The Enviro-Art Gallery, held on Saturday February 25, was started to create a dialogue within the community regarding various local and global environmental
issues. Through the use of over 100 pieces of student artwork, including over 25 pieces from art students at Midlothian High School, the gallery was able to effectively showcase the beauty of the planet and the importance of environmental protection on the local level. There was an emphasis on four distinct topics which were represented in the artwork provided: Beauty to be Protected, Climate Change/Pollution, Deforestation, and Overfishing/Waterway Protection. We found that merely telling people about an issue is not the best way to get the word out. By using art we gave the public a visual, something beautiful and inspiring to look at that also provided them some insight into what ails the world.
There was also an excellent speech by Dr. Peter Smallwood, an associate professor of Biology, and director of the Environmental Studies program at the University of Richmond. He spoke on his time as the director of the Wildlife Conservation Society's program in Afghanistan and how the focus on environmental conservation in the country helped to unite the various religious and social sects within that area.
With the help of the student artists, James River and Midlothian High School art staff, Dr. Smallwood, Sugar Shack Donuts, and all the amazing volunteers who took their time to set up the work and run the event, over 90 people came and learned a bit more about the planet.
It would not have been possible without the support of the community. A major thank you to all those who contributed time, money, artwork, or words of encouragement. The event was a success because of you.