We ran our third successful Wild Art program this year, and finally wrapped up the final piece (mural installation) early last week! This 2020 program was such a labor of love, and a true lesson in perseverance, as our in-person programming with the students was JUST approaching completion as the coronavirus pandemic hit Los Angeles. We are immensely pleased to share with you now that this program has wrapped up, and show off our latest collaboration with some very creative and talented elementary school students!
By combining visual arts skills with sustainability and wildlife education, Wild Art provides young artists with a platform to creatively express themselves, connect to nature in L.A and to take an active role in their community. By providing students with a comprehensive introduction to local wildlife and conservation issues, this unique program is the first step in helping form engaged, creative citizens and stewards of the environment.
The 4th graders at Eucalyptus Elementary School began working with artist mentors, Julio Muñoz to learn artistic skills such as color theory, composition and still life drawing. They also received education from wildlife expert and biologist Miguel Ordeñana of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, who taught students about the vast array of wildlife living in Los Angeles, and how their actions can help protect it. The students then combined these lessons by creating their own wildlife-inspired artwork on a sustainable substrate – a canvas made of fused plastic bags. These student-made canvases recycled nearly 2,000 plastic bags, thereby keeping these harmful plastics out of the local environment/landfills. Additionally, each student artwork is an homage to one of four threatened local species; the Steelhead trout, the Monarch butterfly, the Peregrine falcon and the Mountain Lion – conservation in action!
We would like to extend a hearty “thank-you” to the 4th-grade teachers, staff, and administration at Eucalyptus Elementary School. We deeply appreciate your patience, cooperation, and dedication to seeing this project to completion in the midst of a very challenging year! This program was funded in part by the California Arts Council and the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture.
The video below was made for the 5th graders at Eucalyptus Elementary School in Hawthorne, CA who participated in our 2020 Wild Art program last spring. We completed the in-school portion of the program right before the coronavirus pandemic began and as of the publication of this post, these students aren’t back on campus yet. Nonetheless, we just finished installing a mural featuring their work in the school cafeteria – with nearly 200 animals made from over 2,000 recycled plastic bags! Since we can’t meet in person due to COVID 19, the program’s teaching artists put this video together to remind students of lessons from Wild Art and show them how much their hard work paid off! We hope these young artists can be back in school and see their lovely work installed on campus very soon!