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The Key Elements of Environmental Art

by Becky Scherzer 07/25/2021

Environmental art became popular in the late 20th century because of growing concern and awareness for the environment. Environmental art has several overlapping characteristics as land art or earthworks, but comments or establishes an opinion on environmental issues. As artists continue to think about the environment as a cohesive system rather than a living space, the appeal and spread of environmental art continues. Here are the basic elements of environmental art to help gain a better understanding of the term.

Exploring Humans’ Relationship With Nature

Environmental artists try to establish their relationship with the natural world in several ways. One way is through bringing their creative workspaces out of the studio and into the environment. This challenges the static concept of a specific place for creating art and instead allows a more integrated relationship with a variety of settings.

Maintaining Harmony With the Environment

Environmental art is all about working with nature instead of against it. Artists who create environmental art take special care in their processes and material usage in order to minimize damage to the surroundings. The health and wellbeing of the environment takes precedence over the artistic process, which also means environmental art is vulnerable to the same changes (such as erosion, flooding and decay).

Using Natural Materials

Besides natural settings, environmental artists use natural materials in creating art. Common examples include sticks and branches, stone, gravel, sand, flowers and leaves. The goal of environmental art is to encourage the viewer to look at the natural environment differently through art. Ultimately, the idea is to create a greater awareness of small but important details of the natural world and our effect on them.

Rethinking Exhibition Space

Taking its cue from land art, environmental art exists outside of the commercialized art world. While you may find environmental art in urban areas, you won’t find it in a museum or art gallery. This creates an enhanced accessibility for viewers and allows them to participate in art even if they have never considered or been able to visit an established institution before. A lot of environmental art means to send a message as activism and this denial of the more traditional art world factors into that by giving ownership of the art to nature rather than gallery owners and other organizations.

As science advances and environmental awareness grows, so does the power and popularity of environmental art. Artists who want to send a message about the importance of humanity’s relationship with the natural world can do so in a variety of ways through art. While environmental art exists in many facets and forms, these key elements are the most important in understanding the term.

About the Author

Becky Scherzer

Welcome! Looking to buy or sell real estate in the St. Louis area, don’t look any further than Becky Scherzer and Scherzer Real Estate for all of your needs! My family and I have lived in the St. Louis area for more than 50 years, so I know the St. Louis area! In addition, I am a full-time agent with the #1 real estate office in the St. Louis area and the #1 real estate company in the country! My mission is to create a much different brand of real estate services, one that exceeds expectations, delivers results and exceptional service at a level never seen before in the industry. When you choose me to represent you in selling your home or buying a new home, I will work with you to an extent unmatched by any other Realtor. I invest a great deal of time, energy and money to ensure not only the highest sales price possible for your home or finding your new dream home, but that the process, your experience, is as smooth and stress-free as possible. I am fortunate to have the support of a group of highly trained professionals to assist me in ensuring a seamless, efficient and straightforward path to your success. I will continuously evolve to meet the challenges of our very dynamic, ever-changing market conditions. What will never change is my commitment to provide my clients the level of expertise and innovation they deserve. Getting great advice on selling your home or buying a new home is simple, JUST ASK me!