Yearly Archives: 2009

Call for Seminal Presentation Proposals: PROJECT EARTH-TO-ART


THE KUMASI SYMPOSIUM: Tapping Local Resources for Sustainable Education Through Art

Department of General Arts & Art Education, College of Arts and Social Sciences

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana

July 31-August 14, 2009

A call is made for contributions addressing one or more of the symposium strands and topics: Art Education Practice, Studio Practice, Curatorial/Museum/Community Arts Practice, Art History/Criticism, Arts Administration/Management/Marketing Practice, and Open Session. The symposium entails plenary sessions and support activities such as demonstrations/workshops, exhibitions, and site-specific tours of local national resources. Expression of interest and proposals for Plenary Sessions and Exhibitions/Practical Workshops will be reviews until January 17, 2009. We expect about 200 participants from around the world. The working language of the conference will be English. Applications for individual paper presentation and participation will be reviewed until the space is filled. All abstracts and brief biographies should be submitted electronically to

The symposium is organized as collaboration between African Community of Arts Educators AfriCOAE and KNUST’s Department of General Arts & Art Education. As a follow-up to AfriCOAE’s Project Earth to Art: Tapping Local Natural Resources for Sustainable Art Education Development at Accra. The two-week symposium July 31-August 14, 2009 will deal with the issue of sustainability in the 21st century to enable visual arts education developments in Ghana and perhaps similar settings. Owing to the challenges of transition from the postcolonial stance and to many others, best practices and resourceful programs often fail to roll out nationwide and to be sustained. The following questions will therefore guide the dialogues: Is sustainability of art teaching and learning developments in the postcolonial African environment possible? Can the postcolonial Ghanaian environment and non-Western others today provide adapt resources for sustainable artistic practice? If so, how can the resources best be tapped for education through art in Anglophone Ghana and other Modernist African settings?

Tapping Local Natural Resources for Sustainable Art

Education Development

PROJECT EARTH-TO-ART is an experimental eco-pedagogy project for application in art education in the Anglophone, Lusophone and Francophone African settings. The project addresses problems of shortages of adequately trained school art teachers, costs and reliance on imported art materials, and collaborations with stakeholders of the public and private schools in creating desirable human capital for teaching and learning in art. The idea is to bring together a cohort of art educators for a two-week workshop in Ghana in summer 2008.

The workshop will entail formal discussions and mini-lab tours of regional sites to explore for ecological materials and test their effectiveness in art making. Upon return to their place of teaching, the participants will work with their students to likewise explore, identity, collect, and design art materials from the local environment and test them by art making. In the following year, the cohort will reconvene to share the results of the art laboratory and engaged in papermaking workshop using local-ecological materials. A driving concept of the project is that art materials come from one’s own environment; we reason that in the traditional African setting, the art materials come from the local environment; tools come from the community, and conceptual basis from the human condition. The focus is Ghana, in hope that the results would disperse into other parts of Africa and elsewhere.


R Beau Lotto: the mathematical impossibility of vision

As part of Radical Nature, The RSA Arts & Ecology Centre hosted this extraordinary talk Seeing Myself See: the ecology of vision by neuroscientist R Beau Lotto. It was half-illusionist show, half evolutionary science. Look out for the wonderful experiments with the vision of bees towards the end.

More information:

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

Non-Toxic Eco-Art Roundup


Since it’s recently been made public that supposedly “inert” ingredients of pesticides like Roundup are not, in fact, not so very intert, we thought we’d celebrate (hem hem) with a short overview of detoxifying eco-art events.

You might have seen the buzz for it, but the LAND/ART symposium just passed.  We were forced to miss it this year, but there are some riveting descriptions on the Smudge Studio Blog. Especially check out CLUI’s Bus Tour of New Mexico’s Superlative Ground-Sky Resonances. The title is super-intellectual: the journey is all about enchantment and the atomic bomb. Feeling detoxified yet?

