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“If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.”
– Eleonora Duse

Discovering the Ecological Self

Welcome to the social practice art project Discovering the Ecological Self (D-Eco-Self). Led by artist and Monmouth University assistant professor Kimberly Callas, this collaborative project focuses on a personal connection to nature cultivated through workshops and volunteer work.

D-Eco-Self is reliant on partnerships between artists, college students, faculty, community non-profits, and volunteers. Current collaborators include Aslan Youth Ministry, faculty and students from the Science Department at Monmouth University, Callas’ Sculpture II classes, Monmouth University’s Artist for Change club members, and local environmental volunteers. D-Eco-Self leads workshops and residencies with universities, non-profits, and communities in New Jersey, Maine, Nebraska, California, and Spain.

Callas has recently become the Urban Coast Institute Artist-in-Residence. During this two-year residency, D-Eco-Self workshops will focus on symbols and research around the theme OCEAN.

Featured in the Huffington Post, this project is funded in part by The Pollination Project and an Urban Coast Institute Grant. Professor Callas also received a Service-Learning Faculty Fellowship through Monmouth University for this project.

Get Involved:
Start with the Eco-Self Survey! Discover images and symbols in nature that are significant to you and start digging deeper into your own ecological self. You can also volunteer or sign up for a D-Eco-Self Workshop.

Further Reading:
Visit our About page. There, you will find a video, detailed description of the project, read about the basics of Social Practice, learn about the artist and collaborators, and more.

Recent Blog Posts

The Veins of Mother Earth

At the beginning of my semester-long internship, we spent a lot of time looking at various nature symbols and really digging into their meaning, especially in terms of culture, religion, and science. One of the very first symbols I chose to look into was the river. I have no immediate connection to any particular river, […]

D-Eco-Self Ocean Project 2021

2021 D-Eco Self theme was ocean & symbols. This year the Monmouth University, AR 218 Sculpture II class had a difficult time with finding a safe way to collaborate due to Covid-19. Monmouth University seniors Ashley Mapelli, Emily Burney, & Gianna D’Ambrose spent some time throughout the semester researching symbols and thinking of a safe […]

CAA – ARTexchange 2021

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to afflict the world and keep in-person events to a minimum, we at D-Eco-Self managed to squeeze in a workshop earlier this year. In February, Kimberly Callas, along with three students (myself, Ashley Mappeli, and Emily Burney) led a workshop in the 2021 College Art Association Conference, which was a […]

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