Art Students Partner with Long Island Explorium to Present “A Visual Dialogue on Environmental Issues” |
Students of the Stony Brook Department of Art visual arts program recently partnered with Long Island Explorium to host a curated digital art exhibit. “A visual dialogue on environmental issues. “ A collaboration between Lecturer Qin Han’s “Digital Art: Print” (ARS 325) and “Introduction to Digital Art” (ARS 225) Courses and the Long Island Explorium, the exhibition focuses on balancing the needs of the local community that are fueled with artistic insights into environmental justice. It is supported by the New York Museum Association (MANY) and “Building Capacity, Creating Sustainability, Growing Accessibility”, a funding project of the IMLS CARES Act, which aims to help museums affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to share their collections and to reach an audience that their museums cannot physically can visit.
This exhibition was curated with the aim of not only showing impressive and powerful visual messages, but also engaging a broad audience and opening doors to social, economic and ecological justice. It demonstrates a view that artists and curators can successfully depict, analyze, and stimulate discourse about environmental challenges that affect our most vulnerable citizens and communities.
Han said the idea came from a brainstorming session with Angeline Judex, executive director of Long Island Explorium, about a research-based project on environmental justice that would help educate local museum audiences. She shared the idea of working with her students and asked them to choose and develop a theme provided by the museum. After three weeks of research and criticism drafts, each student built a picture that advocated one of the topics of environmental justice.
“Real-life projects are undoubtedly valuable to students and can help me develop new teaching models that examine art from different perspectives – environmental, economic and psychological,” Han said. “Inviting outside sources to discuss how art affects these areas is essential to exploratory art practices as well as the potential for tangible social impact.”
The project promoted innovative multidisciplinary artistic explorations by individual artists, expressing how art and new media can propose solutions to environmental problems and create alternatives that support sustainability and climate justice, and encourage collaboration and sharing of ideas.
Students from various disciplines at the university were involved in the project, including:
- Kristin Cimmerer ’22, mechanical engineering; “Disposable”
- Ivan Vuong ’24, Creative Writing; “Under the Carpet”
- Pei Xin Jiang ’24, Business Administration; Untitled
- Kristen Reese ’22, studio art; postcard
“The Long Island Explorium was chosen because of our persistence in the face of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic and our commitment to STEM and the communities of Long Island and New York,” said Lisa Collet Rodriguez, director, digital media / marketing, Long Island Explorium. “We are excited to partner with Qin Han of Stony Brook University and the student artists who have spent time researching, analyzing, and then visualizing some of the environmental issues that affect communities in need in Long Island and beyond. One of the first goals of the program is to support and successfully respond to one of the greatest challenges of the pandemic: how to reach an audience that cannot visit the Long Island Explorium in person. The pandemic has given Explorium an opportunity to rethink our methods of program delivery and engage our online audiences through meaningful content on a much larger scale, while advocating and encouraging positive action. ”
“The opportunity to work with the Long Island Explorium and raise awareness on environmental issues was an amazing experience,” said Cimmerer. “I am incredibly happy to be part of such an impressive exhibition.”
“I am grateful that my work was selected for this exhibition,” said Reese. “I think it is important that my classmates’ work and my work be shared and disseminated in the community. Even though it’s an online exhibit, you’ll still get glimpses of powerful works of art and spend time thinking about the environment. It is a pleasure to work with the Long Island Explorium. “