Once Upon A Time In Egypt?
Desert Siren -- Part 1
The Art of Sidney Sime
Guilt and the Artist
Making Green Art & Staying Healthy
EMG news for June 2008
Making Green Art & Staying HealthyHealthy Green Artists
by Janet Chui
Well, folks, this is my 30th column for Healthy Green Artists, and my mind is still boggling at that number (even if I only just calculated it!). I've always enjoyed researching topics of health and safety, and being able to pass on the information that's essential for us artists has been (and will continue to be) a happy endeavor! That said, Healthy Green Artists is taking a rest.
When I first set out, I had a list of all the topics, materials and ideas I could think of to cover for this column. Over two years, I gleefully tackled all of them... sometimes even having to stop myself from venturing into environmental and health topics not related to art at all--such are the dangers of having a soapbox! But the opportunity has been wonderful--Mahatma Gandhi said, "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." While I completely agree, I could add something else... it's when the results of what you do are in harmony with what you believe as well.
I think all artists have the gift of being able to see other, better worlds. We imagine them, believe in them, and we create them on our canvases. At the same time, we can (and probably should) create them outside our chosen media as well. And it's a pretty simple and direct thing to do to be kinder to ourselves and to the earth.
Over the last two and a half years, environmental awareness has grown leaps and bounds in (almost) all places of the world and in all industries. "Eco-friendly" and "green" are now words and marketing tools used by many companies, when before they were just labels that appealed to a perceived small market of tree-hugging hippies. Climate change or global warming is a concept that needs no introduction now. And hordes of intelligent people all over the world are now drawing the clear connections between the wellbeing of the planet and our own health; many are realizing that the pollution in our environment greatly affects our own bodies and those of our loved ones, causing new illnesses, developmental disorders, fertility problems, and cancers at increasing and alarming rates. Rampant consumerism, ignorance (willful or innocent), and irresponsible corporate behavior, left unchecked, will leave an increasingly taxed and toxic planet for future generations. Unsafe and untested chemicals are already in the bloodstreams of every one of us, and some of these chemicals may be reacting in the atmosphere or in our bodies in ways that have not been studied... and this is the result of decades of putting greed or convenience over caution.
Artists are both consumers and producers. We are in a unique and privileged position, and every time I think upon this, I am encouraged by the knowledge of we can do. I've tried to share many of those ways with readers of this column! No matter what kind of art we do, we should be rewarding environmentally and socially responsible companies, and be producing and selling art with safer materials and techniques. We can be educated and in turn educate, and that is just becoming easier and easier with growing environmental awareness.
We can just plain do anything that is in harmony with what we think and believe in. (So long as it isn't evil!) It only takes awareness, a healthy curiosity, good information, careful thought, and a willingness to do things better. Every little bit counts. I hope you've found this column helpful and inspiring.
Stay healthy and happy!
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