Botany & Art and Their Roles in Conservation
Smithsonian in Your Classroom is produced by the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies. Teachers may duplicate the materials for educational purposes. The material was produced by the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies.
NEA Sustainable Art Studio & Garden Workshops—May 22 & 23, 2012
On May 22 and 23 2012, Burlington County College’s (BCC) Natural and Environmental Sciences Program (N.E.S.P.) will continue the Art in the Environment project with student participants of the outdoor Sustainable Art Studio and garden on the BCC Pemberton campus. The studio was designed and installed by New York City-based artist Simon Draper, with the goal of creating a functional art studio space made with recycled materials. The effort is part of a larger campaign at BCC to promote green technology and sustainable design on campus. The student workshop will include a tour and discussion of the studio, participation in a guided three-dimensional design project that utilizes natural materials, and conclude with a lesson on sustainability and native landscapes by Pinelands naturalist Toni Price.
The featured artist, Simon Draper, was born in Wales and currently resides in Cold Spring, New York. The reuse of materials and objects has been a recurring theme in Draper’s work. Recently, he has started to incorporate older artwork and other artist’s creations into his own. He believes his shed pieces embody more lyrical ideas and allow people the opportunity to dream. Draper studied at the Bath Academy of Art in Wiltshire, England and also at the Cooper Union in New York. He has exhibited his works in numerous solo and group exhibitions including Meditation, Dedication, and Prayer at Van Brunt Gallery in Beacon, New York and Six American Artists at Anna Carnadona Gallery in Alba, Italy.
Toni Price has been a resident of the Pine Barrens in Tabernacle, NJ since 1996. Price’s Busy Bee Farm was created in 2006 with the addition of a greenhouse in 2007. The focal crops are pesticide-free lavender, herbs, and native plants. The farm is also home to 25 beehives. The Busy Bee Farm has recently been certified for Jersey Fresh, which means that all of the high standards of the program have been met by the farm's products. The farm has also been awarded several grants from the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) towards reinforcing environmentally sound practices that include the creation of a Pollinator Habitat, Forest Stewardship, and Organic Certification.
During their visit to the outdoor Sustainable Art Studio and garden on the BCC Pemberton campus students will:
- Tour the art studio and discuss why the artist, Simon Draper, felt it was important to use recycled materials for his project.
- Explain how a sustainable alternative energy source such as solar power can be used to maintain the art gallery and the sculptures in the garden.
- Use the area around the art studio as inspiration to create an art piece using a “solar bot.”
- Work in teams to construct a solar water fountain in the garden using clay flower pots.
- Journal their feelings about using green technology to create a sustainable design for the garden at Burlington County College.
- Recognize the importance of using native plants for creating an outdoor habitat in the community.
- Research Simon Draper’s philosophy for building the 6x6 studio sheds.
- Explore how solar energy is captured to produce energy for many different uses.
- Research the Busy Bee Farm and pollinators in the garden.
- Create a schoolyard garden using native plants to attract pollinators.
- Build a garden sculpture using recycled materials and solar energy.
- Write a Haiku poem about something you learned from your experience.
NEA Gallery Tour - March 27 & 28, 2012
On March 27 and 28, 2012, Burlington County College’s Natural and Environmental Sciences Program (N.E.S.P.) and the Student Art Gallery in Mount Holly are hosting a project called Art in the Environment. Local high school students from the Pemberton Township School district have been invited to participate in the program, which is sponsored by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts Foundation. Our goal is to expose students to a local art gallery, provide instruction on both traditional and contemporary modes of art and promote knowledge of sustainability and environmental awareness in their communities. The art show will present the work of two prominent artists – a botanical illustrator and landscape painter.
Botanical prints have a twofold purpose. They are a synthesis of art and science. With such a wide diversity of plant species, many still undiscovered and unnamed, it is vital to have a complete documentation of plant life as it has appeared in history. Scientists generally recognize the idea that plants hold the secret to powerful medicines that will be used to control or cure many of today's diseases and illnesses.
Landscape paintings also pique our interest by representing a variety of habitats throughout regions of the world and our cultural relationship to nature. Documenting landscapes through paintings reveal things in our ever-changing natural world, such as the adaptations animals make to survive in their environment, and educates us about the changes taking place due to global warming.
Art Gallery Tour Goals:
During their visit to the art gallery students will:
1. Observe botanical prints and landscape paintings to discover the relationship of art and science in an artistic composition.
2. Evaluate the paintings and discuss the scientific similarities and differences between botanical prints and landscape paintings.
3. Create a sketch, with instruction from an art teacher, to illustrate a particular botanical or landscape.
4. Exhibit an environmental awareness about indigenous plants and landscapes in their community.
5. Support the importance of sustainable community landscapes by promoting the use of native plants through educating members of the their neighborhood
1. Identify and make a list of native plants in your community. Note the Latin name and the genus it belongs to.
2. Draw a map of open spaces in your community, for example parks, playgrounds, hiking trails, and bike paths. Indicate in the open spaces the predominant type of plants growing there (trees – such as oak trees, pine trees and shrubs – such as mountain laurel, ink berry, etc.).
3. (Continue from Activity #2) If there are a lot of invasive, non-native plant species in the open space, organize a clean-up day to rid the area of these plants; then plant new native ones.
1. Research the climate zone we live in and how it relates to the species of plants growing there.
2. Make a list of birds and mammals you see in your neighborhood. Research what their diet consists of and recognize why they are able to survive in your community.