2019 D-Eco Self theme was Trees. Monmouth University, AR 218 Sculpture 2 class collaborated with Aslan Youth Ministry for Discovering the Ecological Self, as well as on their own individual artworks. Monmouth University seniors Grace Roeder and Taylor Donovan volunteered their time to guide the science teachings, with support from Assistant Biology Professor Dr. Pedram Daneshgar. Students from Callas’ AR 218 Sculpture II course have helped mentor the Aslan youths on their artwork.
The sculpture students built an installation that was exhibited at Monmouth University’s art gallery along with other artwork from throughout the D-Eco-Self workshops. The installation, titled “Trees! Oxygen is important!” reminds us that humans and trees are connected.
Below, you can read their artist statement for a more detailed description of their exhibit:
Trees: Oxygen is Important! Artist Statement
This year, Sculpture II students collaborated with MU Science students, Aslan Youth Ministry, and other volunteers in, Discovering the Ecological Self, to learn more in depth about the topic of trees. Through weekly workshops, the MU Science and sculpture students presented fun lectures on specific aspects of trees that inspired multiple art projects and brought us closer to nature. These projects discussed how humans make symbolic meaning around trees and emphasized the impact that humans have on nature, specific to trees.
In response to their work with Aslan and the science collaborators, the sculpture students designed the installation, “Trees: Oxygen is Important!” There is a natural relationship that we, as humans, have with trees. We breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen whereas trees do the opposite. This installation emphasizes that connection, in which the students crafted an indoor canopy using fallen tree branches. From this canopy, hangs oxygen masks to remind visitors of the importance of trees to sustaining life. The artwork that accompanies the installation was made by the Aslan and sculpture II students.
Discovering the Ecological Self is a multi-institutional Social Practice art project designed by artist, Kimberly Callas, to foster environmental stewardship, create environmental leaders and Social Practice artists. Through researching and creating art from personally and culturally significant nature-based symbols, patterns, and images, we re-awaken our deep relationship with nature. As we explore this relationship, we discover new understandings of ourselves and our place in the universe. This project is made possible by Monmouth University and our funders, The Pollination Project and Urban Coast Institute.
For a full gallery of images and artwork from the entire 2019 D-Eco-Self Trees, click here.