By JOHN TILTON
Students across Franklin County joined last week for a common cause: saving the world through art.
Organized by local artist and 350.org volunteer Jill Bromberg, students created works of art that raise awareness about global warming that are now on display in downtown Greenfield and at Greenfield Community College. The pieces range from computer animation to paintings.
The group 350.org is a grass-roots environmental activist group, known for raising awareness about global warming around the world.
“Unfortunately, the students are inheriting the problems that past generations have caused,” said Bromberg. “So they need to be aware of the importance of the earth and the environment.”
Students from the Greenfield Center School, Great Falls Middle School, Gill-Montague Elementary schools, Greenfield Middle School and Greenfield High School all participated. At the Great Falls Middle School, art teacher and student council adviser Katie Eichorn had her seventh-grade students create sculptures using limited materials. Each student was provided with the same amount of scrap cardboard and only a few arm lengths of tape.
“They were really surprised by how many different sculptures they made out of the same materials,” said Eichorn. “We were hoping to get the point across that you don’t need special materials to create art. You can create art from anything around the house.”
After a healthy coat of paint, the art came to life, displaying abstract concepts of what the world means to the students, scenes of recycling and the sudden inspirations that strike the mind of a 12-yea r-old.
“Students have it in their heads that art is only for artists,” said Eichorn, “but you can make great art from humble materials.”
At the Greenfield Center School, sixth-grade teacher Chris Sanborn challenged his students to visualize what was special to them in nature and what could threaten that in the next 100 years.
“This project was right up their alley,” said Sanborn. “In a lot of ways they are intellectuals, and these projects have layers that allow the students to choose their own medium to express themselves.”
With free range to choose their own medium of expression, the students produced an array of sculptures, paintings and computer graphics on the common theme of saving the environment.
“I think it is neat that their generation has grown up with this and has such a high awareness,” said Sanborn. “My hope is that with that awareness will come opportunities for them to shift the issue s around them — whether they are environmental, political or social.”
Bromberg said she hopes this becomes an annual project that the schools work into their curriculum and counts the first year of the project as a success.
“(Global warming) is a moral issue and not a political one,” said Bromberg. “It is past the point of questioning and it is very important that it is addressed before the problem is irreversible.”
You can reach John Tilton at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-772-0261 ext. 264
Local artist and 350.org volunteer Jill Bromberg poses with artwork made by area children that’s on display in the Main Street windows of Wilson’s Department Store on Main Street in Greenfield. The students’ works of art, using any medium they wished, were meant to raise awareness about global warming.
Recorder/ Peter MacDonaldCopyright © 2011 Greenfield Recorder 10/05/2011