Over the past several years, I have been slowly eliminating single-use plastics from my daily life at work, and at home. The Plastic Free Eco Challenge is a particular challenge I eagerly embraced to reinforce and add to my current list of committed actions. I discovered it while visiting the Santa Fe College Zoo in Gainesville, FL. I also am taking this opportunity to reach out to family and friends to take some simple actions as well. (You can sign up to be on my team is you wish).
While I am increasingly eliminating single use plastics from my daily living practices, I have recently been focused on how to be more eco-friendly in my art-making materials and practices. This is one area I had not considered other than using glass containers for paints and scraps of old t-shirt fabric for brush cleaning rags.
For many years I had eliminated aerosol spray bottles from my daily life, especially in cleaning products. It wasn't until I started creating community murals along side other artists that I realized that many artists were using aerosol spray paints for their style of art, along with particulate respirator masks. I started thinking about this in terms of toxicity to the natural environment as well as physical toxicity to the artist and others around them who are breathing the paint dust in. Although Environmental Street Art has been on the scene for over a decade with many eco-friendly alternatives to using aerosol paints, I just don't see much of it in my own community.
That's when I started thinking about my own art materials and practices and am now committed to making changes to eliminate VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) paints in my work, and to explore alternative, eco-friendly materials, including tools made from natural materials. This means that I will need to experiment with making some of my own tools, and explore many resources. I am sure that there will be other art-making things that I haven't even thought about yet. But I am eager to take on this challenge and welcome any resource information and insights from others!
Once - a - month blog... hmmm. Hopefully, I will be able to post more often, but for now, as my dad says, "it is what it is, what it is."
I have been busy finishing up the school year while planning for summer activities and creating murals! Community murals with the Urban Revitalization Project (URP) have become my most recent passion and has jump started my energy and creative levels on many planes. I am inspired to advance this opportunity and learning experience to my high school students and have some working with me on murals this summer.
Here is one in progress:
A good day to start this blog.
On my way to work today, I stopped at Publix. It was a 7:15 am and as I got out of my car and started walking towards the store, I noticed two women, obviously from different walks of life, exchanging words about their chosen parking spots. One woman (A) was accusing the other (B) of parking in the handicapped space without qualifying for it, as she had no sign displayed in the front of her car. Woman A also pointed out that woman B took up the spot that she herself could have used since she did have a placard hanging in the front of her car to prove she was indeed handicapped.
As I passed by, woman B was explaining that she was qualified to be parked in the handicapped space; she had a handicapped license plate, which justified her position, even though woman A couldn't see it from where she was parked. She expanded on that by suggesting that one cannot make judgments about others' handicaps or disabilities simply by looking at their physical characteristics.
I noted that these two women were not really arguing with each other. They were not yelling angrily - just stating their position from across the length of two cars. However, as i went into the store I thought that this was just the beginning and that certainly it would end up being a screaming match.
I bought my one item and within a few minutes headed back to my car. Much to my wonderment, woman A had moved closer to woman B and they were both talking about their personal stories and handicaps in a congenial and conversational way.
As I unlocked my car, I turned back to the two women one last time and saw that they were hugging. ;)