Environmental Art

This year, Western Reserve Academy started a brand-new art course called environmental art. The new art class is offered as a half year (half credit) course to sophomores, juniors, seniors, and PGs here at WRA. In this class, students use natural materials to create their own “art” anywhere around the campus. From leaves to rocks, from flowers to branches– everything that comes from nature can be used as unique material to create art in this class. The canvas which the art would be upon is the whole campus. From the hockey pond to the football field, from the front of Seymour to the back of Ells– all the outside spaces are good places to start an art project. Some goals that students might want to achieve in this course include decorating nature, communicating with nature, and just having some fun with classmates in various surroundings on campus. There are a total of ten students in the first semester of environmental art. The class started with just five people, but the class size has grown as more people coming in.

The class started off its first class with everyone going to the hockey pond, then besides Ellsworth. Once students get used to working on their own on campus, they have the freedom to choose what and where they want to work. There are already many pieces of work created by the environmental art class students throughout our campus. There is a tree in front of Seymour that is wrapped with yarn, and there is an abstract figure made with sticks and branches by the hockey pond. The colorful yarn and the creative structure of the sticks made the campus a more lively and bright place. You might have seen some signs that say “Is this art” around the campus, which indicates that it is a piece of artwork made by the students of environmental art. However, outside spaces are not the only place for the students to work on their projects. The students create their artwork inside the art room in KFAC as well.

There is a lot of “canvas” that is available to paint landscapes and to decorate the patterns of nature throughout the campus. Next time when you see the sign of environmental art class on campus, make sure you look at it and enjoy the beauty of nature!

-Danielle Liu ’22

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