Defining Environmental Art

So what is environmental art? Listen here for a brief history and definition of environmental art.


Aviva Rahmani Interview

AVIVA TREESRahmani standing next a tree in her “Blued Trees Symphony”

Listen here for an interview with Aviva Rahmani, an ecological artist who is using her artwork and an untested interpretation of copyright law to challenge the expansion Spectra Energy’s Algonquin pipeline along the east coast.

Rahmani received her Ph.D, “Trigger Point Theory as Aesthetic Activism,” from Plymouth University, UK in 2015. Research for her Ph.D contributed to her current project, The Blued Trees Symphony (2015 – present), that has been installed and copyrighted in the path of natural gas pipelines across many miles of the American continent at multiple sites. It is an aspect of Gulf to Gulf (2009-present), a New York Film Academy sponsored project exploring how art might change climate change policy.

Aviva Rahmani calls her practice, “performing ecology.” She began her career as a performance artist in the late sixties as the director and founder of the American Ritual Theatre (1968-1971), which performed through out California. Her work has been exhibited and published internationally and she has produced over twenty one-hour raw Gulf to Gulf sessions which have been viewed online from eighty-five countries. “Trigger Points/ Tipping Points,” a precursor to Gulf to Gulf, premiered at the 2007 Venice Biennale. In 2009, Rahmani began presenting performance workshops on her theoretical approach to environmental restoration.

Isabella La Rocca Interview

fast foodPhotograph from La Rocca’s “Fast Food” photography series

Listen here for an interview with Isabella La Rocca, an artist, educator and activist that serves on the board of a collective of feminist environmental artists.

La Rocca is an artist, educator, and activist who works primarily with photography and motion pictures. Her work is part of a long tradition in art and photography: to bring to light and find beauty in the disregarded – hidden, unconscious, commonplace. She is also on the board of WEAD (Women Eco Art Dialog), a network of feminist eco-artists, educators, curators and writers that focuses on ecological and social justice art.

She received her B.A. in Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania and her M.F.A. in Photography from Indiana University.  Awards for her work include the Ferguson Grant from the Friends of Photography in San Francisco, CA for excellence and commitment to the field of photography.  Her photographs have been exhibited throughout the United States including a solo show at the Center for Photography in Woodstock, NY.  She currently teaches Multimedia Art at Berkeley City College in Berkeley, California, and Photography at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California.

Ome López Interview

13398383_1009840765718594_436679862_nFounders of Dulce UpFront

Listen here for an interview with DJ and activist Ome Quetzal López.

López holds a Bachelors in Social Work and is completing an MPA, with an emphasis in non-profit management. With a passion for social justice and cultural arts, López has created multiple projects including: the now defunct Imagine Change, an art-activism youth led coalition in Fresno; Trans.e.motion, an organization that serves to educate the public surrounding transgender issues utilizing the arts; and Let’s CHAT, a reproductive justice multimedia arts youth organizing project building youth power and resources in the Bay Area. López has 20 years of experience infusing the arts and event planning into social service and social change work. This also coincides with 16 years experience as a professional DJ.

López is also a co-founder of Dulce UpFront, a collective of professional artist-activists with strong roots in the San Joaquin Valley. Dulce UpFront produces multi-generational, multimedia arts & culture events. The collective also provides various workshops meant to motivate people to think critically on how they can infuse multimedia arts and culture into their personal and professional lives.

Katharine Owens Interview

OwensKatharine Owens

Listen here for an interview with Katharine Owens, a professor who brings the arts into her government and environmental studies classes, as well as her community, Middletown, Connecticut.

Owens is an Associate Professor in the department of Politics, Economics and International Studies and the Director of the All University Curriculum Program at the University of Hartford. She specializes in environmental policy research and in her spare time writes books and makes art exploring themes of environment degradation, climate change, extinction, technology and policy.

She is also a resident of Middletown, CT and a printmaker whose work examines the relationship between humans and the environment. Her work has been displayed in galleries across Connecticut and the US. Owens is an active member of the Middletown community, having hosted craftivism workshops to teach printmaking to community members at Green Street Arts Center in collaboration with NEAT, the North End Action Team.

Michel Droge Interview

sea sky“Sea Sky” from “Tiny Catastrophes: Considering the unseen climate change”
oil on panel 12″x12″ 2015

Listen here for an interview with Michel Droge to explore the intersections of environmental research, literature, art, poetry, science and music through her classes at the Maine College of Art and her own work.

Droge is a painter and printmaker whose work is research based and deals directly with climate change, Maine’s island communities and local conservation efforts. Droge has collaborated with the Island Institute, Gulf of Maine Research Institute and the Audubon Society.

Droge’s most recent work is inspired by sublime encounters in nature and environmental research, finding poetry and meaning in scientific and material realities – a post anthropocene imagined. Larger series of works are named after tomes that are musical, literary and poetic – thus invoking the importance of the influence of music, literature and poetry in Droge’s work.

Michel received a BA from Oberlin College and a MFA from Maine College of Art. Michel’s work has been included in solo and shared exhibitions across the country and world. Presently, Michel is a Visiting Professor at Maine College of Art and maintains a studio at the Bakery Studios in Portland, Maine.

Kate Weiner Interview

otr7cc540614ulki1xwuLoam Magazine, Spring 2015

Listen here for an interview with Kate Weiner, the founder and creative director of Loam, an environmental arts magazine.

Loam is published both online and in print and celebrates the work of people and projects making waves in the environmental movement. From interviews with radical permaculture gardeners to essays on closed-loop cooking, the magazine is intended to be a collaborative space for cultivating sustainability practices.

Kate Weiner is an environmental journalist, food writer, and farm-to-table event coordinator. As a recipient of the 2015 Brower Youth Award, Weiner has traveled across the country speaking on joy-driven activism and sustainable living. Her work has been published in Food52, Remedy Quarterly, Earth Island Journal, Chickpea, and The Man Repeller, and she has been featured on I Am That Girl.

Sam Bower Interview

SamSam Bower

Listen here for an interview with Sam Bower, the Executive Director of the Green Museum, an online museum of environmental art.

The volunteer-run website was also meant to be an educational resource for environmental art and a community space with an active events calendar. The online museum was intended to turn a traditional museum model inside out by making environmental art more accessible, with a smaller ecological footprint and minimal overhead. While the site is now dormant, Bower and the other members are still very active in the environmental movement.

Bower is also an artist, educator, public speaker, curator, and consultant. Sam created environmental art for eight years as part of the San Francisco Bay Area collaborative art group Meadowsweet Dairy. He helped found Cellspace, a nonprofit community art space in San Francisco, and co-directed Crucible Steel Gallery. He has served on the board and as an advisor to various nonprofits and art projects.