottles. I believe that educational institutions need a paradigm of responsible behavior toward environmental concerns that engage responsible material practices and stewardship of our planet My research explore s e co art education as it integrates art education with environmental education as a means of developing awareness of environmental concepts and issues, such as conservation, preservation, restoration and sustainability (Inwood, 2008 para. 3) According to Wallen (2014), at a time when the wo rld is beset by ecological crises, art that aims at address ing environmental issue s is worth examining to find solutions to the many problem s facing the planet Wallen argues specifically that artistic and scientific roots of the practice can demonstrate t he significant role that art can play in the initiation, development, and endorsement of a culture of sustainability. For example, seeing images of birds with plastic contents in their stomachs and understanding the data on quantities of materials being co nsumed daily can be very revealing. There is a great necessity for educators across disciplines to examine the human connection to


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( 4 ( the environment and examine educational strategies that will foster a greater possibility of promoting change of consciousness toward environmental issues (Wallen 2014) Statement of the Problem Recent reports about climate change and environmental destruction show the urgent relevance for attention to the environment. On a global scale, a report by The Guardia n (2013), the IPCC states that climate change is human induced and that world leaders must now respond with policies to cut greenhouse gas emissions. If action is not taken, the consequences will be the rise of sea levels, heatwaves, and changes to rainfa ll. Prof David Mackay, chief scientific adviser of the Department of Energy and Climate Change said, "We need to take action now, to maximize our chances of being faced with impacts that we, and our children, can deal with (Harvey, 2013). Another concern is plastic waste. A ccording to Campaign for Recycling (2013), plastic litter is the fastest growing component of the waste stream because plastic never biodegrades. Locally, communities are seeking to take action New policies are currently being created to deal with the increasing amount of plastic polluting the earth. For example, the city of Los Angeles adopted an ordinance to ban plastic bags beginning the year 2014 (, 201 4). Now more that ever there is a need to integrate environmental literacy in education Yet, our current educational system promotes a disconnection of the current issues in our world. According to Smith (2002) the disconnection between children's lived experience and school learning has been exacerbated by our national preoccupation with standardized test scores (p.586). Additionally, Gruenewald (2003) describes the standards and tes ting dominating today's educational discourse as a curricula that discourages empathy and expl oration of local places. He states, "classroom based research is inadequate to the larger tasks of cultural and ecological


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( 5 ( analysis" (Gruenewald, 2003, p. 4). Education programs do not prepare future teachers to create curricula designed to allow actual e xperience with the phenomenal world so teachers largely accept and follow the mandates of standardization (Gruenewald, 2003). Historically, artists have supported community efforts by promoting awareness of environmental issues, transforming their concept over time. According to Krug & Siegenthaler (2006, para. 1), during the 1950s and 1960s, artists helped connect art with life centered issues. A change in views happened from 1960 to 1990. Envi ronmental artists in the 1960s to 1980s were less concerned with environmental issues and more concerned land being a resource to create earthworks or land art (par. 3). Since the late 1970s, and continuing today, artists are creating ecologically sound art intended to heal the environme nt (e.g., Alan Sonfist and Joseph Beuys ) In the 1990's artists attempted to heighten people's awareness of the need for ecological sustainability through problem solving, shock, humor, and educational documentation (e.g., Chris Jordan and Lynne Hull). Tod ay, contemporary ecological artists are actively involved in local and global advocacy (para. 5). Additionally art educators have promoted eco art education however, struggled to embrace the practice Art educators such as McFee (1961) stressed the conn ections that need ed to be made between art, culture, meaning, and the environment. Later, a modern environmental movement called Earth Day began on April 22, 1970. According to Blandy & Hoffman (1993), during this movement, scholars proposed an art educati on response to the problem and proposed that individuals that value aesthetic experience can also be sensitive to the environment. It was not until 1992 that the National Art Education Association addressed environmentalism at a national convention, "the l and, the people, the ecology of art education" (Blandy &Hoffman,


