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Good for You: Ecoart Project comes to Martin County
The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties has awarded a $60,000 grant to the Arts Council for the Eco-art Project, which will launch on April 2. Pictured here are Nancy Turrell, executive director of the Arts Council, Inc., Osvaldo Monzon, chair of the Arts Council Court House Cultural Center Committee and Mary Jo Aagerstoun, founder/president of the South Florida Environmental Art Project Inc.
MARTIN COUNTY —
A cutting edge approach to addressing environmental problems using the creativity of the arts will launch in Martin County this spring, thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties to The Arts Council in Stuart.
The Eco-art project is a collaboration between The Arts Council and the South Florida Environmental Art Project, Inc. The project will launch on April 2 with a one-day symposium showcasing three highly successful Eco-Art projects, which will also be broadcast online at greenmuseum.org.
A film series of short films and videos on the environment and eco-art will also take place. The exhibition will feature documentation of several environmental performance art pieces from New York City gallery Exit Art’s 2007 show “EPA” (Environmental Performance Art) as well as the work of renowned Florida-resident Ecoartist Xavier Cortada. Cortada’s contribution will include both an installation of red mangrove propagules and videos of his groundbreaking “Reclamation Project.”
According to the Mangrove Action Project, mangrove forests are among the most threatened habitats in the world. This grant presents an innovative project that responds to environmental concerns in an artistic and educational manner. The project brings together community members on a common issue, by gaining participation from the city to reforest mangroves along the waterway and from community volunteers to assist in reseeding.
Project volunteers will visit public and retail spaces with mangrove seedlings in hand, asking that they exhibit the seedlings. In the fall, volunteers will plant these seedlings in coastal areas, reclaiming them for nature. The reforestation and volunteer effort will be implemented in partnership with the Ocean Research and Conservation Association (ORCA). An artist workshop and an apprentice program for South Florida resident professional artists who wish to explore ecoart as a new creative direction will be scheduled following the exhibit.
“The grant from the Community Foundation will help The Arts Council and our partners position the Treasure Coast as a center for ecoart,” said Nancy Turrell, executive director of the Arts Council, Inc.
“This grant will facilitate an extraordinary yet most natural marriage of two powerful forces in our community: the artistic and the environmental,” said Osvaldo Monzon, chair of the Arts Council Court House Cultural Center Committee and deputy director of the Elliott Museum. “The Treasure Coast will have the opportunity to become a national leader in an art practice that is at the forefront of the promotion of environmental stewardship and cultural understanding.”
The $60,000 Ecoart Project grant is among the more than $1.2 million in grants distributed this month to 21 nonprofit organizations serving a wide range of needs in Palm Beach and Martin counties. Funding of the Ecoart Project was made possible through contributions from the Fox Fund, the Mosaic Fund, the Dreyfoos Fund, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fund and the General Unrestricted Fund of the Community Foundation.
“The Community Foundation has taken on something that has the potential to bring creativity to the environmental movement in ways that have not been done before,” said Mary Jo Aagerstoun, founder/president of the South Florida Environmental Art Project, Inc.
More information on the project is available at yourcommunityfoundation.org and martinarts.org.