Sustainability- this brings many meanings

18 10 2013

Sustainability is a lens we have been asked to apply to our curricular work.  Sustainability is defined as:

1:  capable of being sustained
2 a :  of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged <sustainable techniques> <sustainable agriculture>

:  of or relating to a lifestyle involving the use of sustainable methods <sustainable society>

This is a great idea and should be applied to everyday living.  As a matter for survival for an art teacher this has been the way we think all the time.  I don’t know one art teacher who doesn’t have a stash of cardboard, plastic bags, scrap wood, paint, fabric, yard, etc.  It is how we function.  At times it is frustrating that I have all these pockets of random stashes of stuff, but other times I am so relieved I held on to that item.  I reuse and re purpose all the time.  I recently completed a sculpture lesson using all the cardboard boxes I had from the start of the school year.  I was able to use up some “oops” or wrong mixed paints that was donated and several students use magazine paper, yarn, and my wall paper books to add finishing touches.
Fun house
Today I was sitting in my studio and looked around at all my stacks of finished art pieces that need to graded, photographed, and displayed.  I have been waiting to get all the cardboard houses out of the studio to make room for the clay unit that has already started.   My studio serves all courses and so I not only manage all the materials but I have to plan for storing works in progress.  I could limit the scale of the works of art to fit on one shelf per class but I like my students to explore.  For some of my students this is the first and possibly the last time they will every do this type of art work.
Robert house front
So getting back to the Sustainability lens for curricular work…I think I got this.
Natalie House (7)
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