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( -6 ( 1993, p. 31). However, according to Blandy & Hoffman, it was disappointing that the conference organizers did not provide ecological alternatives to the usual convention practice (p. 31). Pur pose and Goals of the Study My research aims to reveal ways of successfully implementing eco art education focused on methods of teaching, sustainable practice, and art making that promote ecological stewardship My goal is to propose a new model for art educat ion that aim s to build meaningful, empathic, connections between humans and the environment. As a tool for profe ssional development, my website resource promote s Eco Art E ducation categorized into s ustainable c lassroom p ractices, e co literacy, p rojects, artists, and resource l inks. Research questions The following questions direct my research toward environmental art education, sustainable classroom practice and ecological stewardship. 1. How can art educators effectively teach eco art education ? 2. How can art educators implement a sustainable classroom practice? 3. How can art practices promote ecological stewardship? Rationale and Significance of the Study As environmental issues rise, developing values associated with taking respo nsible action are suggested ways of teaching, and need to be further explored. Educational textbooks of the 19 th century present the view that humans should dominate nature. For example, students were instructed to re imagine and re design nature through their art (Krug, 2003, para. 18). In contrast, a s a contemporary approach, Graham (2007, p. 375) suggests a critical place based pedagogy A critical place based pedagogy reco gnizes the experiences of a community grounded in shared understandings. A critical pedagogy of place strives to critically rethink our relationship to the


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( -( environment. Research is needed in explo ring e ffective art teaching met hods that promote understandi ng of the complexity of the environmental problems. Assumptions This project assumes that art teachers are interested in a human connection to environmental ethics, sustainability, and stewardship through art education. According to Lankford (1997), becau se of the complexity of ecological topics, teachers must be willing to plan interdisciplinary lessons which connect art to science, social studies, economics and community related topics I assume that teachers will und ertake the challenges of introduci ng art that integrates a study of other subject areas that may involve collaboration with other teachers and experts in the community. Thirdly, I assume th at art teachers are open to pedagogical practices that encourage art student investigation of places and engagemen t in critical thinking skills. Limitations This project included collecting a small set of data through personal journaling of responses from interviews with a limited number of participants in a localized geographic area. The questions for the interview focused on recycling Questions did not specifically address energy conservation, however, interviewees volunteered this information. The time allowance for completion of the project limited the analysis of its impact in prom oting environmental stewardship, but conclusions may prompt further research. Definitions of Terms Environmental e ducation According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (n.d.), Environmental education is a process that allows individuals to explore environmental issues, engage in problem solving, and take action to improve the environment. As a result individuals develop a deeper understanding of environmental issues and make


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( -. ( re sponsible decisions (United Sates Environmental Protection Agency. What is Environmental Education? Retrieved from environmental education 2014 ). Environmental a rt. According to Sam Bower, executive director of environmental art is an umbrella term to encompass the most common terms, "ecological art" (short er version eco art), "land art", "earth art", "earthworks" and "art in nature" (A profusion of terms,, para. 3, 2010 ). Ecolog ical art. According to Sam Bower, executive director of ecological art or "eco art" is a contemporary art movement that addresses environmental issues and often involves collaboration, restoration and eco friendly methodology (A profusion of terms,, para. 8 2010 ). E co art e ducation. Hilary Inwood (2010), a universi ty based art educator, defines environmental art e ducation (or eco art education ) as education integrating "art education with environmental education as a means of developing awareness of and engagement with concepts such as interdependence, biodiversity, conservation, restoration, and sustainability" (para. 4). Sustainability. According to the United States Environmental Protection Ag ency (n.d.), sustainab ility is e verything that we need for our survival and well being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that per mit fulfilling the social economic and other requirements of present and future generations. (What is Sustainability?, EPA website, para. 1). Environmen t al s tewardship According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (n.d.), environmental s t ewardship is the responsibility for environmental quality shared


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( -/ ( by all those whose actions affect the environment (Environmental Stewardship, EPA website, para. 1). Recycle. According to Oxford Dictionaries (2014), To recycle means to convert waste into usable material. Repurpose. According to Oxford Dictionaries (2014), To repurpose means to adapt material for use in a differ en t way Critical place based e ducation. Gruenewald (2003) describes critical place based education as an educational approach encouraging teachers and students to reinhabit their places to pursue the kind of social action that improves the social and ecological life of places, near and far, now and in the future ( p 7 ). Literature Review Research for this project began with a scholarly literature review on the curr ent state of the environment. The literature review researched art education journals which examined key phrases such as environmental art education sustainable classroom practice and environm ental stewardship There are scholarly articles written about the importance of environmental art education and connections to art practice and stewardship. However, I found that more research could be explored in affective ecological art teaching methods promoting sustainability. The State of the Environment Literature sources for this research ranged from science articles, government agencies such as the International Panel on Climate Change to recent reports in news art icles. According to Kerry (2013) the top ten environmental concerns are related to climate change L ooking into the future, however, a recent report from The Gaurdian expert, C. Tickell (201 1 ) states that the one of the top environmental concerns for the next forty years is the proliferation of our own


