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Earth Day

Updated: Nov 25, 2023

The annual celebration of Earth Day on April 22 offers us a chance to come together and celebrate our planet while raising awareness of the environmental issues we face. The New School in New York City honored the day presenting the creative works of 20 young artists and activists passionate about the environment and sustainability.

The Earth Day Art Show held at the elegant Wollman Hall brought together a diverse range of artists who shared their unique perspectives and concerns about the environment. Some works aimed primarily to capture the beauty and vulnerability of nature, e.g. Self Portrait Mask by Marikit Mayeno or On Respect installation by Hansi Zhu.

But the show was not only celebrating the planet we call home. It was also a call to action to protect it. Basia Nikonorow’s children’s book 17 Trees, to Be Precise, published just two weeks before the event, showed dramatic effects of communal action that helped to counter urban decay and to transform one Manhattan corner into a mini garden. In the installation Roots of Regeneration Saina Siri proposes the innovative use of mushrooms as the constructive element in architectural design.

Throughout the almost day-long event, visitors had the opportunity to engage with the artists and learn more about their creative processes and objectives. The diversity of the works presented, the ongoing activities and conversations contributed to the overall festive atmosphere of the event. Visitors were inspired to take steps towards a more sustainable future. Whether through recycling, reducing single-use plastics, or supporting local conservation efforts, there are many ways individuals can make a difference and help protect our planet for generations to come.

What’s especially worth noting is the fact that the Earth Day Art Show, the first of this kind at the New School, was organized by the students themselves, thanks to cooperation of two groups: Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and Climate Justice Club (CJC). It’s lovely to witness the success of such initiative and positive engagement. Thank you for a huge dose of good vibes and hope.

I am pleasantly surprised by how all 20 artists’ artwork came together. The show was more beautiful than I could’ve imagined and I’m so proud of all of us. I’m so grateful to BIPOC Earth and CJC.

Marikit Mayeno (president of the Climate Justice Club)

1. Kendal Mitchell, Untitled, photography.

2. Kendal Mitchell, Untitled, photography.

3. Basia Nikonorow, 17 Trees, to Be Precise book presentation.

4. Basia Nikonorow: “The Anthropocene requires a mass mobilization of people who care and are confident to step forward. This children's book seeks to nurture that way of thinking at an early age, and to offer caregivers tools for action, too."

5. Hansi Zhu, On Respect, installation.

6. Hansi Zhu, Into the Beautiful Unattainable, acrylic, oil, chicken wire, aluminum wire, glitter on canvas.

7. Samhita Ramji, The Inevitable Death of My Mother.

8. Samhita Ramji: “I call myself a guerrilla artist, with my own definition of it being: one who reacts to world issues and creates interventions through any medium of art. I work with any materials I can get my hands on, especially found materials or ones which would otherwise end up in landfills or waste objects from everyday product usage, such as toilet paper rolls, deadstock fabric, etc.”

9. Marikit Mayeno, Self Portrait Mask, plaster and leaves collected in the forests.

10. Ann Gui, Nurture Nature, Heal Community.

11. Ashley Fletcher's preview clip from Find Me in the Mirror film, which will be released on 05.19.23.

12. Some props and accessories used in the Find Me in the Mirror film.

13. Saina Siri, Roots of Regeneration installation.

14. Saina Siri: “Green architecture has been gaining traction recently, and I wanted to create something that incorporated mycelium, a type of fungus, in a new and unique way. That's how I carne up with the idea of the dodecahedron vase, which is made entirely from dried mycelium fibers. Mycelium is a versatile material that's both durable and waterproof, making it an excellent choice for sustainable building. Through this project, I hope to better understand the potential of mycelium, including its use as a compost that can help sustain plant life.”

15. Ori Chen on piano.

16. Succulents.

17. High five with Narwhal.

Photographs by Piotr Szulc & Olga Szulc

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