There’s a land artist local to greenmuseum.org, Zach Pine, who gave us the heads up about a nature sculpture workshop he did awhile ago with some children from the Ursula Sherman Village in Berkeley, California. We do a lot of writing about the glory of eco-art and artists, and it was fun to read more about art in nature as a kind of playtime.
Pine led the children to a nearby creek for three early-evening workshops. They played and discovered and made their own artworks using materials onsite. The resulting pieces ranged from makeshift huts to circling grass-snakes. Afterwards, Pine presented the children with photos of their time by the creek.
“My Primary goal for the project was to connect the children with the natural environment through education, exploration, and art making. I also sought to provide opportunities for creative expression and to deepen the connections among the children, staff and parents through personal and collective action in nature. I wanted the children to not just feel more comfortable being in nature, but also to feel firsthand its ability to inspire and to bring people together in community. I also wanted to stimulate the children to care about nature and to inspire them to act on behalf of the environment throughout their lives,” writes Pine.
In modern urban environments, where the classic Calvin-and-Hobbes-tromping-through-the-wilderness childhood can be easily swallowed by concrete jungle, it’s great to learn about projects encouraging kids to play outside with nature.