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( -0 ( species. The report further states that the health of humans i s highly connected to our ocean that is being polluted with toxic contamination from industrial runoff, plastic pollution, and acidification. All of which pose threats to the health of the world's population. Plastic pollution is now affecting every waterway, sea, and ocean in the world ( Natural Resources Defense Council, 2014). According to the Environmental Protection Agency (2012), the amount of waste produced continues to rise. Between 1960 and 2007, the amount of trash generated in the U.S. nearly doubled from 2.6 to 4.6 pounds per person per day. This was te has found its way to oceans. Plastic do es not biodegrade in the ocean. It breaks up into small pieces A ccording to the California Department of Toxic Substances Control this is what we have to stop. In essence, the world population eating fish that have eaten other fish, which have eaten toxin saturated plastics, are eating their own w aste (Lytle, 2014). O cean pollution can be managed on a local level by changing human behavior. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2012 reported that three of the top five types of marine litter are plastic bottles, plastic bags, and cans. These items are recyclable, however, lack of knowledge and infrastructure in municipalities may be limiting the best efforts to reduce, reuse, or recycle. Lytle (2014) f urther adds that the undeniable b ehavioral propensity of increasingly over consuming, discarding, littering and thus polluting are a major cause of the problem. Environmentalism and Sustainability in Art Education How can we connect environmental issues and sustainable actions to art education? According to Capra (2004), teachers can nurture the knowledge, skills, and values essential to sustainable living. According to Inwood (2008), environmental education is traditionall y linked to science based approaches, however, sensory subjective orientation typically found in art


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( -1 ( education may prove to be more effective in changing behaviors towards the environment because art offers a dynamic way to increase the power and relevancy of learning about the environment Art education has th e ability to stimulate learners minds and also touch their hearts which can be a powerful approach in fostering ecological literacy (Inwood, 2010). Likewise, Anderson & Guyas (2012), add that we need a paradigm shift in our relation to the Earth from a consumptive, dominating model to one embracing the idea that life has intrinsic value. This shift can be made through art and art education which may be the most meaningful too l for influencing beliefs and values (Anderson & Guyas, 2012). Scholarly researches on sustainable classroom practices were found using key phrases such as "environmental sustainable art practice" led to topics about classroom material. According to Taylo r (1997) in the art room, trash continues to be a problem. As a result, the issue of sustainability will be central. There are also some incentives for recycling materials such as Crayola ( 7 ( markers (Perry, 2014). (2014) provide a guide for setting up a recycling system in schools. In addition, my research revealed ways in which sustainable practices can be encouraged in the classro om For Example, Elliott & Bartle y (1998), describe ecologically based art activities designed for a high school curriculum. The course content is about exploration of materials, creation, and re creation as part of the ongoing human ecosystem. Building on this research, I interviewed local teachers to find out what sustainable methods are practiced in the art room. Place B ased P edagogy In the past, t raditional environmental art experience s, such as having learners making nature drawings or using found materials have fall en short of fully developing ecological literacy (Inwood, 2010) Recent s cholars have begun to address place based methods in


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( -2 ( promoting environmental education. Over a decade ago Blandy and Hoffman (1993) encouraged "an art education of place" (p. 23) in its practices which acknowled ge that art can significantly contribute to how people live by influencing their perceptions and actions More recently Gruenewald (2003), suggests a critical pedagogy of place to challenge the assumptions, practices and outcomes taken for granted in domina nt culture and conventional education Scholars promote diverse ways of implementing a place based approach in education. Because our current education system promotes a detachment of our world Smith (2002) encourages place based learning as an investigat ion of local natural phenomena. Additionally Sanger ( 1997 ) describes the importance of history of place so that if students see themselves as part of a continuous line from the past they visualize their role in the future Furthermore Kushins & Brisman (2005) explore place by describing how teachers can foster awareness and respect for the environment by using the classroom as a learning space. The scholarship of Gruenewald (2003) and Kushins & Brisman (2005) are particularly i mportant to this Project In Lieu Of T hesis as their research captures the impor tance of building art curricula that involve critically place based education that promotes action specific to the classroom and intrinsically connected outside to the local community. These scholars e xplore critically place based methods pro moting environmental education; however, I found more experimentation and documentation of practical approaches as well as its effectiveness could be explored. Methodology I conducted two studies for my Project In Lieu Of T hesis. Both studies were conducted within a local community within an approximate twenty mile radius. I conducted the first study with fifty three participants involved in an art project. The ages of the first study ranged from


