Art & Ecology: Youth is a free program during the fall semester that is open to high school sophomores, juniors and seniors in the central Ohio area. Students will learn how artists, scientists, and activists are working to protect our natural environment by meeting and interviewing practicing artists and by visiting environmental research and service sites around central Ohio. Students’ research will culminate in final art projects that will be exhibited at the Wexner Center in December 2019.
The course is free to those admitted and comes with transportation assistance, free books, and supplies. Class is held once per week at the Wexner Center at OSU or off-site at field trip locations. Regular computer access is essential for students of this course as much of the work is completed online. Students must secure parental and teacher approval for school building absence on class days. High school course credit is arranged with individual school systems through the State of Ohio’s Flex Credit policy.
Hear from students who have taken the course:
Wow. This class has taught me more about environmental issues than I could have ever expected. I think the biggest thing I am taking away from this class is an awareness of these issues and how even though they are terrifying and extensive, there is a huge community of people who are looking for change. In the future I will be more inclined to stay informed about these problems and excited to do my part for this world. –2015 (youth) student
I feel that this class has given me more understanding and appreciation of contemporary art. Before I took this class, I was basically only familiar with the typical, traditional art forms like drawing, painting and sculpture, but now that I’ve met some “outside-the-box” types of artists like Basia Irland and Fallen Fruit, I’ll be more likely to think outside the box, too. -2015 (youth) student
I am very interested in majoring in environmental science now because of this course. I didn’t realize how broad the field was and I definetly had the opportunity in this class to see a variety of jobs that have to do with the environment and art and that was very exciting. -2015 (youth) student
This course helped me discover the truth about the world. I learned to understand the reasons why the world is changing. I didn’t expect to feel differently about life after this course. -2014 (youth) student
I think after taking this class I am more aware of how artists can create art that is a social commentary on what is going on in the world. -2015 (youth) student
Shelly (the teacher) was organized, fun, proactive, and excited to meet every week with us. I felt very comfortable to speak up in the class if I had anything to say or ask and Shelly was very knowledgeable and understanding. -2015 (youth) student
The program set in motion a passion that kept the students responsible and self-motivated. They were connected to resources, information and support that they would not be getting in a more traditional classroom setting. -2015 sponsoring teacher
The big takeaways involved skills: learning how to complete a large project, dealing with scope creep, developing the flexibility to change direction/plans, etc. I feel certain that the experience will affect her in ways we cannot predict, but seeing how she responded to the opening and the public reaction and having to talk about and explain her project was invaluable and also provided skill practice. Bravo! -2014 sponsoring teacher
[This course] gave [my daughter] a valuable life experience and makes her a better citizen. -2014 parent
This was an incredible opportunity. It wasn’t for everyone, given the amount of self-direction needed, but it was great. And the self-direction needed provided an excellent representation of life after school and a way to practice important skills. It also aligns with the strengths teens have at this age toward social consciousness and action. -2014 sponsoring teacher
Thank you all at the Wexner Center for everything you did to provide these students with an informative, enlightening learning experience this semester. -2014 sponsoring teacher
Art & Ecology is presented with major support from American Electric Power.
Teacher and school programs are also presented with support from Ingram-White Castle Foundation, Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, Ohio Arts Council, Puffin Foundation West, Ltd., and the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation.
Art & Ecology and other free and low-cost programs are presented with support from Huntington Bank and Cardinal Health Foundation.
The Wexner Center receives general operating support from the Greater Columbus Arts Council, the Ohio Arts Council, The Columbus Foundation, and Nationwide Foundation. Generous support is also provided by the Corporate Annual Fund of the Wexner Center Foundation and Wexner Center members.