Fellow eco-art blogger Abigail Doan altered us to the presence of Aviva Rahmani’s new booklet: What the World Needs is a Good Housekeeper. we just got it in the mail. It’s a small, bound overview of the Rahmani’s process, detailing some of her artistic work in collaboration with restoration ecologists, scientists and architects.  An instructional pamphlet, if you will. A quote: “The value of an artist’s eye is to see relationships that might otherwise be missed.”

Lastly: they are always having fun in the Netherlands. The image above is from Yang Zhichao’ s Planting Grass, currently featured in an exhibition called  Foodprint at Stroom in The Hague. Featuring works by Fritz Haeg, Agnes Denes, and Atelier Van Lieshout,  it examines our relationship with food and landscape. The artworks are paired with a timeline that parellels advances in industrial food production with the development of European and American art. Very mentally refreshing.

Go to the Green Museum

George Orwell: “all art is propaganda”

There are several curators who have been making the running in laying out the territory of arts’ response to environmental issues, from Max Andrews and Mariana Cánepa Luna of the excellent Latitudes to Maja and Reuben Fowkes of  There’s a good wide-ranging interview with Maja and Ruben Fowkes in …

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

More Malibu Beach Safaris

Just in from the LA Urban Rangers mailing list: More Malibu Beach Safaris this summer. I wrote about going on one of these safaris last year, and highly recommend it.

Here’s the info:


The Los Angeles Urban Rangers announce:


Tired of Zuma and Surfrider? Want to find and use the other beaches in Malibu–The twenty miles that are lined with private development? These safaris show you how to find, park, walk, picnic, and sunbathe on a Malibu beach legally and safely. Each safari visits two different beaches. Skills-enhancing activities include sign watching, trailblazing the public-private boundary, a no-kill hunt for accessways, and a public easement potluck.

We are offering three safaris in east Malibu:

SUN Aug 2, 11:00am-2:30pm
SUN Aug 16, 9:00am-12:30pm
SAT Aug 22, 3:00pm-6:30pm

Safaris are free. Spaces are limited. To sign up, e-mail w/name, # of people, and preferred date.

A downloadable “Malibu Public Beaches” guide is available at

Hope to see you at the beach!
Los Angeles Urban Rangers


Go to Eco Art Blog

Art from Above and Within: Daniel Dancer

Art is magical. And when it focus on engaging people’s connection to nature, it becomes even more so. Daniel Dancer is one of my favorite artists working this way. He assembles youth into football sized representations of local flora and fauna.  Check his work out and get him to come to your school – and don’t be surprised when the local media show up! Photo below is taken from a hot air ballon of students on a field.

Go to Eco-Catalysts

APInews: Seattle Celebrates Urban Creeks, Watersheds

Scores of Seattleites have been crocheting for months to create artist Mandy Greer’s “Mater Matrix Mother and Medium,” a 200-foot fiber “river” among the trees at Camp Long. Greerr installs the piece this week at Polliwog Pond. It’s part of a spring and summer of temporary public artworks, performances and films commissioned by the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs “to celebrate the splendor of Seattle’s urban creeks” and encourage stewardship of essential watersheds. They include “Waterlines,” a performance in Volunteer Park where Stokley Towles traces the city’s water flow through interviews with city utility employees; a large, biodegradable water tower at the Bitter Lake Reservoir by John Grade; artists’ new short films on the work of Seattle Public Utilities; and a residency on the Fremont Bridge, plus a neighborhood art project, by Kristen Ramirez.

via APInews: Seattle Celebrates Urban Creeks, Watersheds.

Artists giving up flying is “self-righteous silliness”

The final poem in Dialogue between the body and the soul cycle by Melanie Challenger and John Kinsella is published today on the RSA Arts & Ecology Centre website. Alongside it there’s a web page of responses by other artists, writers and critics to the question of whether flying is …

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

Hey World (Don’t Give Up)

Need a dose of inspiration when the sustainability going gets tough? Try listening to this musical video by Michael Franti, Hey World.

It is a call to roll up your sleeves, to shake off apathy: “I didn’t come here to chill, I came here to rock … You got to let go of the remote control.” Watch an inspiring music video about civic participation, set to the backdrop of Jamaican reggae rhythms of Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare.

Go to Eco-Catalysts