Okanagan College organizes environmental art competition and symposiu

Okanagan College is organizing an environmentally-focused event, Earth Matters, that fuses intellect and creative expression.

Okanagan College is organizing an environmentally-focused event, Earth Matters, that fuses intellect and creative expression by blending an art competition with an academic symposium.

The college has arranged speakers on four themes: biodiversity, water resources, waste and climate change. Artists are invited to participate in this event through presentation of environmentally-themed works of art.  The art competition is open to new and experienced artists alike. Participants are being asked to create two-dimensional environmentally-themed art that engages the public on any one of the four themes. Entries must be submitted by March 20.

“We are organizing this competition and symposium for a number of reasons,” said Kathleen Jagger, professor in the department of geography and earth and environmental science. “First and foremost, we intend to highlight the link between creative expression and academic study in the natural and social sciences.”

Artistic representation is enhanced by understanding the subject matter,  and this forum will provide both artistic and intellectual portrayal of some important environmental issues facing modern society, explained Jagger.

“We have scheduled academic talks in four areas of environmental science, and each area will be showcased and augmented by artwork submitted by artists who choose to express their connections with the environment through the medium of art,” said Jagger. “This forum will bring together various perspectives on current issues with the aim of moving us all toward more connection with the topics of biodiversity, water, waste and climate change.”

Entries in the art competition are not limited to any specific medium or genre.

“The art should invoke a greater appreciation for the environment and perhaps inspire new ideas and solutions to current issues,” said Jagger.

Physically, original works should be no larger than 45x75cm (20×30”). All entries must be submitted in digital format for judging (visit okanagan.bc.ca/earthmatters for contest specifics and instructions) and need to be accompanied by an artist statement that explains the work.All entries must be submitted electronically through the site.

There are two categories for entrants: students in Grades 10-12 and an adult category open to those 18 and older. Entrants must be residents of the Okanagan College region. In the secondary school category, first-place winners in each theme area will receive a $500 tuition bursary to Okanagan College. In the open category (aged 18 and over), winners in each theme area will receive a one-day workshop with internationally-acclaimed nature artist Terry Isaac at his studio in Penticton.

All entries will be displayed digitally at the symposium. In addition, each of the eight first-place works will be professionally framed (if appropriate) and presented to the symposium by the artist. From the pool of winning entries, a “best-of-show” selection will be made and the winner will receive a signed (and framed) print donated by well-known Canadian wildlife artist Robert Bateman.

Entrants are required to submit a digital representation of their art by 5 p.m. on March 20. Winners will be contacted by March 25 and will be required to provide the original work to Okanagan College directly (any campus) by April 1 in order to be framed for the symposium on April 9.