In response to today’s unprecedented environmental challenges, the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) and the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) are sponsoring three local artists to create public art that encourages green behavior in Montgomery County. Jackie Hoysted, Kirsty Little, and Joanne Miller will develop engaging temporary artworks that heighten awareness of today’s climate crisis, promote an environmental ethic, and spark citizen action!
The goals of this initiative are to:
- Demonstrate the impact of our actions on the environment
- Educate the community about the county’s ambitious goals for greenhouse gas reduction and zero emissions. Click to learn more.
- Encourage community members to internalize an environmental ethic
- Embolden residents and business to take action and reduce their carbon footprint
- Catalyze productive partnerships between artists and community-based organizations
Each artist is collaborating with a non-profit or public entity to present their work in a publicly-accessible space. These partnerships are designed to strengthen relationships between artists and community-based organizations, as well as demonstrate community support for this initiative.
TIMELINE & LOCATIONS
The current timeframe for activation, installation and closing for all three projects is May – June 2020. Check back later for more specific dates, times and locations.
*Please note that these concepts are subject to change*
Jackie’s vision is to develop a public participatory art project that would culminate in an outdoor public event at the Silver Spring Town Centre. This will be a unique, night-time interactive art installation where the public is invited to “light up” a fungi-inspired garden in unison with their own heartbeats. The garden will be comprised of flower sculptures that are handmade from mycelium – the vegetative part of fungi – and other recycled materials such as soda cans and plastic bottles. Each sculpture will be lit with LEDs, creating a carpet lighting up the Silver Spring plaza. My goal is to create a symbiotic event by mirroring the essential symbiotic relationship fungi performs with the plant-life around it and to convey the message that by understanding mutually beneficial relationships we can take action to combat climate change. When we all work together we can create beautiful things.
Audiences who come across an artwork, engage, and discover the meaning behind it, have experienced a level of interaction that is likely to inspire change. Artist Kirsty Little plans to collect 220lbs of thermoplastic and with it, build a freestanding sculpture that brings attention to the 220lbs of non-recyclable single-use plastic Americans use per person, per year. To create this piece, Kirsty is partnering with Chevy Chase Elementary School to collect plastic materials and assist in the making process. She will also provide presentations educating students on the negative impact of single-use plastic to spark behavioral changes at home. Once completed, Kirsty is collaborating with VisArts, a non-profit organization that transforms individuals and communities through visual art, to display the final sculpture during the “Every Day is Earth Day” campaign at Rockville Town Square. “Every Day is Earth Day” is a partnership between VisArts and the City of Rockville to bring artists into Rockville Town Square, Rockville Parks and community centers for a year of upcycling and reuse activities with the public.
Artist, photographer Joanne Miller takes her audience on a journey to see the beauty of how nature works, the impact of human actions, changes needed to reach a carbon-neutral environment, and opportunity for creative and personal commitment to being part of the solution. For this public arts project, Joanne is partnering with Identity, the managing agency at the Wheaton High School Wellness Center to include Wheaton High School students in the creative process. Photographs, recycled materials, collage and reflective surfaces tell a visual story highlighting nature’s cycles, processes, systems and the impact of human created environmental challenges. Displayed on the wall or exhibited on free-standing art panels, this participatory engagement installation asks audiences to “Hold up a Mirror”, challenge their values and actions, spurring them to make a commitment to positive environmental actions. “Hold Up a Mirror” will travel throughout Montgomery County.
RESOURCES FOR CURRENT INITIATIVE PARTICIPANTS