This is my story
I am helping students and the community to discover and appreciate art and nature in ways that one would not ordinarily think of.
Last fall, I introduced a group of freshmen non-artists to the style of British sculptor and environmentalist Andy Goldsworthy, who makes art installations from natural objects and then photographs them as they disappear back into nature. The students were then sent to the Park River on campus to find, and later identify in the library, suitable natural elements. Each student proceeded to make three works of art, documented with photos (some of the works were quite creative as you can see).
This coming academic year, I am organizing an eco-arts festival that will help the region celebrate its local waterways through the arts. The 12-month program of exhibitions, conferences, films, and ecological projects will begin here at the University on Monday with the new "Our Campus, Our Planet" initiative. As part of this one-day environmental-awareness program, I will take a group of just-arrived new students down to the river, where they, too, will be introduced to Goldsworthy's artistic principles and encouraged to turn elements of nature into their own artistic creations.
I am running a Humanities Center seminar this year under the topic, Ecological Perspectives. A group of 14 honors students will take this course over both semesters. Additional plans for the year ahead include a winter conference focusing on the Park River that flows through campus and an eco-themed public lecture series during the spring.