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( -3 ( age two to adult wi thin a three hour time frame. As Graham (2007) stated, education that ignores issues of ecology and community becomes complicit in their erosion. The first strategy in my research was to explor e sustainable practices in the l ocal community. I visited the R epurpose Project in Gainesville, Florid a a local non profit organization that gather s items from the community that are headed for landfills. I discovered that they were amassing large numbers of plastic bottle caps because they are not recyc l able by the local services I thought that it would be an interesting challenge to repurpose the bottle caps as material for an ecological art project. I also envisioned the project being a vehicle for promoting the Repurpose Project efforts as well as an opportun ity to engage families in a critical dialogue, which promoted action about recycling. At the same time, I discovered that a compelling project needed to be developed and implemented for the February 2014 Family Day event, Kongo Across the Waters at the Samuel P. Harn Museum in Gainesville Combining my sustainable research and inspiration from the museum needs I developed a workshop (see Appendix A ) for the family day event at the Harn museum The preparation for the event included coordination with the museum education curator, interns, and staff. T here were several requirements for material preparations. The materials for the event needed to accommodate up to two hundred participants. I estimated that nine bottle caps would complete one person al adornment. S ixteen hundred bottle caps as well as two hundred larger caps were needed for the workshop Because of the three hour time allowance for the workshop, a n art process that did not re quire drying time was necessary so that pa rticipants could take their art work with them A dditionally, a primer and black paint needed to be applied and dried on to the larger caps prior to the day of the event so that participants could decorate them with oil pastels. Yarn was pre cut and used for connecting the m aterials. I wanted the final


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( -4 ( art product to be recyclable as well. If materials were connected with yarn without any gluing process es the final art piece could be disassembled for reuse or recycling The research for this project included observations of the participants of the event and a survey (see Appendix B ) filled out by the participants as an indicator of the achievement of the project. In t he second study I collected input from government agencies and art teachers. The second study occurred within a four week time span in which I gathered information within forty minute interview s consisting of nine questions. I interviewed a total of seven art educators and five government agents about the effectiveness of environmental sustainable practice s in the community and classroom. I submitted and received approval for the research from the Institutional Revie w Board (IRB) pro tocol for documentat ion of the community workshop and interviews (s ee Appendix C ). Participants' identities are protected thr ough the use of pseudonyms. T he workshop and interview insights along with continued resear ch informed my website resource. In addition, m y research focused on environmental education in the art classroom. I used a combination of research methods, including historical and philosophical in reviewing science and educational resources. According to authors Koroscik, J., & Kowalchuk (1997), historical inquiry involves collecting, evaluating, and interpreting dat a related to past events. For this project, I not only reviewed the historical connection of environmental education and art, I also collected information on current approaches to eco art education, sustainable classroom practices, and ecological contempo rary artists. Data Analysis Procedures During both studies, I gathered data by a method of action oriented research. Ac cording to May (1993), action oriented research is the study and enhancement of one's on practice.


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( -5 ( Action research is used to support democratic principles, giving a voice to the teachers in practice. The primary purpose of action research is to gain a better understanding of ones beliefs and practice and pay closer attention to what students say and do in class so as to understand what sense students are making of their learning. After collecting the interviews, images, and journal notes, the data was analyzed by looking for patterns, similarities, disparities, trends, and other relationships in interpreting their meaning. Findings Thi s section addresses t he findings and is divided into three sections. T he first section articulates my observations from a community workshop using a c ritically place based method of teaching. The second section compares and contrasts findings from governme nt agencies in the local community and teachers in the classroom setting. The t hird section highlights artists focused on ecology of place and a description of the website I created for disseminating the results of this project. Critical Place B ased Community Education My findings show that a critic al place based method of teaching promote s ecological awareness of the local community. During my academic studies, I enrolled in a sketchb ook course emphasizing a place based approach to learning. I was required to create sketchbook entries from observations of various places in the local community. This local investigation of the community informed me about the local ecology and resou rces promoting sustainability. Additionally, t his investigatio n led to my creation of the eco art project for a community workshop that I will later describe. The workshop created a unique opportunity to join several community entities, a local business, the university and the community at large. Within this diverse group, an opportunity was created to engage in a critical dialogue about recycling.


