Amy M Lambert
Unique course offerings designed to respond to faculty and student interests. Possible topics may include economic and environmental issues, air pollution, water quality, ecological restoration, global warming, or conservation biology.
AUTUMN 2009 - ECOLOGICAL RESTORATION, PUBLIC ART AND THE QUESTION OF FUNCTION What do ecological restoration and public art have in common? Both disciplines are models for thinking about questions of function. The primary objective in this course is to investigate the concept of function as it relates to ecological restoration and public art, with emphasis on invention, production, delivery and action. What are the goals and standards of public art and ecological restoration? How should we assess the effectiveness of art/restoration? Investigations into these questions will manifest in hands-on art and restoration field activities. In addition, subjects of ecological restoration and public art will be presented in lectures and readings using themes such as diversity, competition, translocation and disturbance. Themes such as these will be discussed from both a human and ecological perspective to better understand how landscape informs human identity and how humans have transformed landscape.
Student learning goals
Examine historical and contemporary approaches to public art and ecological restoration
Explore different approaches to public art that incorporate the natural environment (i.e., landscape-based art, environmental art, earthworks and ecological art)
Examine the links between the art-making process and ecological restoration process
Develop multiple tools to visually communicate using formal art concepts
Develop language and writing skills to effectively communicate about contemporary art and ecological restoration
Engage in a hands-on collaborative public art/ecological restoration project
General method of instruction
This course combines interactive lectures, readings and group discussion with labs that involve individual and small group projects. Each thematic module will culminate in a short writing and/or art assignment that demonstrates a synthesis of topics regarding public art and ecological restoration.
Prior coursework in ecology (BES 312) and/or the arts may be useful but is not required.
Class assignments and grading
Active engagement with course content via class discussions, group activities and journal/sketchbook entries is essential. Attendance is required for two field trips. Visitation to local public art and restoration sites will be necessary outside of class time.
Grades will be based on a combination of art and writing assignments. Short writing assignments include a public art review, photographic essay, scientific editorial, and research paper. Art assignments include a wide variety of mediums depending on student skill-level including drawing, painting, sculpture, performance and/or digital/video imagery. The course will culminate in the creation of a collaborative site-specific installation that supports principles of ecological restoration.