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Sustaining the Soul, Sustaining the Planet

By Natalie Bishop

Sustainability in the arts is not really the first thing that comes to mind when you think of ways to improve and expand the art community. This interdisciplinary intersection is one of the emerging trends in the arts and it has caught my and many other artists’ attention. You may be wondering “What exactly is sustainable art?” and that’s a great question. Art sustainability can be described as the production of art with consideration for the broader impact of the work on the surrounding environment in the present or in the future. Basically, making art while keeping the environmental effects in mind . Creating a more sustainable world demands that all sectors of society work together, which includes artists and arts organizations.

Creativity has been identified as a crucial factor to build a more sustainable society through out-of-the-box thinking and use of resources. This interesting area of creativity can further reach into areas like energy use, environmental conservation, biodiversity, water use, and climate. Isn’t that so cool? I didn’t know much about this topic until I made a presentation on sustainable art for my Arts Management class last semester. It is a topic that I am also guilty of not ever putting thought into, and so when I finally took a good look into it, I was amazed to find so many creative ways that people are making art with the environmental impact in mind.

Artists are frequently coming up with new and interesting ways to incorporate environmental awareness into their art. Utilizing recycled materials to create a masterpiece, using sculptures to make a statement about the current effects and changes of our environment, and even creating art that is actively being used as a renewable energy source are just some of the incredible things people have come up with to display sustainability in their art. These uses are combining the fundamentals of art to a whole new realm of creativity and representation of a very important issue of our time. Art and sustainability can work together with other sectors of interest to create big changes and raise awareness for issues that have often been overlooked or avoided, and that is what makes it a powerful emerging trend in the art community.

Natalie Bishop is a current sophomore at Miami University. She has an Arts Management and Entrepreneurship major with a co-major in Environmental Science and a Spanish minor. She is from a military family so has lived all over the world, but is from Defiance, Ohio. She has had an interest in both the arts and sciences since a young age and is excited to be further exploring them in a university setting.


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