Posted: July 21, 2021

Dip into the world of natural dye.

Sustainable Studio is designed to provide students the opportunity to form a community of makers interested in issues regarding sustainability as related to artistic practice. From rural Pennsylvania to megacities of China, people are leading the charge to take on the big challenges of sustainability.

How do we reach across boundaries and disciplines, to farmers, architects, scientists, poets, writers and together aim towards a sustainable planet?

We will reach out across disciplines at PSU, to Bioengineering, Geography, Agriculture, Philosophy, Women Studies ( to name but a few) and seek out collaborative projects and intersectionality of ideas and production. This class will introduce you to concepts of sustainability and societal wellbeing through the language of creativity and the studio. We will address interconnected and evolving issues in food, water, biodiversity, energy, and climate, land use and examine how ethical and imaginative people can work together to deal with them. Both ancient and modern production methods using sustainable resources will be explored through hands-on workshops and investigative research. Traditional methods of making pigments and papers will be re-examined with contemporary considerations. We will also research non-toxic biodegradable art materials such as bioplastics, botanical dyes, bio-leathers and exploratory substructures and medias. This hands-on studio offering provides students the opportunity to create and exhibit artworks made from their hand-made materials: charcoal, pastels, sketchbooks, paint, hand-made papers and surfaces from locally and globally sourced materials. Visiting artists and lecturers will facilitate awareness of cultural context and historical uses of art materials from around the world. Special studio sessions, labs and DIY workshops will provide students with an opportunity to make their own art materials expanding skill sets and knowledge of how art materials are made. Auxiliary activities such as working on location at the student farm and the Sustainability Experience Center, attending special community events, making documented presentations, and museum & library visits will serve to augment studio sessions, facilitating a greater awareness of the cultural context in which art contributes to the larger conversation of sustainability.

Enforced Prerequisite at Enrollment: (ART 110 and ART 111) or Permission of instructor

LionPATH: ART 433-001 - Helen O'Leary and Kimberly Flick, instructors.