Students for Sustainability collaborates with the Earth Week Art Program

Earth Week, which runs from April 18-24, is approaching, and Students for Sustainable Development (SFS) and Professor Alexandra Robinson’s art class are working together to create an interactive sculpture installation that illustrates Earth Week. physical way. The installation will be on display on the Ragsdale Lawn from April 20-27.

Plans for the facility were initiated by SFS, which is expected to host a handful of Earth Week activities on campus. The main event they are planning is scheduled for April 22 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Ragsdale Lawn. SFS President Ethan Tobias said their plans for Earth Week have been in the works for a long time.

“We’ve been planning this for a while…we were seeing too many plastic bottles and other types of litter on campus, so we wanted to shed some light on the plastic litter that’s happening,” Tobias said.

After seeing a post on a St. Edward’s Arts and Humanities webpage last fall, Tobias knew he wanted SFS to collaborate with the arts program on an Earth Week project. After contacting the art program in mid-February, he moved on to logistics and project approval with campus landscapers.

With the help and organization of several departments, there are now collection bins in various locations on campus, including in front of Community Building 1, on the patio of Trustee Hall, and next to the dumpsters between St. Andre and Dujarie Hall apartments. At the time of Tobias’ interview with Hilltop Views, he said bins would also be added in the Hunt and Ragsdale dining areas. Trash cans are labeled with signs that read “plastic bottles only – students for sustainability”.

So far, more than 150 plastic bottles have been collected. According to Robinson, the art students in her installation class used that number of bottles to begin the planning stage of their process last week. This is her third time teaching the class, and she hopes the ‘material studies’ her students will do with plastic bottles in an outdoor setting will be a valuable learning opportunity.

“Installation art is immersive, and we’re always looking for opportunities for students to create their art in an environment beyond the classroom,” Robinson said.

However, she worries about working with plastic and wonders if the project would lead to more microplastics entering the environment.

“Handling plastic is a potentially problematic thing to do because of pollution, so it will be a good experience for students,” Robinson said. “It’s up to us to be more aware of what we’re doing. ‘Are they doing something beautiful, ugly or contemplative?’ This will be a valuable question for students to play with.

Kayleen C. Rice