Skip to main content

You are here

Symposium: Sustaining the Next 150 Years at MassArt

Symposium: Sustaining the Next 150 Years at MassArt flyer with yellow bird painting by Haley Johnson
Wednesday, January 18, 2023

MassArt held an academic symposium highlighting environmental sustainability on MassArt's campus as part of the celebrations surrounding the Inauguration of Dr. Mary K. Grant that took place on January 20th.

Participants heard from faculty, staff, and students about MassArt’s involvement with the 2022 World Wide Climate Teach-In, and our plans and goals for 2023, and the next 150 years! Guests learned how faculty and students have incorporated sustainable materials, methodologies, and concepts into their curriculum and own creative practices.


9:30 - 10:00am Coffee and refreshments
10:00 - 10:40am

Worldwide Climate Teach In: Presentation with Bard and AICAD

The panel discussion will be in the DMC Lecture Hall and shared online as a webinar. Register here to join the discussion virtually. 

A panel of MassArt faculty, students, and staff discuss lessons learned from participating in the 2022 Worldwide Teach-In on Climate and Justice, and their plans and goals for this year's Teach-In (March 27 - 31). MassArt President Mary K. Grant will provide opening remarks.

Deborah Obalil, President & Executive Director Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design (AICAD) will discuss how colleges of art and design are leading the way in education about sustainability and climate justice. From educating leaders on the importance of divestment and pro-active impact investing, to supporting the development of sustainability concentrations in arts and design education, to connecting alumni artist and designers with the National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Agency for the AICAD/NOAA Art + Science Fellowship, AICAD works actively to ensure arts and design educators and professionals understand the importance of integrating practices that address climate justice into their work.

Panelists include members of the Sustainability in the Curriculum committee: Marjee-Anne Levine (chair, faculty), Emily Cobb (faculty), Ava Fedorov (faculty), Darlene Gillan (staff), Liz Reiser (staff), and Haley Johnson (student) and Erica Hayes (student).

10:45 - 11:45am

Sustaining the Next 150 Years at MassArt: Methodologies and Materials

Faculty, staff, and students discuss their experiences, perspectives, and methodologies regarding sustainability in the curriculum at MassArt. The panel represents a variety of different experiences, perspectives, and methodologies at MassArt.

Panelists: Ava Federov (faculty), Emily Cobb (faculty), Marjee Levine (faculty), Darlene Gillan (staff) , Liz Reiser (staff), Haley Johnson (student), Erica Hayes (student), Luanne Witkowski (faculty).

11:45 - 1:00pm

Student Groups Celebrating Sustainability

Join us for refreshments in the DMC and learn more about the student run groups interested in sustainability and the environment. For instance, the Restore is a prolific and vital resource for the MassArt community, and is celebrating its 10 year anniversary! As a student-run (SGA) organization, they provide free materials to any and all, while promoting sustainable practices through re-use and re-invention.

Join us for a one hour Upcycle Project and transform an item from the Restore through form, surface, context, concept, or function. This is also an opportunity to connect with other related student groups.

1:00 - 2:00pm

Walnut Pigment Project

In 2021-22, Professor Jane Marsching from Studio Foundation made walnut pigment (ink/dye/paint), and distributed it across several disciplines. The faculty then integrated walnut pigment into their curriculum, which culminated in a cross disciplinary exhibition.

Faculty and students in Painting, Illustration, and Fashion will discuss their experience.

Panelists: Jane Marsching (Studio Foundation faculty), Jennifer Varekamp (Fashion faculty), Edward Monovich (Illustration faculty), Cecilia Vasquez (Painting faculty), Ava Pomilla (Illustration student),

Maya Bialek (Fashion Student), Leslie Donahue (Painting Student).

2:00 - 3:00pm

Interpreting Sustainability in Your Art Practice: A Student Panel

Students discuss ways they investigate, interpret, and incorporate sustainability in their personal art practice.

Panelists: Marjee Levine (FA3D faculty), Haley Johnson (Painting student), Erica Hayes (Sculpture student), Heily Rivas (Fashion student), Shanoor Shafqat (Fashion student), Maggie Miller (Architecture student), Julia Giangrande (Jewelry/Metals student)

Please contact with any questions.