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( .6 ( Sustainable Community and Classroom Practices My findings revealed th at the local community I investigated strive s to implement sustainable practices; however, I discovered some ongoing issues that hinder the programs in place According to my research, t he issues lie in the process, functionallity community culture and informational resources As a case in point, t he findings revealed that t eachers a nd government agencies reported problems and suggestions in each of these cate gories. The next few paragraphs further discuss these findings. The local schools follow a single stream recycling system, meaning that all recy c lable materials are put into one bin to be separated by the city service. Within th is recycling process there are problems with purchasing and disposal of material. For example Melinda a teacher from local high school shared that her school promotes recyling, however the school purchases juice containers that are not recyc l able (personal communication, 2014) A lso t eachers were uncertain about how to dispose of materials such as plastic paint bottles. Several teachers were troubled about the one stream recycling program that their curre nt school promotes. Laura from a local high school turned her recycling container upside down so the students would no t throw food into the container (see Figure 1). She resorted to this tatic after experiencing a bug problem from the waste put into the recycling bin (personal communication, 2014) In addition Paul, a local county waste alternatives manager, reported that the single stream recycling system is the least effective method of collection of recycled g oods because the material inside can become contaminated with items that do not belong in the recycle bin, such as food waste (personal communication, 2014) Secondly, Paul reported that there are false claims about what is actually recycled. He stated t hat often contaminates enter t he single stream system that obstruct recycling capabilities however, processors claim that single stream contaminates are low to keep business


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( .( contracts in place. Functional dilemmas ranged from improper labeling of classroom recycle containers to lack of motivation from the students and community Sarah, a P rofess ional Health and Environmental C ommunicator and former community liason for the EPA from 2006 2013 reported that the public need s to be informed of the 3Rs, first reduce, second reuse, and thirdly recycle. I n addit ion she states, "communities need to be clearly informed of what is recyclable and what is not. The system needs to be kept simple and easy for people to u nderstand. Good signage is important" (personal communication, 2014) Her statement ali gned with a response from, Jose, Director of the Office of S ustainability at a local university He revealed that at the last football game 78% of waste was recycled inside the stadium, however, 50% of trash outside Fi gure 1. Upside down recycle bin


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( .. ( the stadium was recycled. He states, The problem is that people don't know what is recyc l able in our community (personal communication, 2014) In terviewees expressed the need for cultural change in the community. Jane, Executive D irector for a local county beautifying program involve s kids in cleanup so they become aware of proble ms trash causes to the environmen t; however sometimes this effort is di minished because of lack of family education (personal communication, 2014) She once observed a child picking up a can in an effort to recycle only to be told by a parent to throw the can down. Similarly, Jose suggested that a cultural change can be a dete rmining factor in the success of sust ainable practices. He states, If people take a message of one small be havior that they take forward, t he vast majority will adhere to the social norm" (personal communication, 2014) Furthermore, art teachers expressed a need for cultural change and reported that children get a lack of reinforcement from home My research showed that the teachers that are most successful at implementing sustainable practices within the classroom enlist parent volunteers to assist with the program but need additional resources (personal communication, 2014) One of the teachers, Karen, an elementary education teacher for a local charter school, successfully created a compost for her clas sroom with support from parents (personal communication, 2014) From my interviews, o ne hundred percent of the educators interviewed reported that information on env ironmental education is needed and that a website or community resource would be helpful. The teachers wanted to access a website that would contain li nks to art i s ts and lesson plans that would be child friendly and relatable to the student's lived world experiences Books or visual re minders would also be important to their teaching practice (personal communication, 2014)


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( ./ ( Artists Promoting Ecology I further focused my research on ecological contemporary artist s that critically examine places Accor d ing to Roland (2009), artists' work can serve as catalysts for encouraging students to come up with creative ways to recycle. The following section showcases several artist that are notable for making art for viewer conte mplation about human activities that are unharmonious to nature. T heir artworks promote care for our natural world through documentation and s ustainable art practices Artist, Chris Jordan uses photo graphic images to show how human behavior has an impact on the environment. The images in his work show the horrors of global mass consumerism, reminding us of the consequences of our unchecked actions He photographed the catastrophic effects of plastic pollution. His latest project "Midway: Message fr om the Gyre," ( s ee Figure 2 ) Jordan explores a remote cluster of islands more than 2000 mil es from the nearest continent. His photographs reveal nesting chicks that were fed lethal quantities of plastic by their parents, who mistake the floating trash for food as they forage over t he vast polluted Pacific Ocean (, 2011). Figure 2. Albatros s, victim of plastic ingestion Photo by Chris Jordan (, 2009)


