Ecological issues often integrate artistic thought. To the artist, it may
be difficult to see how art could possibly emerge in a world of
microscopes, numbers, and categorized data. However, anyone with the
opportunity to observe a science lab would recognize the importance of art
images in the scientific world. In order to record the world around us,
the scientist will always revert to the pencil and paper in order to
record an image of a specimen or biochemical mechanism. Yes, even amid
the world of high-tech tools, the drawn image is still a necessity.
Pickerington Elementary allows students to become scientists as they
investigate their artistic tallents. Exploration is an essential component
of ecological studies. However, exploration is taken to a different level
within the art setting. Students are encouraged to record, through poetry
and paint, the various wonders of the outdoor setting.
What interests me about the Pickerington project is the variety of ways in
which art can be applied to outdoors projects... projects involving the
everyday. I was glad to see that they began ecological lessons with their
own backyard. It seems that many students become more preoccupied with
popularized issues which are far removed (i.e. rainforests) never
experiencing the outdoors firsthand. It is much more
practical to bring everyday surroundings into the ecological spectrum.
Students are able to learn scientifically and artistically, exploring the
world of data gathering and analyzation while projecting feelings and
concerns into artisic expression. They are able to gather facts while
unlocking feelings. It's a very interesting combination that rarely comes
to life. In addition to their own reactions, they determine the ways in
which environment effects the community as a whole.
I was hoping to see more international involvement in this project. They
speak of an international exchange of tiles with artists from various
countries... yet the only country is France. I believe it would be
enlightening to students to share with artist from a variety of locations.
Ecological issues and concerns are are universal, and they would provide
for good discussion while enlightening the student to cultural
differences. In this way, the students are still centering studies on
thier own environment, concentrating on communicating their concerns,
while learing about other global issues. They could even expand their art
projects to a global level, creating from what they have learned from
their experience and the imput of other artists and students.
Perhaps an interesting way to motivate other cultures into ecological
awareness is through our own example, and children may become more
enthusedwhen they see that their efforts are reaching other people. In
addition, we could also benefit from the imput of other more conscious