Artists Who Raise Environmental Awareness

Great artists create work that inspires people, and encourages us to think in ways we ordinarily don’t. But the most important artists are the ones who find new ways to remind us of things we may have forgotten, like how it’s crucial that we keep working to preserve our planet. posted on

1. Kiji McCafferty

Kiji McCafferty is a Japanese artist who took Green Works cleaning products and used them to create murals on an underpass in Los Angeles. His goal was to get people thinking about how cleaning reveals beauty, and to encourage us to work harder at preserving the planet.

2. Inspired by Green Works

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3. Christo and Jeanne-Claude

Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s The Surrounded Islands, was created in 1983 using 6.5 million feet of floating pink fabric, which encircled eleven islands in Miami’s Biscayne Bay. People criticized the artists for damaging the ecosystem, but Christo and Jeanne-Claude removed 40 tons of garbage so the cloth could wrap around the landmasses.

4. Scott Wade

Scott Wade puts portraits on car windows that are covered in dust made of limestone, gravel and clay. His goal isn’t to get us feeling self-conscious about the appearance of our vehicles, but his work definitely makes us think about the condition of the air we’re breathing.

5. Nils-Udo

Nils-Udo has been creating “potential utopias” for the past 30 years. He mostly uses sticks, berries, leaves and flowers, with the goal of highlighting the beauty that already exists in nature but are sometimes too busy to notice.

6. Sandhi Schimmel Gold

Sandhi Schimmel Gold’s art speaks about our culture’s obsession with beauty by using materials that people sometimes forget to recycle, like menus, junk mail, greeting cards, political handouts and advertising brochures.

7. Tom Every

Tom Every mainly used scrap metal to create “Forevertron,” which is the world’s largest scrap metal sculpture. The piece (which is really a “park”), stands 50 feet tall, 120 feet wide, 60 feet deep and weighs 320 tons, and is made of scraps that are up to 100 years old.

8. Vaughn Bell

Vaughn Bell created installations for the Swarm Gallery in San Francisco where people could stick their heads in boxes that were filled with all types of plants and greenery. Bell wanted to give people who live in urban areas a chance to experience what rural life is really like, and to convey to them that even though they’re surrounded by buildings, it’s still important that they care about the bigger picture.

9. Andy Goldsworthy

Andy Goldsworthy is a British artist who works primarily with bright-colored flowers, icicles, leaves, mud, pine cones, snow, stone, twigs, and thorns. He’s described his work as being both transient and ephemeral, and works to create projects that portray nature’s intimacy and delicacy.

10. Edina Tokodi

Edina also works to bring rural life to the city, but she does it by creating moss installations of animals or people experiencing nature on walls. She then leaves them alone, and only visits them a few times to see how the public has reacted to them (as in whether or not the moss has been destroyed or carefully maintained). Edina hopes her work will help people “believe that if everyone had a garden of their own to cultivate, we would have a much more balanced relation to our territories.”

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