Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

A Mother’s Day Tribute To Mother Nature In Aesthetic Language


Artists and students work together to install art works to transform pine tree plantation for promoting native species and to highlight environment related issues.

Dailycsr.com – 17 May 2018 – On May 9, 2018, the students of “Interlochen Arts Academy” came together with two artists from California, namely Daniel McCormick and Mary O’Brien, to unveil “two large art installations” that were made in the campus of Interlochen’s pine plantation. The said campus is situated in Northern Michigan.
The subject of the art installations dealt with ecology as a reply to the “environmental issues” faced by various communities. The two artists, McCormick and O’Brien, collaborated in this project and worked alongside the students as well as the teachers all through an academic year under the syllabus for “visual artists and math/science students”. The said curriculums were named “The Art of Ecology” and “The Ecology of Art”.
The students got to learn from an “aesthetic” perspective the “critical environmental issues” coming right from the artists as they tackled with “desired characteristics of a healthy forest versus the monoculture of a tree plantation”. The “Michigan Council for the Arts & Cultural Affairs and Wilsonart”, the latter being a “manufacturer of engineered surfaces”, sponsored the project.
Interlochen annually celebrates spring with its faculty and students’ body and attempts to “raise awareness of sustainability and environmental issues”. This year, during the spring celebration of Interlochen, held “right before Mother’s Day”, Mother Earth was honoured whereby turning the focus on “Phase One of an ambitious reforestation project” which involves the task of transforming the “10-acre red pine plantation forest” of Interlochen. In the words of Interlochen’s director of visual arts, Mindy Ronayne:
“This was one of the largest collaborations we have ever done. Johnson Hunt, our visual arts instructor, led the charge, working with foresters, loggers, land management specialists, biology experts, scientists, teachers from both our art and ecology departments and guest artists as we began the process of thinning the forest. It was an experience the students will never forget.”
While, the “Director of R.B. Annis Math & Science Division” at Interlochen, Mary Ellen Newport noted:
“The students not only learned about biodiversity and the critical importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems but also how to express complicated issues through art. Experiencing the forest firsthand, helped the students understand the role art can play in raising awareness of actions needed.”  
Moreover, the Wilsonart’s marketing communications manager, Tammy Weadock stated:
“The Interlochen partnership is an important component of Understanding Wood: Sourcing Against the Grain. This is an educational initiative we created to raise awareness among architects and designers about endangered woods, protected forests and alternative materials. At Interlochen, we are reaching the next generation of young artists and designers. Their voices can play an enormous role in changing public attitudes and encouraging action on these important issues.”
The art-piece created by McCormick and O’Brien is a two hundred foot sculpture in the form of a hyperbola standing at the “entrance of the tree plantation” and is called “Sky Opening” after its curative purpose in the field of “environmental work”. The said sculpture is “made with the tightly-planted plantation trees”, whereby the design helps in the “reforestation processes”, and serves as “portal to the further restoration of the pine plantation”.
Moving further into the plantation, one would notice the students’ art pieces, as trees were cut around the area to introduce native species. The area is around “90 feet by 70 feet area”, wherein students made “benches and signage” from cut out lumber. While Wilsonart also added:
“They (students) also fashioned plaques out of wood to help with wayfinding and explain the history of the project for the benefit of future visitors. The celebration also included performances and displays representing several arts divisions from Interlochen students. Phase Two of the forest transformation commences at Interlochen in the fall of 2018 when students return for the next school year”.