Art, Action & Sustainability

Apr 16, 2016 | Blog


What is on your drafting table?

“Art has a unique capacity to engage and inspire us to action.”

These words not only express one of my own foundational beliefs, they also express the convictions of Fran Dubrowski. Forty years as an environmental lawyer and educator, she has directed many pioneering projects implementing strategies for sustainability. She is the director of Honoring the Future, their mission statement:

“to harness the power of art to educate, empower and engage the public on climate change.”

We had the pleasure of meeting recently. I was inspired. Art as a voice, sustainability the conversation.

Women of Action

Fran Dubrowski and Honoring the Future will be presenting a Sustainability Award this year in conjunction with The Smithsonian Craft Show 2016. The award is in recognition of an artist whose work “educates the public about climate change or inspires models of a sustainable response to climate change.” According to Fran, the award serves three purposes:

  • Showcases pioneering artists
  • Challenges us to rethink consumer choices
  • Invites craft show visitors to discuss sustainability with creative artists

The Sustainability Award will be presented through a partnership with Honoring the Future and The Smithsonian Women’s Committee. The Smithsonian Women’s Committee produces the craft show annually to generate funds for education, outreach and research. They serve nineteen museums and galleries, nine research facilities, twenty libraries and the National Zoo.

As a fan of those who take action to better the world for all beings, thank you for your collaboration.

Mindfulness and Sustainability

We can see that our Earth is suffering. Overuse and innumerable destructive practices have compounded over time. I once again reflect on my moment-to-moment choices, the small acts that make up a day. I am reminded of the power and practice of mindfulness in all areas of life. From sourcing our food in support of sustainable and earth friendly practices to the mode we use to get about. Do we need a car? Do we need to take the car? Use that much water? Have those lights on? When we say, “throw it away”, where is away?

Do we know if our local government supports sustainability practices? Organizations and events we are involved with? Do our schools and our businesses?  Can we encourage more action?

I often ask myself how I can reduce my negative impact on the environment. How can my life and my work express my beliefs? What do my choices say about my relationship with the world and those with whom I share its resources?  What is my consciousness around sustainability in support of a healthy planet?

As a general practice I like small efficient spaces, keeping my environmental footprint low. More and more of my food is sourced from sustainable farming practices. I find recycling, repurposing and reusing a creative and inspiring choice. I even traded my full size pickup for a small hatchback and I am exploring the use of flex fuel. I aspire to own a Tesla. In my studio, I have moved away from the use of harsh chemicals and I operate as energy efficiently as possible. Recently, I have begun to covet old rusty things and scraps of wood, imagining the inspiring story these reclaimed pieces will one day tell. I continue to raise my awareness and welcome conversations that inspire new action. .

There is a collective impact from our choices. Small acts add up to big things. Choices about how we will impact our environment come up everyday. Present and aware, what choices will we make?

Please visit Goldenstein Gallery to talk with other artists about their sustainability choices.


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