As a botanist and artist, Sarah work brings art and science closer together through hands-on art making. As two sides of the same coin, art and science have more in common than most people think. Starting with the five senses, Sarah helps audiences discover their hidden powers to Observe, Record and Share their unique perspectives of the natural world through art.
Observing nature connects us with the landscape in new ways each time. In Sarah's art practice, she creates participatory art that asks people to notice, document and share their experiences with nature. These may be collaborative screenprinting workshops that produce patterns from participants’ tree observations, a self-guided nature foray experience driven by a free field book and pencil, or textiles that put consumers into the role of naturalist collector. Sarah's work uncovers stories of what is growing around us and why, and encourages us to connect with each other as co-collaborators in caring for the place we live.
Explore the trees of your school campus and create colorful textiles. Following in the footsteps of naturalist-artists from a variety of backgrounds, students discover the power of the five senses to help us interpret the world around us and allow us to become our own teachers. Students become botanists and artists in the classroom, learning how gymnosperms and angiosperms differ, how to notice the distinct features of different trees, and how to document their observations through drawing and writing in their own naturalist notebook. The project examines the ways naturalist-artists have captured their observations of nature and shared them through art in unique ways. Students use their naturalist notebook drawings as a starting point to design a leaf motif that shares their observations of a part of nature. Students create simple screenprinting tools using an embroidery hoop and mesh and learn how to create a screen stencil suitable for repeat printing. Working in pairs, students screenprint bandanas and tee shirts of their own to keep. These artworks become tools to continue the conversation about the trees growing around school.
Teachers may collaborate with Sarah to focus on a particular ecological or botanical topic. The final printing project can also be customized.
Note: Standard residency program, working with 4 classrooms over 5 days. Day 2 of the residency involves a 2-3 hour field survey and image harvest.
Exploring the Urban Forest
How do the five senses help us become artists and scientists? Exploring the trees on campus, students learn how artists and scientists observe, record and share about the world around us, and how they can too. As a botanist, Sarah is able to help students learn about the trees unique to their school, and how they fit into the bigger picture of the local ecosystem and world of plants globally. Students learn about the powers of the five senses and how these are the foundation of both art and science. Sarah provides a “botany buffet”of the variety of leaves, needles, cones and seeds found at school and in the local community. Students learn how to quickly capture distinguishing details of their plant subjects in simple drawings that also become printable textile motifs. Working with easy block printing tools, students print their motifs using textile patterning concepts on cotton bandanas. These works of art are celebrated in a closing celebration that allows students to share what they have learned about the connections between art and science and their special school forest with the wider school community.
Note: Two sessions with each classroom required.
Creative ideas, stories, and news from artists and students across Minnesota, right in your inbox!