In collaboration with OpenLab and Geoffrey Thomas, we engaged a UC Santa Cruz Digital Media and Storytelling Arts Class to challenge students to create art that represents biodiversity loss. Students learned about the Joshua tree system and toured greenhouses to study the trees up close and dissect their seedpods. For the final project, we chose the art format of the triptych, which has long been associated with altar painting and Day of the Dead imagery, so we could commemorate the dying tree.
The students’ work was highlighted in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, exhibited in the Art and Science Departments, and at the Student Environmental Center’s Earth Summit event. We also presented this project at the AICAD conference at Cal Academy of the Arts, which focused on exploring science in the art studio.