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( .0 ( Similarly, Robert Adams (Art 21, 2014) documents the impact of human activity on the wilderness and open space. Adam's photographs capture the physical traces of human life such as garbage along a roadside, a clear cut for est, or half built house. Adams' photogra phs expose the belief that the w est repre sents an unlimited natural resource for human consumption. He specifically focuses on trees in the book "Turning Back which illustrates deforestation in the West a practice that Adams describes as "not just a matter of exhaustion of resources, I do think there is i nvolved an exhaustion of spirit" (Ar t 21 2012 Segment: Robert A dams in "ecology" ). He adds that if humans have not experienced the mystery of the tree they have m issed something in their life (Art 21, 2012). A nother artist, Nancy Judd, strives to cha nge the way people live on earth by showcasing sustainable fashion designs made from trash. Judd installs traveling exhibitions of the Recycle Runway Collection in locations such as museums, shopping malls, and airports. For example, a design, call ed Jellyfish Dress is made from plastic bags. The message is to put plastic in the recycling bin, not the ocean. El Anatsui, one of Africa's most influential contemporary artists, creates colorful and densely patterned work that is assembled from discarded liquor bottle caps. In contrast with previous artists mentioned in this paper, Anatsui uses discarded materials to promote environmental change, representing new life and hope. Anatsui describes destruction as a prerequisite for new growth. He gives a new life to objects that serve as an art piece to contemplate (Art 21 2012). Summary Across all Findings The main research question of this paper asked how to effectively intersect environmental education with art. The findings ar e an investigation of how place based education is an


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( .1 ( effective approach to teaching, what teachers and local agencies are experiencing in their efforts to promote sustainability and how artist s promote care for the environment In analyzing the project for the family day event at the Harn museum and interviews of community leaders and teachers, I found ambiguity exists in public perceptions of the process of recycling, function ality of existing programs, and resources promoting cultural awareness The local community that I investigated is making great effort to promote sustainable practices however communication about environment and sustainability could be improved. The differences in the findings were that each group ca me from a different per spective of practice: the consumer, government agent and educator. Discussion and Conclusion The goal of this research was to explore how to effectively introduce eco art education into the classroom to promote ecological stewardship The project and inte rviews were prompted from the recent reports about the environmental concerns specifically about overconsumption and waste combined with needing additional research in place base methodology that promotes ecological stewardship. The following will describe my interpretation of using a critically place based approach when combining environmentalism and art education. Discussion and Interpretation of Findings My resea rch shows that critically place based methods of teach ing bring a unique opp ortunity for combining eco literacy and art education. Acc ording to Lankford (1997), beca use of so many warnings about the environmental concerns, a numbing of the psyche may exist in order to cope with the frequency and horror of events. Not everyone can lobby C ongress, yet everyone can take a position of ecological stewardship that involves self awareness of our existence in and with the world (Lankford, 1997) Place base methods of teaching inform the


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( .2 ( participant s of matters in their local community in which th ey live so that they have an opportunity to contribute to a positive change. The museum project workshop was an example of using a 89:;:8<==>(?=<8@ A B(F@=?:IJ ( GI@(B@8G E@( O( :ID:P:DM<=C ( :EE@D: <;@=> ( B@8< E@(:IPG=P@D(:I( ;F@(?GCC:B:=:;>(GH( ?9GEG;:IJ(CMC;<:IN( 'F@(<9;(?9GQ@8;(B@88=:IJ(( 8GM=D(;(9@C@<98FO(: I;@9P:@K@@C(E@I;:GI@D(;F@(=<8S(GH(?<9@I;(:IPG=P@E@I;( ;F<; ( =@D( ;G(C;MD@I;(?@9P8=:IJ N(('F@( EMC@ME(?9GQ@8;((@IJ8=:IJ( ?9<8;:8@C ( ( s ee Figure 3 ). ( Additionally, my interview responses revealed that educators, municipalities, and individuals have similar needs and c ould benefit from collaborative communication about sustainable practices within the community The museum project workshop created an opportunity for collaborative communication, by joining several community entities ( s ee Figure 4 ) a local business, the university, and community at large


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( .3 ( Figure 3 Familie s working together creating art ( -./$%"( 0 1(23"(4$'"$4(+$%5,&%6($7.8"%'.,9(',$:"7,'6(;&+5;(<$'.7"'' ( &=7"%' 6(57:(49'";> (


