Andy Goldsworthy (ashley, margarita ) Andy says he "works to understand
nature, to get to the heart of things"--he wants to understand how nature
works. The fact that we learn about the intimate details of nature from
his work is a fortunate side effect. Many other artists are working in ways
which "interpret" nature for us--I've written articles on the subject for
the environmental interpreters journals. Check some of the books on the
bibliography I sent out recently under "apologies" for more artist names
Recycled art: wonderful concept. I'll contact Jo Hanson, SF artist who has
been working with the landfill there for years, about what she does when
she brings school groups in. When I saw her last month, the back of her
van was full of "flowers" made from junk, for a recycled garden. However,
Please, please impress students that recycling is the last preference of
"REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE" and that reducing our consumption is much more
important than assuming as long as we are recycling we can still consume at
Dionne--recycled toys can be wonderful, most kids in developing
nations only have toys they make from scrounged trash. I saw wonderful
trucks in Kenya made from cereal boxes and bottle caps. One project in
Nairobi got street kids making mini bicycles and tricycles from scrounged
wire and selling them in the tourist market to feed themselves.
Water issues in the west: (dionne, diana, joanna) right on! water is a
major limiting factor on development and growth in the West, usless it gets
to be like oil and we are willing to go to war for it. We have a long way
to go on conservation. Think about having kids investigate how much water
native peoples of the southwest used daily compared to current usage.
Examine the "waste" in such things as private swim pools, golf courses,
mall water fountains. It strikes me as a great example of our living in
denial of our adopted "place", rather than becoming native. In sourthern
California, xeriscaping is mandatory on new landscaping, there are rebates
for homeowners purchasing low-flush toilets, etc. I wonder how far kids
could envision revising their lifestyles regarding water?
Endangered Species Mandala: beautiful lesson, wish I could see the
results! The way you are teaching the connections between habitat, animal
and plant species, as well as pointing out the impact which reduced them to
that status, makes so much sense and is such a hard lesson for us.
Oz issues (thanks Bob)--sounds depressingly familiar politically, doesn't
it? What do you perceive as the public attitude toward wildlife? Are
there preservation efforts going on? Is much ecology taught in the
schools? Do you know of any environmental or ecological artists?
Wildlife Habitat: great book just came across my desk--WILD SCHOOL SITES,
" A GUIDE TO PREPARING FOR HABITAT IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS ON SCHOOL GROUNDS"
from Project Wild, another variation on project learning tree (yes, Ron, it
does have some similar political problems). Published in 1993, may have
been updated by now. Check with your state wildlife department--they may
be able to send it to you free and have other handouts, as well as some
funding to help you get started. Of course, none of these people realize
art can be a part of these projects, because they havn't double clicked on
my info on the web page to get to the screen with all the
sculptures....Happy Halloween, all. The candles on my halloween luminarias
keep blowing out in the wind.