ASU kicks off campus sustainability month with chalk art event

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October is Campus Sustainability Month, and ASU hosts events and activities throughout it to celebrate and educate the university community about sustainability.

ASU has taken advantage of art to educate the community about sustainability. Art events this month include The Pathway to Sustainability, a chalk art event, and Solar Sewing Machine Artwork with Paul Nosa, a sewing event.

Sustainability and art can complement each other in a way that is “accessible and speaks to people in different ways,” said Susan Norton, associate director of university sustainability practices, in an email.

“Using art to reach and teach individuals about sustainability is an easy way to get people thinking differently and helps connect the dots that sustainability comes in many forms and actions,” Norton said.

A Pathway to Sustainability kicked off Campus Sustainability Month at ASU. The event was held Oct. 5 at the Student Services Lawn near Memorial Union.

Several artists drew and created a chalk path that stretched along the walkway for students to follow as they walked past. The design included five key points of durability connected from point to point along the trail.

The five key points are: reduce waste, eat right, be active, save energy and save water.

Jennifer White, a returning artist for the chalk event at ASU, hopes the event will catch the attention of students who drop by to see the art and the purpose behind it, even if they don’t stop. .

White described the event as an interactive way to encourage students to participate in creating a sustainable campus. The event is all about “having fun” while getting the important information, White said.

Choosing the chalk medium gives the art the ability to stay “for days and allows for greater reach for our lasting message,” Norton said.

The Solar Sewing Machine Artwork event will take place on October 13 and will feature artist Paul Nosa creating embroidered patches with his adapted sewing machine.

Nosa connected solar panels to her sewing machine, making it portable and durable. All power is drawn directly from the sun. If the sewing machine’s panels aren’t producing enough electricity, Nosa uses her van equipped with solar panels to recharge.

When Nosa creates his embroidered patches from recycled scraps of fabric, he asks other people for five words or less to inspire his embroidered creation. By asking others for their opinion on the piece, he intends to appeal to their imagination and creativity.

Nosa’s core mission, from a sustainability perspective, is to demonstrate that art “can be done off the grid.” His art is produced entirely using sustainable energy as it is “a necessary function of going solar”, he said.

“We’ve found that using art to talk about sustainability tends to appeal to a diverse crowd,” Norton said. “We started using chalk art as a way to engage the campus when social distancing was needed and it was so successful that we continued to use this platform to reach the campus community.”

Edited by Jasmine Kabiri, Wyatt Myskow and Kristen Apolline Castillo.


Contact the reporter at clegallo@asu.edu and follow @claire_legallo on Twitter

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Claire Le GalloCommunity journalist

Claire Le Gallo is a journalist in the Community and Culture desk of The State Press. She is a second-year student majoring in journalism and anthropology.


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