Create Awareness of Ocean Pollution in the Arctic: Using Community Art as an Action for Change

Lead Author Mette, Gårdvik
Institution Contact Nord University, Campus Nesna, Norway 8700 Nesna, Norway
Co-Authors Karin Stoll, Assistant Professor, Department of Natural Science, Nord University, Campus Nesna, Norway Wenche Sørmo, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Natural Science, Nord University, Campus Nesna, Norway Herminia Din, Ph.D., Professor of Art Education, University of Alaska Anchorage, USA
Theme Theme 2: Vulnerability of Arctic Societies
Session Name 2.4 Art, Design, Media and the Arctic - Marginalization, Power and Manifestations for Change
Datetime Fri, Sep 16, 2016 11:30 AM - 11:45 AM
Presentation Type Oral
Abstract text The international community is becoming aware of the growing pollution of our oceans and beaches especially it is found in huge amounts in the Arctic costal area. In recent years, environmental organizations and associations have initiated beach cleanup campaigns with volunteers and school groups to clean up garbage and hazardous waste along the shorelines. National and international artists with backgrounds in echo-art, sustainable art and environmental art have created awareness about the problem with their artwork.

However, there are few activities where art education is used systematically and purposefully in lessons about the environment and sustainability. Community art can be an effective way addressing and exploring socially relevant environmental issues. Hicks & King (2007, 332-335) point out “Art education is well situated to address environmental problems that emerge at the point of contact between nature and social life.” Community art in an educational context can help students to raise their own awareness of real world problems and develop social responsibility and critical thinking skills. Art can contribute to increased awareness of these concerns especially given widespread interest in connections with the Arctic.

This presentation highlights several community art projects focusing on art and natural science both in Norway and Alaska. These experiences had provided participants a lasting foundation in art education and a positive impact in their understanding and shared responsibility for the environment. We believe that the experiences from these community art projects will give students and the entire community the knowledge of how they can meet and cope with current and future challenges while interacting with others and how they can live a sustainable life. The purpose of this session is to share these collaborative learning experiences from diverse disciplines in the context of practice sustainable and environmental art.
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