Teaching EcoArt  

Annotated EcoArt Reading List

Sample Syllabus

Miami-Dade Community College Residency

Miami, Florida

(Click images for larger view)

Under my guidance, Honors Art Appreciation students at Miami-Dade Community College, downtown Wolfson campus, created art that merged ecological ethics and science in order to convey possible solutions to some of the pressing issues of our time.

Ecological art incorporates Earth sciences, such as biology, geology and botany, and the ethics that will guide us toward more Earth-friendly behavior and sustainability. At the Brittle Star Garden, for example, this art encompassed organic gardening using recycled tires and an old sailboat as raised beds, sculpture that feeds and shelters migrating birds, and a unique kind of nature walk that gets you on your knees looking at tiny insects.

The ecological art class was a three credit, six week intensive consisting of a range of readings from Vandana Shiva's Development, Ecology, and Women to Andrea M. Couture's Art For Earth's Sake. Fieldtrips to Matheson Hammock Park and Miami's Super Fund landfill site introduced students to some of the ways our cultural developments interface with wild places. In class the students examined their wasteful habits and made lifestyle adjustments and, in several cases, changed majors to better focus on our environmental crisis.

This class was part of the Environmental Fellowship, sponsored by the Environmental Ethics Institute and the Wolfson Honors Program. The Institute examines nutrition, lifestyle, cultural belief systems, the kinds of education we receive from our schools and how all this impacts our planet.

Here is a sample syllabus prepared for the Miami-Dade Community College Eco Urban Program. Downtown Miami is densely populated and paved to the waterfront. A tiny, fenced lot next to the campus highrise supports a weedy area segmented by a huge cement form representing a brittle star. In a year or so, this open space will disappear beneath the foundation of a new campus structure. This "Brittle Star Garden" was the main site for our ecoart focus.

home | interpretive panels | art gallery | wild | teaching ecoart | artist's bios | contact | newsletter archives | blog | links | birdfeeder hat

all text & images © 2008 erica fielder studio | website design studio-z