With increased environmental awareness has come a renewed appreciation for what can be created from the wreckage of our consumer culture, namely a bevy of inspired art works. Anyone with even the slightest creative inclination knows that relics of our past that may have been deemed dumpster-worthy actually serve as a perfect foil for artistic inspiration. Old cassette and VCR tapes are now the ideal canvas for paintings a la Brian Dettmer, harvested consumer plastic objects can become fluid sculptural arrangements along the lines of what reclamation artist Sayaka Kajita Ganz creates and if you prefer to tap into pure simplicity, you can just enhance the beauty of Mother Nature’s fallen leaves as Canadian painter Brian Hunter has done.
The Natural Resources Defense Council — a non-profit organization founded back in 1970 with the sole mission of protecting our planet’s valuable resources through far-reaching sustainability programs — is clearly aware of the grassroots revival of environmental art. In conjunction with their 40th anniversary, they’ve just launched a new Environmental Art Contest that encourages creative individuals to submit Flickr images of a total of six of their completely original eco-related mixed media, drawings, paintings or prints which reflect originality/innovation, use of materials/technique and being able to convey the fragility and threat that our planet faces in a manner that still celebrates the earth’s natural beauty. Unfortunately, sculptures, conceptual/performance art, videos and photography are not accepted at this time. The deadline for entries is April 6 and finalists will be announced (fittingly enough) on Earth Day, April 22, 2010.
What’s in it for the winning eco-artiste? How ‘bout an art exhibit showcase at New York City’s very own Nabi Gallery later this year following an initial celebration in June at the very same gallery with you as the main headliner? For those who are very serious about breaking into the arts, this could be a fantastic feather in your cap to add to your resume as well as an opportunity to gain excellent exposure in one of the most notable cultural meccas in our world. In the meantime, if you’re curious to see what kind of competition you’re up against, why not take a gander at the Natural Resources Defense Council art entries that have been submitted so far. Chop, chop – time is a wastin’!