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( .4 ( Significance, Implications, and Recommendations Twenty first century curriculum topics and projects should relate to an overarching theme connecting to an enduring idea that enhances the making of connections and understanding of concepts that prepare students for life in today's world Furthermore, t opics should involve "r eal life" issues problems, and skills that encourage active participation in meaningful activities ( S tewart, M., & Walker, S. 2005). Along with giving students an opportunity to make connections to real life issues, art can empower the individual psyche Anderson & Guyas (2012, p. 241) state that art can present complex matters in ways sensitive to the individual to promote understandings and show the possibilities for taking action. Eco art education provides an opportunity to explore community problems a nd initiate change. Within this context, I recommend that teachers use place based teaching str ategies because this method of teaching allows for an interchange of ideas in solving problems Additionally, I recommend that teachers use the classroom as a cr itically place based method in promoting a sustainable classroom Following the research of Kushins & Brisman (2005) teachers can use the physical space of their classroom to critically engage students in using sustainable art practices. Conclusion My discoveries during this project assisted in deciphering recommended strategies for introducing eco art education. An art pedagogy practice centered on continuing investigation of local places fulfills a missing component in conventional educational stan dardization practices In a critical pedagogy of place, art educators are able to foster ecological literacy by engaging the learner in art projects and dialogue about local community concerns, creating an opportunity to promote acti ons that contribute to the well being of human life Secondly, successfully implementing sustainable practices in the classroom require s community support, continued


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( .5 ( education about sustainable art materials, and systems for r ecycling. Thirdly, art curriculum connecting with eco artists can foster critical thought and empathy about environmental issues. Ultimately, I desire for educators to work together in creating art lessons that promote awareness of the beau ty of nature as well as address issues and concerns of the local p laces Additionally, I see eco art education as a way of greening the practice within the discipline by sharing information that will reduce production toxicity. I concur with Walker & Salt (2006 p. 147) who believe that a resilient world would place an emphasis on learning, experimentation, locally developed rules, and embracing change. I welcome teachers to share in the blog at greenartroom.wordpress .com to add further conv ersation about project ideas, sustainable practices and eco artists The results of my findings were made into a website resource at http:// art room promoting Eco Art E ducation, categorized into Sustainable P ractices, Eco literacy, Projects, Artists, Resource Links, and Blog. The links are housed within my personal website under Teaching Figure 5 Green Art Room Blog


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( /6 ( Figure 6 Green Art Room Website Page Figure 7 Green Art Room Website Community Events Page


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( /( References Anderson, T., & Guyas, A. S., (2012). Earth education, interbeing, and deep ecology. Studies in Art Education, 53 (3), 223 245. Retrieved from,uid&db=eft&AN=74538 006&site=ehost live Art 21 (2012). El Anatsui. Retrieved from anatsui Art 2 1 (2012). Segment: Robert A dams in "ecology". Retrieved from now/segment robert adams in ecology Blandy, D. E., & Hoffman, E. (1993). Toward an art education of place. Studies in Art Education, 35 (1), 22 33. doi :10.2307/1320835 C Tickell. (2011, October 12 ). What should be the top environmental priority for the next 40 years? (Education and population). Retrieved from env ironmental priority debate earthwatch Campaign For Recycling (2013). Plastic Litter Pollution. Retrieved from Capra, F. (2014). Center for Ecoliteracy. Teach. Ret rieved from (2009). Chris Jordan. Midway: Message from the Gyre. Retrieved by (2011). Chris Jordan. Midway: Message from the Gyre. Retrieved by Department of Public Works (201 4 ). Celebrate a plastic bag free county Retrieved from


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( /. ( Environmental Protection Agency, (2012). Retrieved from Graham, M. A. (2007). Art, ecology and art education: Locating art education in a critical place based pedagogy. Studies in Art Education, 48 (4 ) 375 391. Retrieved from stable/25475843 (2010). What is environmental art? Retrieved from (2010). A profusion of terms. Retrieved from Gruenewald (2003). The best of both worlds: A critical pedagogy of place. Educational Researcher 32 (4), 3 12. Harvey, Flona (2013). IPCC climate report: Human impact is unequivocal'. The Guardian. Retrieved from climate report un secretary general Inwood, H. (2008). Mapping eco art education. Canadian Review of Art Education, 35 (1). Retrieved from Art%20Educati on.html Kerry G. (2013) Top ten environmental concerns of the 21 st century. Retrieved from Ten Environmental Concerns of the 21st Century Krug D. (2003) Teaching art in the context of everyday life. Retrieved from http:// Krug D., & Siegenthaler J. (2006). Changing views about art and the earth. Retrieved from ging/index.php#intro


