What Is Eco-Art? Can It Inspire Change?
What is Eco-Art? Eco is Greek for home; and art…well, you know what art is. When you put the two words together, the definition according to eco-art.org is:
“Artwork created by an artist concerned with the state of our environment.”
Ways artists create eco-art:
- Artists interpret nature, creating artworks to inform us about nature and its processes, or about environmental problems we face.
- Artists interact with environmental forces, creating artworks affected or powered by wind, water, lightning, even earthquakes.
- Artists re-envision our relationship to nature, proposing through their work new ways for us to co-exist with our environment.
- Artists reclaim and remediate damaged environments, restoring nature in artistic and often aesthetic way.
Moving beyond environmental advocacy and creating social action, Candy Chang, a public installation artist, designer, and urban planner who likes to make cities more comfortable for people, decided to give her damaged New Orleans city a gift. She created a community eco-art project.
“I wanted to make my neighborhood nicer, and Before I Die transforms neglected spaces into constructive ones where we can learn the hopes and aspirations of the people around us.”
Chang turned one side of an abandoned house into a giant chalkboard. She provides a space for people to share their hopes, dreams and aspirations by asking the residents of her neighborhood what they want to do before they die. Once the wall is filled, Chang washes the board and starts with a clean slate again. All responses are documented and some will be included in a book. What started out as an out-of-pocket project now is funded by Black Rock Arts Foundation.
There are so many reasons to love an artist that gives back to her community. I believe eco-art has the power to inspire people. How about you? Have you experienced or created eco-art?