What meaning does nature have in modern life? This is the core question I seek to address as an educator and artist. I combine my backgrounds in photography and botany to create botanical textile motifs from plants I observe in nature. I screenprint my “herbarium specimens” on usable/wearable objects and create written botanical field notes that link the viewer to the design’s origin in nature. The discussion begins here.
Explore the urban forest and design and create your own screen-printed project, such as a mural and t-shirts. This residency begins with an overview of environmental artists and the screen-printing process. Next, Sarah Nassif teaches students how to identify the layers of the urban forest (herbaceous, shrub, canopy). Students then spend 2-3 hours on a field survey either on campus or at a special forest location. During the field trip, students record ecological information and their personal feelings at the site. Students participate in an image harvest activity, such as digital photography, plant rubbings, drawing, and collection where appropriate. The class identifies the strongest images from each layer of the forest for the final mural design. Finally, the class experiences the hands-on process of screen-printing as their nature designs are transferred to their mural and t-shirts.
Teachers may collaborate with Sarah to focus on a particular ecological or botanical topic. The final printing project may include a collaborative canvas mural, t-shirt, and/or paper poster print.
Note: Day 2 of the residency involves a 2-3 hour field survey and image harvest.