Thursday, June 24, 2010

Help Wanted: Artist with a Clue

I hope you can hear the sincerity in my voice here.

I am guiding a student publicity committee at work, related to the environmental justice conference planned for the fall. In case you don't know, environmental justice is the intersection of civil rights and environmental law, aimed at righting the wrongs resulting from NIMBY* policies that disproportionately place things like hazardous waste sites in low-income neighborhoods, usually the neighborhoods of people of color.

On a deeper level, environmental injustice results when "we" (those with the power) treat "them" (people with less power) the same way we treat land, plants, and animals: like objects to be used for our own self-centered purposes, rather than as fellow citizens of our glorious planet.

So what's the problem? The publicity committee has been charged with coming up with the artwork for the marketing materials. We have neither the time nor the budget to commission a pro to draw, paint or photograph something specifically for us. We have been scouring the internet for artwork that says "environment," "justice" and "diversity," all in one eloquent visual package.

There doesn't seem to be anything out there that we really like. Like environmental justice itself, this artwork is easier described than accomplished.

We are even considering having our own photo shoot to try and come up with something, since it seems that no one else has captured this particular image in a way that we like. We have been brainstorming ways to show people of different races working together to create environmental justice. Two hands of different skin tones carrying a bucket together? Handprints in various colors, in the shape of a scales of justice? Ribbons in different skin tones tied around a tree?

See what I mean? It isn't easy to say all that in one picture. Maybe a photo montage would be better?

So I ask you: Got any photos or collages you want to send me? Feel the urge to draw something this weekend? Want to describe your idea in words and leave it up to us to figure out how to take that exact picture? If so, please shoot me an e-mail or leave a comment, and you'll hear back from me promptly.

Publication with a credit (not to mention my eternal gratitude) could be yours!

*NIMBY = Not In My BackYard


  1. We'll think it through over here....sounds pretty cool, and I adore that you are working on this. So important.

  2. It sounds like it'll be a great conference - if I had any artistic ability whatsoever, I'd try to help out. But I can only draw a table. And a smiley-face.

  3. Oh, that would be awesome, Oreneta! Thank you! It is a great project to be involved with, and we really want to make it shine.

    Jenny, me too! I can draw well enough to play Pictionary, and that's my limit.

  4. Well, I so wanted to help you with this, but I haven't had any divine inspiration during the last few days. My brain is still clicking on this one.

  5. Keep thinking, Hula, please. The brilliant ideas aren't due til next Thursday. :-)


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