Fine Arts Extend the Influence of Environmental Educational Efforts

S. Elwynn Taylor, Faculty, Agronomy Department

Situation: 

Economic impacts associated with weather and energy production have escalated during the past decade.  With the increasingly significant impact has come a substantial broadening of population interested in obtaining a functional understanding of the relationships of the environment with energy production and consumption.  Traditional educational programs do not fully meet the needs of the expanded interest base.  

 
Objective: 

Instill a cultural awareness of environmental aspects that govern life and economic sustainability through the fine art media including music, poetry, and drawing.

Activities/Output:

A collaborative effort involving the departments of Agronomy and Geological and Atmospheric Sciences and the office of University Museums was established.  Initial efforts to involve revered artists resulted in an ISU Weather and Art Workshop that resulted in the enrolment of ten academic collaborators and ten professional artists and farmers.  Artists were commissioned to create works related to the effort objective in association with academic and professional collaborators serving resource.  The project resulted in a major museum exhibition and series of fine arts seminars and activities.  The programs and displays were supported by traditional media exposure and a public website: http://www.museums.iastate.edu/Tests/obsessed.htm  The artistic effort was curatorial direction of Renee Thomason Senter and the educational efforts were organized by the director of University Museums.

Impact/Outcomes:

The collaborative effort resulted in a lasting (tangible) contribution of environmental emphasis in the art and art appreciation community.  Additionally, seminars, tours, and social events attracted as substantial segment of the population that would otherwise not be fully sensitive to the importance of environmental and natural resources in our society. 

July 2007
160 Natural Resources and Stewardship

Page last updated: August 2, 2007
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