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( // ( Kushins, J., & Brisman, A. (2005). Learning from our learning spaces: A portrait of 695 park avenue. Art Education, 58 (1), 33 39. Retrieved from http:// Lankford, E. L. (1997). Ecological stewardship in art education. Art Education, 50 (6), 47 53. doi:10.2307/3193688 Lytle, C. (2013) Coastal Care, When the mermaids cry: The great plastic tide Retrieved by pollution/ May, W. (1993). "Teachers as researchers" or action research: what is it, and what good is it for art education? Studies in Art Education, 34 (2), 114 126. McFee, J. (1961). Preparation for art. Belmont, CA, Wadsworth. Natural Resources Defense Council, (20 14). Retrieved from ocean/ (2014) retrieved from Perry, M. (2014). Crayola, make your mark! Set up a marker recycling program. Retrieved from make your mark set up a marker recycling program (2014) R etrieved from &G=8=@O(9@DM8@O(9@MC@W( ?+3&&;(@%,' N(&@ ;9:@P@D(H9GE( F;;?VXXKKKND8=@ A 9@DM8@ A 9@MC@ A 89<:J A 9G=8=@N ?=8=:IJ(C>C;@EV(%(C8FGG=LC(JM:D@N ( &@;9: @ P@D(H9GE( F;;?VXXC8FGG=C9@8>8=@N?=8=:IJ A


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( /0 ( C>C;@E A JM:D@ A H:I<=N?DH Smith, G. (2002). Place based education: Learning to be where we are. Phi Delta Kappan 83 (8) 584 594 Stewart, M., & Walker, S. (2005). Making it count: Unit foundations. In M. Stewart & S. Walker, Rethinking c urriculum in art (pp. 32 33). Worcester, MA: Davis Publications. Taylor, P. G. (1997). It all started with the trash: Ta king steps toward sustainable art education. Art Education, 50 (2 ), 13 18. Retrieved from United States Environmental Protection Agency. (n.d.). Sustainabili ty. Retrieved from Walker, B & Salt, D. (2006). Resilience thinking Washington, DC, Island Press. Wallen, R. (2012). Ecological Art: A call for visionary intervention in a time of crisis. Leonardo, 45 (3), 234 242. Retrieved from


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( /1 ( Appendix A Workshop Announcement


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!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( /3 ( Appendix B Survey Questions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

!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( /4 ( 3N(( R".)%.K)%+5)#%"11% K"$?( T +$%G1"((#++*%)SD)#0)$G)=%@/05)%6)0$B%.K)%K0BK)(.E % % $ # $ ) $ $ ( $ & $ ( $ + $ + $ + $ ( 4N( OK)%?"2U(%)SD)#0)$G)%L"(%)$P+2"61)%"$?%)?'G".0+$"1Q % Y;9GIJ=>(():C(F@=?HM=((D<>N(,@<;(@`?@9:@I8@N(]:==( 8GE@(B<8SN( ( a@9>(I:8@(?@G?=@O(K@=8GE:IJO(89@<;:P@O(G9JN( (


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( /5 ( Appendix C Institutional Review Board Protocols (IRB)


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!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( 01 ( List of Figures and Captions Figure 1. U pside down recycling bin Figure 2 Albatross, victim of plastic ingestion Photo by : Chris Jordan -./$%"(A1( Families working together creating art ( \:JM9@(0N ( 'F@(EMC@ME(8M9<;G9O(MI:P@9C:;>(C;MD@I;CO(=G8<=(BMC:I@CC ( GKI@9C(C@=H ( \:JM9@(1N ( Green Art Room Blog ( \:JM9@(2N ( Green Art Room Website Page ( \:JM9@(3N ( Green Art Room Website Community Events Page ( ( (


!"# $ %&'(!)*"%'+#, ( 02 ( Author Biography I was born in and grew up in the Midwest region of the United States Many of my experiences growing up related to activities involving nature and in many ways became an inspiration for my studio work and teaching. Currently, I live and work in Gainesville, Florida. I am a graduate as sistant teacher in Art Education at the University of Florida. My research involves historical and contemporary educational perspectives, along with expertise in a variety of art media, specifically ceramics, drawing, and collage. In addition, my education in teaching focuses on developing art curriculum around enduring ideas that will connect students to real world experiences. Similarly, my studio practice reflects real world experiences. Most recently, my work explores the anthropocene, offering a spac e for thought about environmental concerns, sustainable art practice, and the human connection to nature. Additionally, my work represents a response to personal autobiography, location, and topography. Within this context, I explore textures on surfaces. Many times this involves investigations into unconvent ional techniques and materials.

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